Exams are terrible and stressful things to study for, especially knowing that they can make or break your final mark.
Create a revision timetable. It is important to budget your time, to ensure that you cover all the topics covered in the exam. Remember to take regular breaks and get out and exercise.
Rewrite your notes to aid memory. Rewriting your notes is great if you’re a kinesthetic learner. Mind mapping is the most effective way of doing this. Also, when you re-write something, you will probably think about what you are writing, what it’s about, and why you wrote it down. Most importantly, it refreshes your memory. If you took notes a month ago and just found out that those notes will be relevant in your exam, rewriting them will remind you of them when you need it for your exam.
Find the right hours. Don’t study when you’re really tired. It’s better to study for two hours in one day than to try and cram in that daily hour of studying at two in the morning. You won’t remember much and you’re likely to stop before you have studied what you need.
Don’t cram. Cramming the night before is proven to be ineffective, because you’re taking in so much information at once that it’s impossible to memorize it at all — in fact, you’ll hardly retain anything. I know it’s been preached to you many times before, but it’s true: Studying before and going over it multiple times really is the best way to learn the material. This is especially true with things like history and subjects dealing with theory.
Different subjects call for different studying. If its math you’re studying for, work on the problems. Don’t just read over it like you would for a history class, because you can actually do math, but you can seldom do history. Working problems out will help burn them into your mind, and remember: if you can’t solve the problem before the exam, you won’t be able to solve it on the exam either. For subjects based on calculations, it is important to do questions because this is essentially how you are going to be tested. With questions.
If you are studying for a more social subject, re-read your notes, or re-write them! Make sure you know what you’re talking about!
Choose good surroundings. How do you study best? In your PJ’s and your favorite t-shirt? With music or without? In your room or outside? Regardless, you probably won’t be able to study while there are distractions like:
Your darling little brother or sister is running screaming around the house. You are going to end up watching movies because they are far too distracting.
Your older brother or sister is bothering you on purpose.
Your music blasting, especially if it’s a song you want to sing along to instead of studying.
It’s too dark. Your eyes will strain in dim light.
You’re in a mess. Clean your room, as the mess around you really can distract you from what you’re doing.
Get enough light. For men, try studying with a dimmer light (though not overly dim). Statistics say that 75% of people study and focus better in a brighter room with little noise.
Turn the TV off, more often than not. Some people like to have the TV on quietly in the background. This can cut both ways in that it can distract you from time to time, but also can help you to continue studying. It’s a risky strategy to have the TV on: nobody really knows how much it takes away from your attention. Chances are it’ll be more distracting than you realize.
Take Breaks. You need some time to have fun and it is better to revise when you are feeling relaxed than to exhaust yourself studying all day! The only caveat is, you need to avoid procrastination.
Plan ahead. Always create a plan before you start studying. Remember that this plan has to be achievable. If 3 out of 5 lessons are easy and can be finished fast, finish them first, so you can spend quality time on the difficult lessons without fretting. Small tricks like these will help you complete your portions quickly.
Review your notes. When you are finished studying one page of your notes, before you move on to the next page, ask yourself questions relating to the material on that page to see if you have remembered what you just studied. It also helps to say the answers to your questions out loud as if you were trying to explain it to someone else.
Ask yourself: What is my teacher most likely to ask on the exam? What materials should I focus on to give myself the best chance of knowing what I need to know? What trick questions or wrinkles could my teacher introduce that might throw me for a loop?
Ask for help. If you need help, ask someone who is good at these subjects. Friends, family, teachers are all good options. If you don’t understand what the person helping you is communicating, don’t be afraid to ask them to elaborate.
Be prepared on the big day. On the day of your exam, look at your notes before the exam so that the information is still fresh in your head.
Get plenty of rest the night before. Children under 18 need anywhere from 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night.
Eat a balanced breakfast full of lean protein, vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. A sample breakfast might include spinach omelets with smoked salmon, whole wheat toast, and a banana.
Get to the exam room with time to spare. Give yourself at least five or 10 minutes to gather your thoughts before starting the exam. That means being in the exam room five to 10 minutes before the exam starts.