Study effectively and ace your exam
Amid all the methods students have used to study for their exams, there are only a select few proven effective enough to ace that exam. Understanding the effective strategies to study can pave way for confidence in excelling in exams. By building a habit with the below tips, your ability to study effectively will come naturally.
Study in the right mindset
Do not study while stressed out. The problem would be the main focus instead of trying to study. Although these problems are inevitable, it is best to deter them by having the determination to focus on studying. It does take a lot of will-power to stop negative thinking. If the exam is a long way down the road, give yourself a day off to relax your mind. This will help you recoup and get the ball rolling again.
Location Location Location
Oh, you think Starbucks is the ideal place to study, right? Wrong! Well, for some people.
Starbucks and other coffee shops are a huge distraction. They are loud, crowded, and the temptation to buy things every so often is prevalent. This message does not apply to you if you are able to tune out those distractions. If you are disciplined in tuning out those distractions, disregard this.
Take advantage of your college’s library or a quiet student lounge. Take advantage of your tuition while you can. It is important to find the optimal setting for studying because that is where you will be for the next few hours. If you really need to avoid the campus, there is a public library as well, and that can come with just as many resources.
In this technological advanced world made us more distracted than ever. Social Media is really the best and worse thing to happen to us. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter – the only way this can be useful in studying is if there are study files within those apps. Aside from that, it is best to cut it cold turkey, during your study session. You are better off not studying if you are not going to devote your undivided attention to it. If you are still tempted on using this unproductive medium, understand that it can make you depressed, which can really inhibit the learning process.
Ah, what a classic – mnemonics. Mnemonics are method of studying to effectively recall information. By associating words, letters, numbers and colors in a fashion to help you remember, then that can potentially be useful when taking the exam.
A common example is in music: To remember the notes on the treble clef, which are EGBDF, you can call it “Every Good Boy Does Fine.” Putting it into sentence form is easier to remember than just the letters itself. EGBDF has no meaning, but to associate with words to create a sentence, it will be easier to remember.
Chunking is one of the best ways to study effectively. It will be easier to recall information when studying in small chunks. Rather than studying a large piece of information at once, break it down into small organized units to better recall. An example of chunking is in our telephone numbers, 123-456-7890. Phone numbers are easier to remember when grouped like that. A phone number grouped like 1234567890 is not as easy to remember. The best thing to do is break it down into small manageable pieces, and study away!
It is proven effective, too! In a research article by Jordi Conollosa, of University of California, “Chunking simplifies a task performance and helps break down problems in order to think, understand and compose more efficiently.”
Study with others
What better way to study than studying with others? This method is mutually beneficial. You can quiz each other, compare notes, and review material that you may have missed out on. While you are quizzing someone, it not only helps the other person doing the quiz, you are learning as well. It is optimal to keep the study group small, preferably up to 4-5 people. Any more than that will defeat the purpose because you want to give everybody a chance to contribute to group discussion.
Study right before you sleep
Research has it that studying right before you sleep is effective in retaining information. Jessica Payne of Notre Dame University and colleagues conducted an experiment to test this theory. Participants were 207 healthy Harvard students, and they were randomly assigned to study declarative, semantically related or unrelated pairs of words at 9AM or 9PM. It is proven that having a full night’s sleep after having to memorize pair words, retention was significantly better than recalling it after a full day of wakefulness. “At the 24-hour retest, with all subjects having received both a full night of sleep and a full day of wakefulness, subjects’ memories were superior when sleep occurred shortly after learning, rather than following a full day of wakefulness.”
Studying effectively is more than just passing the exam. When you approach studying material as something you can apply to your daily life, or if you are intrinsically motivated to learn, you will fare well retaining the information far beyond the date of the exam. This does not have to be a daunting task. It can be as fun as you make it out to be. When you study effectively, you do more than just learn about the subject – the skill can be applicable to anywhere else in life.