I know it has been ages since I did a blog post, I missed blogging so much but exams have been hectic along with other unforeseen circumstances that have made it very difficult to blog. I have actually realised just how happy blogging makes me and I cannot wait to be back in full swing very soon.
As I sit on this couch, way too sick to even comprehend my study notes, I decided it would be appropriate to do a blog post on study tips as many of us are either gearing up for exams or have already started. This has got to be the worst time to have the flu, especially because I have finally been able to focus and get my study on. But, I am determined to push through. I have put together 6 study tips that I have learned over the years that have really helped me through this stressful time.
1- Refrain From Reading Solely From A Textbook
So, for the past few couple of days I have been reading from my textbook and found myself being entertained by every- single -not-so-entertaining-thing all because I was bored out of my mind. Make notes using your own words and your own understanding of the material. I find writing out notes actually helps me study more effectively. This assists you in remembering the work because it is in your own words, therefore you begin to understand the work material better. Also,
use colour pens for headings and subheadings. This brings in a fun element to studying and pretty, colourful notes just look more attractive to read. Find other resources of the same topics you are studying ( articles, academic essays etc), this will result in you having a broader understanding and could assist you on understanding the topics much better.
2- Read Your Notes Out Aloud
I have found, for some odd reason, reading my notes out aloud helps the information stay in my head. Act as if you are teaching the work to students ( You can even go as far as setting Teddy Bears out and teach them) in your imaginary classroom. It might sound a bit silly, I know, but it is very much effective.
3- Do Not Focus Solely On Studying
This is something I have battled with and still battle with even now. I have always put all my focus and energy into one single thing, and everything else must fall away. Its very hard for me to take some time out to engage in other activities while in exam season. This has resulted in me being way too stressed out and constantly feeling overwhelmed. This took a toll on my health and I had experienced a severe panic attack in the exam room of my final exam last year. I felt like a failure, this was a huge wake up call for me.
Now, I try my utmost best to remain calm and constantly remind myself that stress serves no good purpose in my life at all. Exams can be an extremely stressful time, but do try by all means to take some time out and focus your energy on something else for a while. Take time out to do some exercise ( even if its just a 5minute workout); play some loud fun music when you feel you are getting too tired and your energy and focus levels have dropped,this really helps to get your energy back up again; have a chill session with your friends- anything that brings you joy and makes you feel happy. Trust me, your study sessions and overall performance will be much more effective if you have a time- out, just don't over do it.
4- Test Yourself
Create relevant/possible questions based on your study material. Get passed papers and work on them. This will give you a clear indication on which sections you are good at, and which sections you are not so confident in therefore needing to spend more time working on them. This also allows you to really engage with the material, instead of just reading a bunch of words you are most likely not even going to remember.
5- Healthy Snacks
It is so easy to snack on crap, and by crap I mean all the good stuff- chocolates;sweets and all those tasty sugary treats. Those foods are not good for you on a normal day, now imagine when you actually need to focus and feel energised to tackle your exams? Snack on foods such as almonds, popcorn ( lay off on the flavour) , granola bars, string cheese, fruits and veggies and drink lots and lots (AND LOTS) of water. This way you get the nutrients and protein you need to stay focused and energised.
6- DO NOT STRESS!!!!
I don't know how to stress this more, stressing will not assist you in anyway. Whenever you feel overwhelmed- stop what you are doing, close your eyes and just take a few deep breaths. Tell yourself you can do this. At the end of the day, your health is the most important thing. It is so easy to feel defeated and just give up. Suck it up and do what you have to do, nothing in life comes easy. There are no rewards for giving up, it will feel all worth it in the end, I promise.
Okay, I should actually get back to studying now and you should too :-) . If you have any other good tips that are not on this list, please do share.
I hope these study tips have assisted you and has given you the confidence you need to do well in your exams. Good luck to all of you are writing and I hope all goes well, and I wish you nothing but the best.