10 methods to study before an exam
In the education systems of most countries, the exam is that moment in which our learning becomes an all-or-nothing task .
Days or even weeks of attending classes and self-study may fail if at the time of performing tests that are put on the exams, we fail. That's why mastering study methods is very important when it comes to making the most of our knowledge and skills.
Facing difficult exams
Spain is a country with a serious problem in its educational system; both in primary and secondary schools do not teach students effective ways to study, something that should be key in the learning process. In my first year at university I only limited myself to memorize, a task that was very tedious to me, so I started looking for other methods to study for exams .
As soon as I had these new methodologies mastered (since there is no single infallible), my grades improved a lot; in most subjects I went up to more than three points (in exams on a maximum score of 10). The truth is that I doubt I would have gotten such good grades without these study techniques; the University is hard and at that time I had to understand and assimilate a lot of information. It was clear that the study methods worked for me, and I think they can also be useful for anyone who needs to pass exams . That's why I've decided to share them.
The best techniques and methods of study
The tips that I will explain will be useful for any subject: exams for exams, English, etc. However, these methods of study are not the panacea against vagrancy: Effort and perseverance are the basis of success!
Thinking about the image that you have 2-3 hours of study ahead is, let's say, little ... stimulating. But there is a way to make it less heavy:
Take a break every 50-60 minutes and do some activity that you like for 10 minutes : watch TV, read, exercise, etc. It's a matter of knowing that the effort is not going to be superhuman, quite the contrary; it is about combining the effort devoted to study with pleasant activities or leisure activities, unconsciously associating the study with something positive and bearable.
2. Out of distractions!
Are you the classic student who is in class watching the facebook every minute or scribbling in the notebook? Do not fear, there are many of them. They are the same ones who study 1 hour of each 4.
This is because it takes almost 10 minutes to reach a full state of concentration. At this point, if by active or passive this process of concentration is interrupted, you will have to restart the process.
And what can we do to avoid distraction? Avoid social networks, hide your mobile or turn it off, get away from TV , etc. They are small details that although they seem insignificant, they matter. This method of study can be summarized as follows: when you rest, rest and do not complicate your life, but when it is time to study, do not dedicate yourself to something else.
3. Music to concentrate
We will agree that putting heavy metal or electronic songs to study works for very few people ... but despite the popular belief that when it comes to studying you do not have to listen to music, There are certain melodies and sounds that can help you enter into a state of relaxation . You can try, for example, with musical pieces to meditate.
Other tips about music when it comes to studying:
- Avoid putting the typical catchy song , or one that you like a lot.
- Choose a playlist of at least 50 minutes , so you will not see the need to search for songs after a while.
- The radio does not work . The presenters' voices can be irritating when it comes to studying.
4. Study in advance
In the race I never studied the day before the exam, nor the same day . Neither for the most important exams like the finals. The key to study months in advance, a little each day. If you study an exam that you have within two months for an hour or two a day you have assured success.
The information will be structured in your long-term mind , it will be preserved for a long time and you will be able to make use of it when you need it. If you study in a hurry the day before, or two or three days before, you may approve, but the knowledge will not be fixed and you will end up forgetting it. Things will become difficult in the future, when teachers assume that you remember the contents of previous lessons.
5. Mental maps
A mental map is a schematic image used to represent words , ideas or concepts linked around a central idea.Mind maps are a very good method to memorize information. I recommend it!
6. Get physical exercise
Although it may not seem like it, exercise can be part of the study methods. According to a study by the University of Illinois, Do 20-30 minutes of exercise before an exam improves concentration . Many times, before an exam I went to the gym to de-stress, after all I had studied well in advance and could afford luxury (as a reward).
From my point of view it is a big mistake to think that the day of the exam or the day before you have to spend it studying until the last minute. You have to give yourself some room to rest and train your muscles to be in the best possible physical condition before undergoing the pressure of an exam. We are humans!
7. Change the places of study
If you change places where you study you will improve your concentration and you can retain more data . This is because studying in one place, active or passive, ends up irritating us. Introducing new variables in the study breaks that routine and gives us an oxygen ball to study.
A good option would be to alternate between your house and various public libraries.
8. Eat well and healthy
Hunger will cause you to be without energy and distracted . I recommend that you eat something before studying, especially almonds (containing phenylalanine, which stimulates neurons) and beets (uridine monophosphate helps improve cognitive abilities).
9. Keep a positive spirit!
The positive mentality is very helpful when it comes to obtaining good grades . Many peers, by giving excessive importance to the results, were overly concerned about what they do and experience outbursts of anxiety before the exams, which conditions them and keeps them distracted (the self-fulfilling prophecy). That's why it's important to stay calm and have a positive attitude.
Also, being pessimistic about the results we're going to get gives us an excuse to stop struggling. It is a phenomenon similar to what is known as learned helplessness.
10. Do mock exams
Imitating an exam by simulation is often more useful than reading or underlining . You rethink possible logical questions (that possibly will coincide with those of the real exam) and you will help to regulate the previous anxiety, because the "real" exam will only be one of many.
In addition, doing mock exams is one of the most useful study methods, because it helps you discover gaps and weaknesses in your knowledge.