Studying for exams requires a clearly chalked out strategy for maximal effectiveness. If you study just like that without any clear game plan, your learning and recall are bound to be poor, resulting in poor exam scores. Studying well is an art that needs a little understanding and practice, so that it stays with you for life. It is an invaluable skill for school and college life and workplace, where you may need to study reams of data to reach a conclusion.
1. Absorbing Knowledge Efficiently
Attending classes regularly makes you an active learner. Participate whenever possible as it helps remember better.
2. Effective notes-making
Various notes-making styles can help you record key information for better recall and presentation. Learn them for better test performance and effective use of the time spent on books and classes.
3. Doing homework
Do your homework regularly. Homework helps you absorb classroom learning, revise and clarify doubts. Make a mental timetable and set aside a quiet place to beat the “Not today, tomorrow!” blues. Stay up-to-date with self-study for optimum classroom learning. Always attend a lecture after completing the required reading (if prescribed), else you will not improve your understanding.
4. Studying frequently
Studying hard the night before a test isn't going to help ensure good scores. If you really want to ace those exams, study regularly several times a week. It will help you avoid last-hour pressure, have better recall and make test-taking a breeze.
Take regular 5-10 minute break after every 30 minutes of study. Take a walk, listen to a song, have a glass of water- do anything you like EXCEPT thinking about what you were studying. It will keep your brain from overload and help it absorb the information better.
5. Working with concentration
An hour of concentrated study is worth several hours of disturbed study. Concentration helps you achieve more in less time and is a distinguishing feature of super-achievers globally.
6. Applying memory techniques
Learn different memory techniques and apply them in your studies. The more you exercise your memory muscle, the stronger it will be and the more confident you will be in recalling information. For example, the sentence "Koyal Puri Came Over For Great Songs" is a great way to remember the levels of biological classification (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species). Another memory trick: Instead of trying to remember 4537610925, for example, break it up like a phone number: 453-761-0925.
7. Using all your intelligences
Different people learn differently. Some learners do best with visual inputs while others respond better to auditory stimuli. It does NOT matter how smart you are. What really matters is: how you are smart? Gardiner’s idea of Multiple Intelligence spells out different ways in which a human can exhibit intelligence and how this self-knowledge can help us perform better. You just need to find out what works out best for you.
8. Creating mind maps
Mind maps are graphic organizers to help you summarize key information. Each topic can be condensed into a page and each chapter into a larger map. Eventually, you can develop a mind map to review the key sections of each course and get a broad view of their inter-connections. To review before an exam, just see whether you can reconstruct the map. You can test yourself for key terms, reasons and examples.
9. Creating the atmosphere
Atmospherics play a vital role in creating the right “feel”. Create a 24-hour learning environment with review charts and points put on mirrors, doors, fridge, bathroom, television, or bedside table. If possible, get a white board and markers to test your recall with mind maps.
10. Testing yourself
Taking a practice test will help you figure out how much you actually know. Knowing your weak spots before a test is crucial for success!