How to Study for School Exams

>> Monday, March 28, 2011

Students are constantly faced with horrifying things. Almost weekly they will encounter bullies, presentations, awkward or heroic teachers and exams. Ultimately though the test results will determine whether you get a degree or not, so it's important to achieve the best possible results. That's where this article comes in. Here are a few pointers to maximize your learning potential.
Workspace
It's important to have a great workspace, a room in your house where you're completely comfortable. Depending on your personality this can be a dull corner in your bedroom, or a comfortable couch in the living room. It doesn't really matter but you must find a location where there's little distraction or irritation.

Exercise
The way you feel has a direct impact on the learning potential of the brain. People that are comfortable will generally have a more easy time learning for exams and tests. Therefore you must try to exercise regularly, I recommend cardio and yoga.

Eat
You can't learn on an empty stomach so always eat before you start studying. Also don't combine learning with a diet, it isn't recommended because it ruins the body's feeling of comfort. Big changes of lifestyle should wait!

Day/night cycle
Determine what's the best time to study and what works best for you. It can be at night (right before bed), or in the morning. In my experience the morning is best because the brain is like a sponge, but for some reason I prefer night studying. Remember to stay well rested and sleep at least 8 hours per day.

Use all senses (eyes, ears, feel etc.)
When you want to learn something use everything that's at your disposal. Speak out loud when you read, write it down and make summaries. Try to put large chunks of information into smaller pieces. Personally I like to read the books and make summaries using paragraphs, tables and drawings to organize all the knowledge into a small and easy to read document. Always use your own words. Read it back a couple of times before the exam.

Questions and answers
A fantastic way to remember things is by explaining it to yourself. Don't be afraid to go into detail about it. Make questions about the material and test yourself. Don't go inside that exam room until you can at least answer all the questions that you thought of.
Use the day before the exam to push for one final time. Don't do silly things like drinking or dangerous exercises the day before, and go through everything you learned one last time. Remember that the final hours can make a big difference between succeeding or having to re-do everything all over again.
Learning for an exam can be pretty exhausting process. Remember to use all your senses and have a productive day before the exam begins. Believe in your knowledge and try the pointers above. A convincing "pass" should be in the cards any day.
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