Learn how to manage your time so you can study enough and have time for other activities.
You have one month before your test, and you haven’t started studying. For the few that are used to studying last minute, this is not a problem for you.
If you like to be prepared and study in advance, consider adding a few of these study tips to your list.
SET A TIME TABLE FOR YOUR DAILY STUDY SCHEDULE
Break down your syllabus into bite-sized portions, and depending on the number of days you have left, start setting a time table. Plan what you want to study each day, go a step further, and plan your daily study schedule.
In your daily time table, decide the number of hours you’ll spend on each subject.
Try not to tackle a whole subject on one day, do more than one in rotation. Varying your topics will ensure you don’t get bored or find it repetitive. Choose a combination that works for you. At the same time, make sure you give each subject enough importance based on how difficult it is for you.
Most people can concentrate fully on studying a subject for at least an hour. Some have a shorter attention span, and some longer. So your breaks should be timed at a time when you know you won’t be productive. Don’t get carried away, they should last between 15 – 30 minutes. Otherwise, you might start procrastinating.
Naps during breaks can actually help you study better. They have proven effects on improving memory, read our benefits of napping to students and working professionals post for more. Naps help you achieve REM sleep, which acts as a reset tool for your brain, clearing cache and leaving you refreshed. You can retain more information by using your breaks for short naps.
RELEARN, REVISE, AND REPEAT
My teacher always told me that repeating is the best way to remember. It’s not so much about memorizing as it is about committing things to your long term memory. That happens over some time. This is why you need to take time to relearn what you’ve done in school, then revise, and repeat till you understand. This is a good practice even if you study the last minute because you already know what’s coming for the test.
GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
You need plenty of sleep, which is why making a timetable and setting a fixed study time depending on when you can concentrate best is good practice. Unless you get enough sleep, you can’t focus and study. All the effort you put will go to waste if you don’t get enough sleep right before your exam. Also, avoid studying for long hours, or too late into the night. The strain on your body and mind won’t help you remember anything.
SMALL HEALTHY MEALS
Eat small meals while studying. If you eat till you’re full, you’ll have a hard time concentrating on studying because you might feel sleepy. Small meals give you short bursts of energy and keep you alert.
PRO TIP FOR MEMORISING
My chemistry teacher in my school and accounting teacher in college gave me the same advice. When it comes to both chemistry and accounting, there are fundamental principles without which you can’t study the subject. The Periodic Table and the Golden Rules of Accounting. So how did they suggest I learn it?
My chemistry teacher made me write down the first twenty elements on the periodic table, with their mass number and atomic number. I pasted it on the wall of my study desk. So every morning I would read it twice and the same every night. Eventually, I just remembered it without making the actual effort to memorize.
Years later, I did the same with the Golden Rules of Accounting. I can still tell you the first twenty elements of the periodic table, even though it’s been years since I studied it. It’s basically a foolproof method to memorize something tedious, without actually straining yourself.
MOVIE BREAK BEFORE THE TEST
Another piece of advice from my accounting teacher was to take a break before the exam. Watch a movie or do something else to help destress the day before the exam. That’s if you’re done studying. Some students do last-minute revisions, and it can get stressful if you’re pushing yourself too much.
WHEN THE STUDENT IS READY, THE TEACHER APPEARS
Teach your friend, it’s the best way for you to revise right before the exam if you’re a last-minute studier. Your friend will learn while you teach, and you also have the opportunity to learn it once more and understand the concept better.
There are two kinds of students, the ones who make detailed plans and notes, studying weeks in advance of a test, and the other who hit the books right before the exam. The outcome of both methods depends entirely on preparation and personal study style. Hopefully, these study tips helped you. We would love for our readers to share with us their favorite study method – last minute or detailed plans.