No More Stressing Over Exams: 7 Working Techniques for Students

It seems that the finals week is the most stressful period in the non-stop mode for all of us. Preparation is usually time-consuming and incredibly draining, isn’t it? Besides, constant anxiety and tension make it so hard to focus!

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid a nervous breakdown and study for exams without extreme fatigue. In case you want your exam preparation to be less tough, then this article is for you!

Make a Plan

Preparing for an exam the night before is not a good idea since your sleepy brain can let you down at the most critical moment. Therefore, it is important to devote at least a few days to preparation and divide your efforts wisely.

It would be perfect to start preparation a week before an exam. This way, you can split all the material into five parts and learn each one every day. Leave two extra days to revise the topics once again.

First and foremost, you must have a clear understanding of what you have to learn. Make a plan in as much detail as possible, including any relevant textbooks or notes you need to review – and stick to it.

Some students prefer to start with the most difficult themes. They like to deal with them before they get tired and lose concentration. Others tend to begin from something they find easy to memorize – this way, they get involved in the learning process gradually.

No doubt, the study load at university is overwhelming. In addition to exams and tests, there is a great number of papers to hand in. Of course, it’s hard to stay calm when you can’t find the time to finish your essay, but its’ deadline is approaching. Luckily, you can always buy essay online and focus on other things on your to-do list.  Experienced professionals can give you a hand not only with essay writing, but editing and rewriting it as well.

Organize Your Workspace

The results of the HeadHunter’s research showed that the organization of the workspace affects our motivation and performance in 90% of cases. Thus, try to create an appropriate atmosphere at your desk. Take away what distracts you: your favorite magazines, board games and your smartphone, of course.

Define Your Learning Style

Since all of us have different habits and predispositions, our exam preparation strategies vary. Take your individual characteristics and preferences into account while choosing the learning methods.

Therefore, if you are an auditory learner, read textbooks and notes aloud. Kinesthetics should definitely use a hands-on approach while studying. As for the visually-inclined learners, studying is effective for them if they use images, diagrams and charts.

Another helpful method is mind mapping. The point of this technique is to build associative chains. You need to put the main idea at the heart of a mind map, and then draw branches, disassembling the general idea into more detailed ones. This is a great way to structure information and quickly grasp the essence of a subject.

Strive for Understanding, Not Cramming

Some learners often make a common mistake: they try to memorize the material without exploring the topic properly. However, cramming is a losing strategy which is also time-consuming. On the other hand, finding logical connections and coming up with associations will be truly helpful.

Learning something new, try to create an association with things that you know well. It works like a snowball – new associations are superimposed on old ones. Great associative connections will benefit not only your memory, but your thinking and imagination as well.

Of course, there is information that you need to know by heart: dates, formulas, definitions. It will be much easier to learn them if you understand the logic.

Study in a Group

Invite a friend or group of friends to study together. This way, you can look through each other’s notes, filling the knowledge gaps. Moreover, some concepts are easier to remember when you are in a cozy atmosphere with a friend, rather than in class. Students can also check each other’s knowledge, asking questions that may appear on the exam.

Besides, you will remember the information better, explaining it to others. Becoming a teacher is a well-known technique known as the protégé effect. People all over the world use it to maximize peer-to-peer learning.

Needless to say, there is a risk that your study session can turn into an ordinary pleasant meeting with your friends. It doesn’t mean that you can’t joke and relax – just don’t forget about the main purpose of your gathering.

Don’t Get Stuck

If you feel like you’ve been trying to memorize one particular topic for too long, skip it. The best motivator when preparing for the exam is a timer. Decide how much time you can devote to one theme (30 minutes, for instance) and after the time is over, move on to the next one.

As for the topics you skipped, you can get back to them when other ones are successfully studied.

Brain Food

No doubt, our memory function greatly depends on our nutrition. Pay attention to the products that contain glucose – it is known to be an effective brain fuel.

Don’t miss breakfast since it’s the most essential meal of the day. Research shows that students who have breakfast perform better on exams. Start your day with carbohydrates (oatmeal, whole grain bread, or granola). You also need to supplement your diet with protein (dairy, meat and fish or eggs).

In addition to that, doctors recommend eating sardines and salmon that are rich in omega-3 fats. As for the snack, choose grains, nuts, spinach, or broccoli. Dark chocolate is also super healthy as it improves your concentration and boosts your serotonin levels.

Final Thoughts

To be absolutely sure you are ready for an upcoming exam, try a self-testing technique. It gives you the opportunity to check for gaps in your knowledge. Consider taking a practice test or just ask yourself questions after reviewing the material again.

And last but not least, don’t forget to reward yourself when your exams are over. You did a great job, after all.

About Author