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  • Kem-Laurin Lubin

7 Study tips to make you exam-ready

As a student, one there is one inevitability – EXAMS! And that means studying. Exams can be a source of stress for many but being prepared for them can be a good way to eliminate or eliminate this stress. Here are our top tips to keep you exams-ready?

1. Create a study space (s)

The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges for find both space and time to focus. Creating a space to study can help set the mood for the activity. Design a comfortable reading and writing space with good light and non-intrusive noise level to aid the process of retaining the content your need to absorb. Don’t be afraid to create multiple spaces just in case you need a change of scenery to keep things interesting. Also make sure that you add those elements that work for you – do you like the light backdrop music of a café and want to do this at home? Or do you like a quiet space? Choose a space that works for you and don’t be afraid to try what works, if you are not sure.

2. Rest and Nourishment

We all know that a good start to your day is a good breakfast and a rested mind. So, it is surprise that a good night’s sleep, learning, memory, and nourishment go hand in hand. Research suggests that sleep helps learning and memory in two separate ways. First, by improving your focus levels and allowing for a better retain the information that you are trying to process. So, don’t forget to eat a well- balanced meal and get all the rest you need before hitting the books.

3. Read to Understand

Reading is one of the main activities of study for exams. Effective and efficient reading means that you are able to understand what you read and to be able to recall the main ideas when you need them, in the shortest time possible. To re-read is inefficient and only waste much needed time that you could be doing something else. Consider some tried and trusted methods, such as SQW3R, which has been shown to improve students’ overall comprehension of studied materials.

4. Switch up study mode – read and listen

Okay – so you have been reading all day and need to rest your eyes. But what about your ears. Consider having your browser read to you, if the file is in a .pdf format. Many browsers come with built-in screen-readers that can help you get there faster. You may find out that you retain more when you listen or when you listen, also follow along. Who doesn’t like being read to?

5. Sync with peers

Joining a study group is perfect for some but may not be good for others. Study groups can create both opportunities and challenges since this is a peer group, of sorts, and will undoubtedly come with some pressure. However, this pressure could be a positive if you like to be held to accounts but negative if you do not. Study groups also allow you to share the load, allow for discussion of complex concepts and sometimes make the process of learning fun.

6. Ask your Prof or TA

Do you sometimes feel you have missed the point of something you need to know for exams? If you find yourself in this situation, never hesitate to reach out to your Professor or TA, if you need clarity on something. Sometimes an exam may be about defining or explaining or looking to test your insight. Ask your professor or TA where you should focus, if you are not sure. Take this time to ask any questions that may ease your anxiety about the exam because after all, they are there to help.

7. Don’t study in bed.

Many of us are tempted to read in the cozy spaces that we know. While it may be good not less important readings, like browsing a magazine, sleeping in bed may only serve to confuse your brain. You mind associates beds with sleeping and this may only serve to affect your sleep, limit your focus, resulting in decrease productivity. However, do not forget to have a good night’s rest – you will need it.

Good Luck!

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