Get the most out of your study at exam time!
It is almost time for exams. I am two weeks out and I am just starting to get nervous. I have tax law, business and marketing law and employment law over a three day period – it is looking grim.
Here are 10 of my very best tips that I have taken from fitness, martial arts and life and applied to studying so that I can get the most out of my study time.
1. Get it done early
You concentrate much better during the early hours of the morning and afternoon. If you get up at 7am and eat a light breakfast you can knock out 4-5 hours of study before you even have lunch. This means you can finish before the day is even half way over and relax and destress. You might even find time for a workout!
2. Don’t do more than 6 hours a day
I went to a very inspiring speech by an educational revolutionary when I was in high school. He taught us that you should never study for more than six hours in a day and that those six hours should be broken up into 30 minute blocks with a 5-10 minute break inbetween each block as well as a longer break for food.
He used this method on many students and then showed us their grades – all A’s. Many of them topped the state. Try it out and see if it works for you.
3. Don’t put it off even for a second
You must be very wary of your mind during study time. It will no doubt be tired and agitated and longing for some distraction. As soon as you see your mind moving away from your study topic catch it and put it back on track. Do not put off your work even for a second because soon seconds turn into minutes, minutes turn into hours and before you know it you will be in the exam hall wishing you had studied harder!
This is a fitness website! I couldn’t go too long without bringing up exercise. I always go for a run or do some exercise before I study in the morning and it really wakes me up and leaves me feeling energised so I can hit the books with some power! Don’t go too hard, just a nice relaxing bit of cardio.
5. Don’t be within ear shot of a TV
One of my high school teachers said that whenever the TV was on in his house his kids never studied. I found this to be 100% true – when my mom or brother had the TV on I left my study and went and watched it or farted around for a while. Study where there is no risk of hearing the TV.
6. Email, blogs, etc. can wait
People seem to think that they need to check their online accounts every five seconds. This is especially true for bloggers who check their feeds and favorite website multiple times during the day. If you take a look at my stats for Real Women’s Fitness you would see that a handful (50 or more) come back to the homepage more than 5 times in a day! That is good for me as it means they like the site but they probably aren’t getting much work done! (Don’t stop though!)
The point is, emails and all that can wait. They will be there in the morning or in a few hours and the people who sent the emails rarely expect you to reply right away. Back in the old days a letter took weeks to arrive and be replied to so slow down a little bit – even if it is just for the exam period.
7. Eat fruit
Fruit is full of so many goodies – vitamins, nutrients and most importantly lasting energy. The energy that comes from fruit isn’t going to cause a spike like many nutrition “experts” would have you believe. Try having fruit for breakfast and snacks while you are studying – I bet you get more done and don’t feel as mentally tired after.
8. Drink water
Along the same lines as number 7, water helps keep you refreshed and stops you from getting mentally foggy. It is also a good health principle to adopt into your regular life so you may as well start while you are developing all these other good habits in exam week!
9. Review it
The key to remembering information for an exam is to review what you have done. My grades went way up when a friend of mine told me to review everything twice during the day. The information simply stuck better in my head. So, review your notes after each session and then review the whole lot at the end of the day. You will be shocked at how much more you can retain.
10. Don’t stress
So many people sit around thinking “oh I’ve got so much to do” and “I’ll never get it all done” and then they really don’t do anything about it. Exams are meant to be tough. They make a point of giving you as little revision/study time as possible. The thing you should remember is that everyone else is in the same boat. You are all on par and as such you have the same opportunity to get a high grade as the guy in the class who is a genius. If stress creeps into your mind use it to apply yourself to your books, not to distract you.
Get down to it. I hope these tips have helped. The most important tip in here is to get it done as early as possible so that it is out of the way. This will make for a much more pleasant study period. Good luck!