The date for an important exam is looming. You know you have to study for it. Suddenly, it’s the evening before the dreaded date, and you feel like you haven’t studied enough, if at all. It’s time to cram all the information you can into your brain.
We have all had this problem whether it happened once or a hundred times. Does cramming on the night before an exam really help?….Not at all. Cramming the night before an exam puts stress on the brain. In a high-pressure situation, our brains tend to perform insignificantly.
So give yourself at least a week before your exam to start cracking down on the new information. Here are 11 study hacks that will help you sail through these exams without losing hair.
1. My old ballet teacher used to say, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” In other words, break your studying time up into chunks and add small breaks in the middle. Studying in 30-50 minute intervals with 10 minute breaks is the most effective way to retain information
2. Lock away distractions. If you need to, put away your phone and even your laptop if you’re not using them for studying purposes. You know how distractions can get. One glance at a phone can turn into 30 minutes wasted.
(If you need to use your laptop or your phone, I recommend using ColdTurkey which is a website that blocks everything for a certain period of time.)
3. Watch YouTube videos for the topics you don’t understand well.
4. If you think that the test is going to cover 6+ chapters and you need to read all of them faster, just do a skim through each chapter. Read the first and last paragraph of each section. Skim through the middle paragraphs and read any sentences with bolded words.
5. Teach. When studying something new, teach a friend the material. Let them ask questions. If you can teach something well, then you understand it well.
6. Before you go to bed, give yourself 2 hours of revision for all of the new things learned that day. This helps the information imprint in your mind.
7. If you are pulling an all-nighter, have a 15-20 minute nap before sunrise and your body will reset itself.
8. Keep a bottle of water next to you. Drinking water stimulates your body and keeps you awake. It also helps you think properly.
9. Try using blue ink while you take notes. You are more likely to remember your notes in blue ink than in black ink.
10. Chewing gum can help recall memorized data. Experts found that of the people tested, 35% who were given gum to chew found it easier to remember words.