Not many people know the tips and tricks to get through with the examination stress. While the exam week dawns near, you tend to panic, mess up and eventually be pummeled into a nervous breakdown. Don’t!
After you have understood the concepts here, you will surely have a smile on your face thinking that you finally know the secret behind a good revision technique.
The common misconception about the idea of revision is that we tend to start just before our exams. Even if we are sitting a good week before, that is still not enough.
Research has proved time and again that to retain information, our brain has to be constantly introduced to the information we want to learn. Learning a piece of information, very well today will not guarantee it to be still intact in our memory during the examination. We tend to forget very easily. So what do we do? Just keep reading! *in the voice of Dory from Finding Nemo*
Yes, it sounds terrible! No, your mom did not call us and ask to put this bright idea here. Studying everyday is the perfect way your brain can retain any information. But here is the fun part. Contrary to popular belief, you need not study for 8 hours straight, just because your aunt’s, sister’s second cousin sat for long hours and attained “Golden” or “9 A's.” Sit with your books and notes, while shutting off your laptops (unless you have study materials on it) and your phones. Do not keep a tab open for Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc. Just study for 1 to 2 hours. Moreover, get a nice place, away from distractions. Keep a bottle of water near you, and take a deep breath. You have now entered “study mode.” Concentrate, and study important chapters. Give emphasis to stuff you know are difficult and important. Never keep it for later; that later never comes. After a good 30 minute session, give yourself a 5 minute break before continuing again (Google Pomodoro technique for more on this). Repeat this every day. You will not forget information this way. It’s a promise.
Do not just read, but write
Writing helps your brain absorb what you are learning much faster. If you are trying to memorise something, try and write it down without seeing. When you want to study a particular chapter or topic, for example, brand management, read your notes and use multiple books for reference. Then write whatever you understood in a note form. That should help build a strong foundation. Practicing mathematics should be done every day, complex formulae should be written down, marked with colorful highlights and pasted somewhere in your room where it will catch your glimpse regularly. A common, and often fatal, mistake students make is being tricked by the book. How? Often times, we see a paragraph in a book, and we give it a quick skim. We realise this is the part which we need to learn, and so we mark it down with a highlighter. What happens next is that your brain is fooled into thinking that it has learnt the information, while in reality your brain only learnt “where” to get the information from. Avoid doing this.
Even if you know how to solve a trial balance, and have just written it down, don’t be tempted to close your books and scroll through 9gag. Finish studying, take a break, then test yourself. Find questions from your text book, change the values and give a small test. Make mistakes, it's fine. You will know where you lack in and where to improve. The more tests you give, the better your brain is trained to retrieve information. You can find tests for literally any subject on google. Just type this: “site:edu (subject) exam.”
Try and be organised
Avoid having to get up from your chair too often. Before studying, clean your room or wherever you are studying. Make sure there is ample light and proper ventilation. Take a shower, or at least wash your face before you sit. Drink water, and have all your books, notes and copies with you. It is a good idea to carry a pencil bag containing pens, pencils, and other required stationaries. Keep a file, where all your notes and worksheets should be kept securely. Having everything near your hand will make your life that much easier. You can even keep a small clock near you to time periods out.
During revision, you should already be done with the syllabus. Don’t start revising if you have something left to learn first. Revision is not the time where you learn new stuff. You retrieve older information and test yourself. Make sure you are studying everything on your syllabus, and that you have a good understanding of most if not all topics. Ask your friends or teachers to help you with the more difficult topics, and you should finish revising the easier ones by yourself.
Just the night before exams, you should be done studying, not in a state to learn any new information. Learning something new right before an exam, can prove to be lethal. Make sure you have enough rest, and do not stress.
Following such simple guidelines, will not only bring you better results but might just make studying that much enjoyable.