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How to study for an Exam

Updated on August 26, 2018
Priya Barua profile image

This article was contributed by Partha Barua who enjoys writing an occasional blog while sipping his coffee.

Studying for an exam can be very, very taxing. It creates a lot of tension, anxiety, late nights and coffee.

But is this the only viable answer to study for an exam? The answer is no. There are actually plenty of strategies to tackle exams but I have listed only those methods which have helped me. None of them includes late nights or coffee.

1. Sleep sufficiently:

This is very crucial. You can go on studying without sleep, and pull off a late- nighter. But truth is that you won’t remember much. In fact, I doubt people even remember anything at all. I would recommend sleeping for 8 hours a day although many specialists claim that 7 is also suffice. Quality of sleep matters more than quantity.

Taking a walk helps clear the mind
Taking a walk helps clear the mind

2. Take breaks in between study time:

When I ask you to take a break, I don’t mean sitting in front of the T.V or computer for an hour. The best way, as many people suggest, is to take short breaks, say 10 minutes after 50 minutes of studying.

But between you and me, I have never been able to take a 10 minutes break. I would mostly study for 90 minutes at a stretch and then take a break for nearly an hour. Is that useful? No, not really. I wouldn’t recommend it, but, if you are as insincere as I am, then let me help you out with this one. When you do take an hour of break, make sure you don’t sit down in front of the T.V or the computer because they will make you forget everything that you have learned. Instead, listen to music, talk to your friends over phone (not social media), go for a walk, read a book, squeeze in a bit of exercise or just lie down for a while. Everything works other than watching T.V or going online.

3. Stick to your Schedule:

If like me, you have a lot of problem sticking to well constructed schedules, then, don’t make a well-constructed schedule which you know you will not follow in a million years. Take out a stand-calendar, and write down the subjects that you need to study next to the dates. Write it down for an entire week, and follow that. This allows you to have some flexibility while studying. Because a week from now, you don’t know whether you would want to study the landscape of Europe on Thursday night. So when you write Geography, you will automatically take out the book, and start studying whichever part of the book seems more interesting.

Can you really stick to your study schedule?

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4. Be Physically Active:

One very important advice I would suggest is to remain active when you’re not studying. Because once you are at the table, all you are going to do is sit and work your brain muscles. Physical exercise is also important to make sure those brain muscles work efficiently. So take a walk every morning, or hit the gym or just do some simple stretching exercises at home – the idea is to be active.The part about being active is that it will automatically increase your concentration.

5. Organize your notes:

As a student, I tend to haphazardly write my notes on loose sheets and keep them all together. So recently what I started to do is keep separate stick files for each subject, and make a partition after each chapter. This ensured that I didn’t need to worry about organizing my material before exams.

Make sure that you always keep your notes organized, in whichever way it suits you, and use them to review your chapters.

6. Schedule fun time:

Remember to have fun. In fact, schedule fun time every week. Take one day off and spend time doing what you love. Go out with your friends, watch a movie, or spend some time with your family. If you like sleeping; then catch up with your sleep, or if you like blogging, do it once a week. Never lose touch with the things that you love the most. Studying all the time is going to make you super unproductive.

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