Updated: Sep 29, 2022
End of Year examinations are coming up and you may not have found out how to effectively revise for your examinations. However, fret not, here are the 8 ways to prepare for your upcoming examinations.
Make a study timetable
By making a study timetable, you will be able to plan out how your days will go and also get an overview of the topics that you will be studying. This also allows you to make sure that you don’t miss anything out.
While making your timetable, it is important to note that you should not just allocate time to a subject, be more specific! Add in what are you going to do in that time frame. For example, instead of doing ‘Mathematics’ from 12 pm to 2 pm, it is better to put it as ‘Mathematics Examination Paper’ or ‘Practice questions from Chapter 5’. By doing so, it will reduce the amount of time required to think of what you have to do during that time frame and you will also be able to get a sense of how many papers for that specific subject you will be doing in a week.
Also, do remember to take a short break (15 to 30 minutes) whenever you are done with a task. And this leads to my next point.
Taking breaks in between studies
It is essential to take breaks in between your studies as you need to let your brain rest before starting on another task to prevent burnout. It is recommended to take a break after every task than to take one after every time interval (2 hours, 3 hours). When you take your break after every time interval, it may break your momentum to continue your work, especially so when you have only completed your work halfway. Having this break of momentum will actually distract you from being able to complete your tasks on time, and thus needing to spend more time on a piece of work itself. Hence, it is better to take a break after every completed task.
During your breaks, you can do some reading, go out for a walk, or just sit down and scroll your social media. This is a time for you to reward yourself after the completion of a task and to prepare you mentally for the next task ahead.
Do not make pretty notes
I know, making pretty and aesthetic notes will make your learning more fun and enjoyable for your eyes. However, by doing so it can actually waste your time as you will need to spend time thinking of how to design the notes, what colour of highlighter to use, etc (haha, I had been through this phase as well). It is better to make notes that are able to point out key points or important information from the subjects or equations for Mathematics than to have notes which looks pretty and wordy. Making such notes will make your studying sessions more effective and able to absorb more information along the way and also make it easier to review before the exams.
Making of notes
Now, you may ask, how should we make out notes then? Notes are like a summary of what you have learnt from the chapter. It should be kept short and concise with all the information required for you to know. By copying down whatever is in your textbook will not help you much as it is deemed to be ineffective as the information may not go into your brain as much as compared to making clear and concise notes. You should use the syllabus for that specific subject (the syllabus can be found online!) and map out the points, then you can take your textbook and find the answers to those key learning points stated in the syllabus. This actually allows you to revise what you need to know instead of reading through content that may not be required in your exams. Mindmaps is also another way for you to organise your notes (it will be useful if you are a visual learner). Branching out the content can allow you to have a better sense of the overview of the entire chapter and be able to make the chapter clearer for you to study.
Organise your study environment
Make sure that the place you are studying, be it in your room or outside is always organised. Always organise your studying space before starting your work. This will allow you to have a clearer mind and you will be able to think properly and it can allow you to absorb the information quicker. Also, finding an environment that is quiet can also facilitate your studying session. There will be fewer distractions imposed on you while you are studying and you can concentrate better.
Do you feel that whenever you memorise something for a test and after a week, you have completely forgotten all about it? If your answer is yes, thereby, I shall introduce you to ’Active Recall’!
Active Recall well-proven effective study method that allows you to be able to retrieve information from your memory by testing yourself at every stage of your revision.
This is how you can start off your active recall journey.
You can start by making a list of questions that are related to the chapter you are studying. You can do it on an Excel Sheet or create them in flashcards. The questions can be from your syllabus.
Then you should spend some time answering those questions.
Make sure that you repeat step 2 in a time interval. For example, answer the questions on the 3rd, 9th, 18th day.
The steps to learning how to use active recall in your study are easy, but it is mostly about your self-discipline to carry out this task of spending a few minutes a day to recap what you had learnt.
Know your energy curve
What is an energy curve? You may ask. An energy curve is a curve that shows which part of the day you have the most energy and you should set what tasks or homework you have based on your energy levels. For example, from 8 am to 12 pm, your energy level is low because you are not really a morning person. Thus, you should spend this time doing work that does not require much energy, such as, making your notes for English and/or doing understanding the concept for Mathematics. But at night, when your energy level is the highest, you can spend this time doing work that requires more energy and thinking, such as doing a Chemistry paper or practising some Mathematics questions. Knowing your energy curve, it can allow you to plan your tasks for the day and this allows you to be more productive by the end of the day, instead of dwelling over a Chemistry paper in the morning when you do not have the most energy to do so.
Having a goal
Last but not least, before embarking on your revision for examinations, it is good to have an end goal in mind. You should set your goals for this particular examination, what grades do you want to achieve. Having a goal in mind will give you the motivation to work hard and focus on it and do well. Imagine receiving your results, how satisfied and relieved you will feel if you know that you had done your best. This may be small, but it sure can trigger a positive mindset and new behaviours for you while you are studying.
Here are just some ways to study but remember, “hard work pays off!” Also, do remember to still take some breaks and look after your wellbeing too. All the best for your examinations!