You might be studying for math or sciences, you might be preparing for O-levels or N-Levels. It is important to study hard and effectively if you want to do well. The following are some important strategies that we have compiled from some of the top students on how they revise for examinations effectively!
1) Prepare well before each study session
Ensure that all the materials you need (textbooks, notes, practice papers etc) are available in close proximity before you start your study session. Your concentration would be disrupted whenever you have to leave your location to obtain study materials.
2) Organize your notes well
File your revision material properly (Notes, exam papers, quizzes, past assignments etc). It need not be perfectly well filed but they should at least be congregated in the same file for easy retrieval when you need them.
3) Reduce distractions
Consider any events that can cause you to be distracted and distant yourself from the source of them. Switch off your mobile phone, put up a “do not disturb sign” outside your room, switch off the radio/tv etc.
4) Set goals before you start
Always have an end in mind. Set a target on the amount of materials you wish to cover in each session. Be specific (about the number of sets of practice questions to complete and number of pages of notes you wish read etc). Be reasonable when setting the goals.
5) Allocate enough time for yourself
Learning requires time. Be realistic with the time you allocate to yourself and do not attempt to cover a massive amount of material in a short period of time. It would be ineffective and pointless.
6) One task at a time
When revising, just focus on it. Multi-tasking is stupid.
7) Summarize information to aid recall
Simplify and condense your revision notes into single page diagrams. You can organize and summarize the ideas using mnemonics, acronyms, mind maps, flow charts etc. Whatever you use, ensure that it helps you recall everything you need to know quickly during exams.
8) Test yourself frequently
If you want to remember something, passive reading and re-reading is the least effective. Instead, frequently close the book, and try to recite everything that you can remember. Then open the book to check on the details that you have forgotten.
9) Learn using a variety of ways
You get a stronger memory if you learn a concept via several channels. It can be via lecture, reading, practicing, YouTube videos, private tutoring etc.
10) Regular breaks
Every hour, not every 5 minutes, not every 10 minutes!
11) Get Help
When you have difficulty understanding certain concepts, it is important to get help and discuss with others! It can be you teacher, classmate, tutor, siblings, parents etc.
12) Drink 8 glasses of water.
Your brain does not function well when you are dehydrated. Ensure you are well hydrated at all time so that your brain can function properly and absorb knowledge effectively.
13) Eat Brain food
Fish, nuts, blueberries, seeds, avocados and other food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. They help to improve concentration and memory. Eat lots of them!
14) Practice lots!
It is important to practice lots of old exam papers! Especially when closer to the exams! Even when you think you are confident, continue to do more practice!
15) Teach your friends
Try to explain the concepts you learn to your friends and classmates. When you attempt to teach others, it helps you get the details and concepts clarified in your head. It also reveals to yourself the areas where you still need more work on.
When you are tired, take a short power nap before continuing your revision. Reduce time spent on distractions but don’t try to save on your nap/sleep time.
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