Important exams are always quite a bit intimidating for the takers. Whether it be a midterm or final exam that would resolve whether or not you pass or fail a term, or aptitude tests that decide what universities you may be qualified for in the future, these exams will be daunting for some right until the end. It is important to prepare for the exams early so you don’t end up ill-equipped, or caught unawares.
With every exam, and everything else in life for that matter, preparation for what may come will always benefit you. Here are some great study habits you can practice now to prepare yourself for tests, pop quizzes, and even job interviews in the future.
One tried-and-tested method of getting information into your head and remembering it is to pace yourself while studying. By eliminating cramming, the brain can more efficiently store the information and make it available for you to recall during your exam. Studying for 20-50 minutes at a time, and taking short breaks of five to ten minutes in between these intervals is more beneficial to you when you study when compared to cramming for a short period of time. For long-term retention and recall, review your lessons every night even if you don’t have exams the following day.
Switch it up.
The environment in which you study also makes a big difference. Sometimes, it is beneficial to think outside the box and go for more alternative study spots. All-nighters in the library or in the study halls can be boring, draining, and leave you with even less confidence when taking the test than when you had originally started studying! Studies show that by simply switching rooms to study in every so often will increase your ability to retain information. This is also true for studying distinct but related skills. Retention levels go up, and you will be able to remember things more efficiently than when staying in just one location.
Take care of yourself.
Preparing for exams doesn’t only involve giving your brain a workout—you’ll need to be able to condition your body too! Regular cardio has been shown to increase energy levels and improve memory. In addition to those two big benefits, it also reduces stress and anxiety, making it easier for you to calm yourself down before you take an exam. Eating right will also give you a lot of benefits: consuming food rich in carbohydrates and fiber provides the brain with much-needed glucose it uses up while you’re studying.
Try out different methods. There are several methods you can try to prepare yourself for an important exam. Some of the test prep methods out there will work better for others than for you and vice versa, so it’s ideal to try them all out and see which works for you. There’s mnemonics for fast and easy memorization as well as unorthodox methods like using dogs to relax your nerves as you prepare for the big day.
Taking measures to prepare yourself for exams has positive effects not just on your test scores but later on in life. Make it a habit to prepare yourself for any challenges that you might face—the discipline and hard work you’ll develop will serve you well in the long run.
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