Before you emerge from your winter hibernation to enjoy the summer, there’s just one more hurdle to overcome; Final Exams. A phrase that is able to strike fear into even the bravest heart. That’s why we are bringing you good news. If you work smarter, not harder, you can get better grades with less study time.
Create a realistic schedule that leaves you plenty of time to study so you aren’t cramming the night before. If you aren’t sure how much time you need, study one chapter of your text book or one section of your notes and time yourself.
Break large, daunting tasks into small manageable sections; that way you won’t feel overwhelmed or put off doing things. Plan to go over one section or chapter, then schedule a social activity or some exercise.
Break your study sessions into hour-long stretches (shorter for lower grades) and then plan a fun activity, family time or time for chores. Don’t just move from study time to screen time as this will not give your brain a chance to rest and reset. If you cram or study for long stretches at a time, you aren’t working smarter. Get enough rest, do a few fun activities and (most importantly) exercise so that your brain can function optimally.
Work Smarter not Harder
Think of it this way; if you were preparing to play a big game or run a marathon what would you do? You wouldn’t practice flat out the night before because you would be exhausted the next day. You would hydrate, and eat right and take time to get enough sleep and rest.
Well, you brain is just like a well-trained track athlete; you can’t avoid practice all season long and then cram a bunch of practice into the night before a big event and expect to do well. Give your brain the food, rest and time it needs to do its job properly.
Reading whole text books and reams of notes just isn’t necessary; instead create a study group and share the workload. Choose people who will pull their weight and who are dependable. Each person has to teach the most important concepts in their section or chapters to the group and ensure that everyone understands.
Understanding not Rote
Don’t memorize your notes, instead try to understand them. Read a section or chapter, then close your text book and repeat the concepts to yourself or teach a friend, a pet or your house plants. Being able to talk through it will help you to remember.
Ask your teacher for old exam papers. This gives you a great idea of the kinds of questions to expect and helps you to understand the most important concepts. After all—practice makes perfect.
Tutor to the Rescue
Still struggling? Make a note of all the important concepts you are struggling with and ask your tutor for help. They are excellent at exam preparation and can help you.