how to study for an exam effectively

How to Study for an Exam Effectively: 15 unique ways for you to get jaw-dropping exam grades

Studying for an exam can be a stressful process. How do you prepare? How much time should I spend studying? And how will you know that you are prepared enough?

These are the questions that many people ask themselves before they begin to study for an exam. In this blog, I will answer provide 15 tips to help you learn how to study effectively for your exams, so you don’t waste your time.

Before Study Preparation

Tip #01: Plan Ahead – Prepare early! 

It’s true. The saying “don’t put off until tomorrow what could have been done today” exists for a reason. This is something most people know from experience. Still, it doesn’t hurt to repeat the message because procrastination never helps with anything and only leads to more problems later on when exam time comes around faster than expected. Yet, there are still many things left incomplete.

You might be thinking, “well, I don’t need to worry about this now since exams aren’t happening anytime soon!” Well, think again because who knows how long those deadlines will last?

Tip #02: Have a Plan of Action – What is your goal? 

If you don’t have a clear objective, it won’t be easy to know if you are on the right path. Write down your goals and study plan so that you can assess how productive or inefficient things were when studying time is up.

This way, next time around, when you prepare for exams with deadlines looming closer, you’ll know what needs more attention and what doesn’t need any at all. Limit distractions; do one task at a time!

Tip #03: Make Time Management Count Early On

Ensure success by ensuring enough time left in the exam period for you to get other work done! 

A breathing room is important when it comes to studying. How much of your study plan will be used up over the weekend? How much extracurricular activities like clubs, sports or hobbies will take away your study time during weekdays?

If this sounds like a problem, then there are ways around them. Be sure to have more than enough hours on hand so you can unwind, but make sure nothing interferes with focusing on what really matters during that exam period: good grades!

Tip #04: Keep a Schedule

When studying, make sure it’s at the same time every day. 

how to study for exam effectively: keep a schedule

It is important because if you have no schedule, everything will pile up. Before you know it, there won’t be any time left in your day for anything else. This is where time blocking comes in. With time blocking, you will divide your day into different blocks of time. Each of those blocks represents a task to be completed. This improves focus and reduces procrastination.

This tip is so important when you are trying to figure out how to study for an exam effectively.

Tip #05: Exercise – Increase Your Stamina 

Exercise has various benefits for everyone, but it doesn’t stop with physical strength, the summer body😁 or mental stability. It also provides an outlet to blow off steam before exams, so you don’t get too stressed out.

It also helps you increase stamina when studying since not only does exercise release endorphins that make us happy, but people who work out will find themselves feeling stronger than ever before!

During Study

Tip #06: Avoid Distractions – Avoiding Technology! 

Everyone knows that technology can be a major distraction in everyday life, but this is especially true when studying. It might seem harmless at first, but after a while, you may find yourself checking social media feeds or reading the news rather than doing what you planned on your study schedule for the day. We have all been there and done that, so no shame 😉.

Distractions will lead to procrastination since those tasks become more important and pressing as time goes by. A quick remedy to this problem would be turning off wi-fi while you are studying.

Tip #07: Music – Listen To Your Favourite Song 

This might seem completely unrelated, but hear me out because music actually has some benefits for studying.

how to study for exam effectively: listen to music

It could help ease tension before exams, so you don’t get too anxious about them and help you feel more energized while studying. Music can also help clear your mind and focus on the task at hand, which is less likely to happen if other things are going on in the background of your thoughts!

Tip #08:  Don’t Overdo It – Limit how much you do at one time! 

No matter how good you get at studying, it’s easy to get overwhelmed fast. One of the best ways to prevent exam fatigue is to study in bits. It’s always better to study for 30 minutes every day than 8 hours in one day.

Remember, it is a marathon, not a sprint. One of the best pieces of study advice I have received is to stop studying right before you get tired and bored. That way, your brain is still excited and looking forward to another study session. Consistency is key when you are trying to figure out how to study for an exam effectively

Tip #09: Social Media – Limit Your Time On These Sites 

Although I touched on this a little before, it’s worth mentioning again how social media sites can be detrimental when studying.

How does do you limit their time on these websites without feeling too bored? Well, some apps help with this, such as “Self-Control”, which blocks certain sites for limited amounts of time so you won’t procrastinate or even feel tempted to go on them at all!

Tip #10: Mind Maps – Organise Your Thoughts 

Many people don’t know what “mind maps” are. Still, it’s an excellent way to organise thoughts quickly because when you know how this technique functions, it can help you during exams since you’ll find solutions faster than with any other method (i.e., brainstorming).

How exactly do these work? A mind map is basically like drawing out branches on a tree where each leaf represents something different. Mind maps help you see how concepts are connected and will help you retain the knowledge for longer.

Tip #11: Stay Active – Break Up The Monotony 

Staying active while trying to study is important in order not only to have fun doing it but also to keep the brain working properly during exams since being still, and inactive could lead to the mind not being able to stay focused. 

How do you keep active while studying? Well, you could go for a walk, take your dog outside or anything that helps break up the monotony of sitting still and thinking! I use the Pomodoro technique to give myself a 5-minute break for every 25 minutes of studying. You can download the Pomodoro app and use it for free.

After Study

Tip #12: Read, Reflect and Take Notes

Get yourself in a good mood while studying by reading something that is not related to school. 

If you are having trouble with your studies, then it can be helpful if you read something unrelated, like a novel about Sherlock Holmes solving crime mysteries. The focus of this activity isn’t on learning new material but rather allowing oneself time for reflection; think back over what’s been studied and take notes to remember some of the key points from earlier chapters/lessons before moving onto the next chapter/lesson.

This will also help keep your mind off your problems since it focuses on something else, and in the process, you may end up learning something new or useful for your exams.

Tip #13: Talk it Out – Share thoughts with others! 

This might sound a little strange, but really talking about one’s studies is often very helpful and is a huge part of the Feynmann technique. If several people have been struggling with similar assignments, then meeting together can be a good opportunity to share ideas and encourage each other not to give up when trying times come along.

how to study for exam effectively: study groups

When discussing this, everyone should jot down what was discussed on paper afterwards because those notes will likely prove valuable later on when studying again at home. It will also help you find out if your way of thinking is typical or not so that you can tailor your study habits to what works best for you.

Tip #14: Test Yourself – Provide Insight 

One of the best ways to study is by testing yourself with questions that you don’t know the answer to because it lets you find holes in your knowledge and therefore work on filling those gaps.

How does this help during exams? Well, you will be able to get insight when an exam question seems like something you should know, instead of guessing at it.

Tip #15:  Try multiple learning methods

I always wondered why I could learn the lyrics to a song in a week but struggled with my chemistry course 🤣. It turns out there are 7 different types of learning methods, and figuring out which of them works best for you can help you study for exams more effectively.

  1. Auditory and musical learning
  2. Visual and spatial learning
  3. Verbal learning
  4. Logical and mathematical learning
  5. Physical learning
  6. Social and interpersonal learning
  7. Solitary and intrapersonal learning

Key takeaway

These 15 tips on how to study for exams effectively are all-powerful, but I saved the best for last because figuring out your learning method/methods is really the game-changer. If you have more than one learning method, incorporate them into your life.

What is your best tip for studying for exams effectively? I would love to hear about it.

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