You probably have faced this situation all through your student life: It is the night before an important exam and you have a mammoth of a syllabus yet to cover. You start to give up on the fact that you will ever be able to get a degree to start yours in professional life. Does that recall anything? Apart from exam preparation, a strong memory plays a vital role in enhancing a number of academic and non-academic skills. In fact, a good memory is what differentiates a skilled person from a dummy.
The fact that there is no alternative to working hard cannot be denied. But in a situation where you are stuck between unnerving stress and an exam the other morning, a few study hacks may help you sail through the shore. Although it is not recommended to rely solely on these hacks and forgo studying the entire year, the following list of quick tips can help you in improving memory:
Visual representation of anything is an effective way of learning that particular thing. Our brain captures images and memorizes them much faster than textual information. If you have to memorize a subject that may seem a little boring and draggy, try drawing diagrams for better understanding. This way you can learn them better. Besides, if you get short of ideas, make spider-web diagrams for brainstorming. Goes well for subjects like Biology, Literature, Chemistry and Physics. Illustrations will help you declutter the subject matter from unnecessary information so that you can focus on what is important.
The mindset that prevents you from writing down lectures just because you are confident that you will be able to remember the lesson, later on, is false. In fact, your mind is bound to forget what you learned sooner or later. A quick hack to remember what you learn is by making short notes. When you memorize a line, write that down on a notepad in your own words. It may take a little longer but you will understand topics easily and there will be no chance of forgetting.
Teach What you Learn
Similar to writing, you can also teach yourself in the mirror, or to your friends. Pretend as if you are teaching a layman. Teaching is a great method for improving memory retention and it helps you in finding answers to questions which you did not know existed in the first place.
Highlight/Underline Important Text
Exam days are full of lengthy syllabus and shortage of time. Reading entire books becomes really challenging if you have not studied much during the whole academic year. This problem can be solved by highlighting important information. While you are reading passages from the book during a lesson or later revisions, underline important lines or use color highlighters so you would know what to pay attention to with just a glance when you will be revising them later.
Take Short Breaks
Studying for an exam definitely not means studying non-stop mental grind for hours. Just like your body, your brain also needs a break. Take short breaks of 10-15 min after every hour for either food, using the phone or a quick walk. Breaks will help to refresh your mind which is good for improving memory retention.
Let’s just be straightforward about the fact that studying can be tedious and boring. You are bound to lose your determination very quickly if you are not properly motivated. To stay away from distraction and closer to your determination, reward yourself with treats upon completing a chapter or two. For instance, on studying for two good hours, reward yourself with a game of FIFA, some social media time or ordering your favorite pizza. Sweet treats are also a good option as they help in restoring energy levels, apart from giving you motivation.
Flashcards can be useful for memorizing key concepts like quotes, dates, and formulas. Keep them attached in between your notes so revising right before an exam will become easier. The colored background of flash cards will enhance the appeal of even the most boring texts.
Switch Study Places
According to a survey, students find a new sense of motivation when there is a change in the study environment. You don’t always have to sit on that boring study table. Go to a friend’s place, sit in your school library or switch rooms with your siblings. A change in your environment has incredibly positive impacts on your learning ability.
Find Real-World Examples
When remembering a text, try to connect it with something from the real world. Alternatively, you can also find examples from the surrounding near you. Relating textbook information to real-world examples not only makes studying fun interesting but also helps in memory retention. This way you will effortlessly be able to think of the answers during the exam.
Keep Your Phone Away
The phone is a student’s greatest study rival in today’s technologically advanced era. Stating from personal experience, what feels like only 5 minutes spent on social media is actually 20 minutes wasted in reality. To avoid checking your phone every 5 minutes, try to keep it away from the place you are studying. Besides, you can also switch off your Wi-Fi so you won’t have to check on every notification.
Studying should be one of the most thought-provoking things which you can enjoy. Exam stress can hugely limit your memory. However, following these simple study tips can help you greatly in your studies. We hope these tips help you ace your exams!