So, you’re cramming for your end of year exams. You’re not coping with the stress of what seems like imminent failure and the prospect of a life-time grounding from your parents as they receive your report card at the end of the term. You tell yourself you really do want to study, though your inner demons prefer you with your feet up on the couch, watching your favourite TV show. Sound familiar? Here are some tried and tested methods in ensuring great marks in any exam you take. The thought of studying is daunting for anyone, and most people try to procrastinate for as long as possible.
This will get you nowhere. By procrastinating, you end up cramming for the exam the night before and most probably failing, causing stress. Stress has been scientifically proven to cause mood swings, depression, sleep deprivation, weight gain or loss, just to name a few of the daunting side effects. Stress is the last thing you want when you’re studying. Sadly, this isn’t the first time that teenagers have been unsure on how to study for exams. Almost 70% of all teenagers worldwide are unsure of how to study for exams, leaving them stressed and achieving bad overall grades.
Bad grades leave high school students struggling to find careers and universities as young adults. Though why do students find it so difficult to revise? The most common reason why teens fail to study is because they either ‘don’t have the time’ or ‘don’t know how to get started’. Nonsense! Everyone has busy schedules; parents and teachers are always running around doing errands or working. So why can’t you make the time? Instead of lounging on the couch watching your favourite soap, get out your books and start revising!
Pick a quite, well-lit place to revise, away from all distractions. Sit down in a sturdy, comfortable chair at a table or desk with your books and laptop. Close all other browser windows that you have open, such as music and social networking. Studies have shown that by closing other browser windows while studying increases your grade by one letter, according to Cambridge University studies of 2001. By revising in a well lit, ventilated, quite room, you’ll achieve much more than sprawled on the couch with your textbooks under your arm and a bowl of popcorn under the other.
What is the best way to revise? Most teachers would recommend going through past exam papers on the subject. Not only do you get a feel for the way the questions are worded, but you can set a time limit for the amount of time spent on a question to prepare for when you’re actually taking the exam. Another great way to study is to research them in more detail, on the Internet and in reference books from libraries and bookshops. By becoming more knowledgeable, you will have a broader concept of the subject and understand it more for the exam ahead of you.
But how do you know what type of leaner you are and which methods of studying suit you best? There are three types of learners; auditory, visual and kinaesthetic. You can easily find out what type of learner you are by taking online quizzes and analysing the way you learn. By asking your teacher or your parents, you can get an idea of how you learn and how to revise well. By finding out what type of learner you are, you can easily use different techniques to revise to your full potential. There are many different ways of studying.
By creating a study timetable can help you decrease the stress of revising too much and getting too tired and stressed. Studying equal amounts of each subject means that you can easily study everything in moderation – breaks are important! Make sure you plan your time wisely and study your subjects well, using Post-It notes, ‘big pictures’, revision notes, past papers and the Internet are a few of the many ways you can revise for upcoming exams. Follow these tips and you’ll ace those exams you’ve prepared for – and the endless nights of studying will be worth it!