Top Six Study Tips! by Lewis Atkinson
If there’s one thing that can prey on your mind, it’s an exam.
Whether you’re studying for your GCSE’s, A-Levels, in your final year at University studying for that degree, or in the prime of your career studying for a professional exam, there is nothing worse than staring at a mountain of revision. Don’t worry, help is here. I am currently taking exams to achieve a Diploma in Regulated Financial Services so I’m in the thick of those exam stresses and nerves. I’m going to give you my top 6 study tips which will hopefully help you smash those exams.
Schedule your revision
We all lead such hectic lifestyles (sleeping in till midday on a Sunday counts as hectic right?). Finding time to study can be the most challenging thing about the whole process. Grab a diary or a calendar and plan out your full day. This will allow you to easily spot the times during the day where you can fit in your revision. Even if it’s only 10 minutes at lunch, or 5 minutes on the bus, it all adds up!
Revise smart *phone*
What’s the one thing we can’t live without? That’s right, our phones. I think we can agree, most people will have their phone with them 99% of the day. So 99% of the day you have an opportunity to revise right? Downloading study material on your phone can be crucial when making the most out of the spare 10 minutes you might have during the day. Lunch breaks can be a great way to use your phone to sneak in revision.
If you’re like me, music will be an essential part of your day, but music can play a key role in helping you study. Listening to relaxing music certainly helps me when I know I’ve got a mass of reading to do. It helps you drown out any background noise and can really help you focus on what you’re reading. Another thing I find helpful when trying to clear my head is listening to ‘Rain Noises’. Yep, the sound of rain. There’s plenty of albums out there to download so give it a try.
On the other hand, listening to something that gets you amped up can be great to power through those last few pages. Also, try listening to a song with high energy just before you go into your exam, take that positive energy with you! Some of Informed Financial Planning’s staff have these pre-exam songs:
Personally I learn best by completing mock exams. If I’m honest, the first time I do a mock exam I fail 100% of the time. But failing is not something to get worked up about – it shows you exactly what you need to work on and the gaps in your knowledge. It also shows the areas which you’re good at and allows you to focus your attention elsewhere.
Once I’ve looked back over the areas I didn’t pass, I redo the same test again, again and again until I get nearly every question right. Yes you may be repeating the same questions, but at least you’ll know the answer to that question if it comes up in your exam. Completing mock exams is the best way to immerse yourself in the same conditions as what your actual exam will be. So the more you do the more accustomed you become to things such as time limits and the type of questions you may be asked.
Revising for an exam doesn’t have to be laborious. Reward yourself every step of the way to encourage you to do more and strive further. Here’s a list of the different ways you can make revision rewarding:
- If you’re reading a book, put a chocolate bar or your favourite snack 20 pages back. I’m sure with that extra incentive you’ll power through the pages!
- Have a routine such as after every 30 minutes of revision, you relax for 5 minutes or browse your social media.
- If you’ve revised Monday-Friday, give yourself the weekend off! Use the weekend to wind down and forget about all that exam stress.
It's never the end of the world
Why do we stress over exams? It’s the fear of failing the exam itself. If you try to learn that it’s not the end of the world if you fail, then there’s really nothing to stress about. I know that’s a lot easier said than done but a happy and relaxed mental attitude will go a long way in smashing those exams.
Well there’s my top tips. Not all of these will work for everyone, finding the best technique for you is important, so experiment! Because of my article I now expect GCSE exam passes to be at a record high, you’re welcome OFSTED.