Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Ten Things about studying for an exam...

It's been a while since I had to take an exam - a proper one, not some language course or other where all you do is get a certificate. In fact, it was so long ago that I had to relearn how to study for the exam I took on the 6th of October (the one that kept me from blogging/writing for close to a month).

Here's some revelations that smacked me on the back of the head while I was trying to remember basic accounting....

  1. Make sure you schedule enough time. Now, I know there's different study types - those that cram and those that plan - but a certain amount of planning can never be wrong. You don't want to find yourself a week before the exam, not having started yet... 
  2. Organise your books beforehand. This is particularly important if you're studying law, like I do (or rather did). All sources you study from should be up to date, no matter whether you buy them, copy stuff (legally, please) or borrow them from the library. If you miss some new development, it's going to look really bad in the exam. 
  3. Find lectures on the subject if you can. It's surprisingly efficient to learn by listening - maybe you're even lucky enough to have movies on your subject. Just don't make the mistake of thinking that's enough by itself. 
  4. Make up a study playlist for your audioplayer of choice. Mix up lively songs with calm ones, make sure they're not too overpowering but not so gentle they put you to sleep, either. I like mine on the lively side of things, with a definite head-bobbing kind of beat. 
  5. Don't just read about what you're supposed to know (with or without highlighter in hand). Take notes! You'll find you remember more if you read AND write what you're supposed to know. Engage your brain. 
  6. Try visual methods of studying - make up mind-maps, diagrams, comic strips, whatever strikes your fancy. It'll help loosen those mental muscles, even if you're not really a visual type of person. 
  7. If you have a dictaphone, try reading your study material to yourself, tape it, then listen while you go for a run/walk/sit on the sofa. It'll be like your own private little lecture. 
  8. Change your actual study environment regularly. There's nothing worse than being stuck at your desk for hours on end, staring at the same papers/computer screen. Go to your local coffee shop, library, park, and study there for a couple of hours. If you find the noise surrounding you annoying, listen to your study playlist if you made one. 
  9. Cover your home in your notes if you can get away with it. Dedicate each room to a particular topic, stick your notes/mind maps up on the walls, doors, windows, and study whilst walking around. This is how many memory buffs train their brains (well actually they just imagine things in certain places in their home but hey). 
  10. Don't forget to take regular breaks. You're doing noone any good if you fry your synapses. Go take a breather, watch a movie, meet up with friends. 
You know what? I think most of that can be applied to writing, too... who'd have thunked?  ; P 


1 comment:

Javid Suleymanli said...

Thank you for the great tips! 1,3,5, and 9 are my favorites! But I think fourth one never works for me. I cannot study while listening to music.
And I have a very weird character that I cannot take break. If I take break, I will not be able to get motivated to the work again. Thanks again :)


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