Studying isn’t always easy… I’m definitely guilty of procrastinating! With the semester nearing an end, exam time is coming up. Everyone works differently and has a different studying style – it’s about finding what works best for you (although we don’t recommend cramming at the last minute!). Here are a few tips though that can help everyone to be a little more efficient when it comes to study time.
1. List, prioritise and plan
Create a list of everything that you need to get done. Then prioritise each task and allocate it a specified time – just like if you were sitting an exam. Put all of this into a schedule and make sure you’re realistic about the times you have set yourself. Give yourself plenty of time to complete anything that needs to alleviate any unnecessary stress. A little bit of organisation can go a long way!
2. Maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet
It’s very easy to snack on chocolate and chips and all sorts of junk food. Eating these foods is actually counter-productive to your studying though, impacting on your energy and concentration levels. Instead, stick to foods like fish, nuts, blueberries and other fresh fruit and vegetables. These will help to keep your energy levels up and have been proven to aid in concentration and memory. Sugar and high levels of caffeine might be a quick fix but can see you crash out quicker, so swap your coffee out for green tea (at least you’ll get other nutritional benefits along the way) and stay away from soft drinks – stick to good all H20.
3. Keep up-to-date notes throughout the semester
Okay, so the semester is well past the half-way mark but there is no time like the present to get on top of your notes (and you can learn for next semester!). Allocate some time each week to take notes on that week’s topics for each of your classes. That way, come exam time things won’t feel so stressful and all you will have to do is re-read over them all instead of worrying about what was taught in week 3 that you have completely forgotten about.
4. Organise your study space and keep free from distractions
It’s so easy to become distracted by the littlest things when you need to study. All of a sudden you could be doing anything, anywhere and it all seems so much more important than what you really need to do. Find a space that you would like to study – make sure it is neat and organised (so you don’t procrastinate by cleaning constantly) and somewhere that will be distraction-free. Turn your phone off or put it into flight mode so you won’t be distracted by notifications popping up, and make sure you won’t be disturbed by others.
5. Take regular breaks and get plenty of rest!
Studying for long hours without giving your brain a rest isn’t actually beneficial. You’re better off working in shorter, sharper bursts to be more efficient. Set yourself a time to complete each task and take breaks in between. Go for a walk around the block or take your meal times in these breaks to keep your energy and concentration levels up. Make sure you’re also getting the right amount of sleep. It’s easy to find yourself up at all hours during exam and assessment periods but if you’re not sleeping, your efficiency levels go down. By following the above steps though, you should have plenty of time to rest!