Preparing for exams is normally tough and stressing since every student want to excel. Drinking coffee isn’t the answer, despite how delicious a good cup of organic coffee tastes. So, how can you lower stress and stay focused during those final days before you sit for your exams?
Minimize Distractions with the Best Headphones Under $100
Using headphones to listen to music is an excellent way improve your focus and drown out background noise while studying. We know that as a student you probably don’t have a ton of money to spend on headphones, but we found this excellent list of the best headphones under $100. The type of music that you listen to can have an effect as well, it’s recommended to listen to music without lyrics such as classical or electronic music for the most effective studying. There are some music tracks out there that are said to improve your brainwaves by listening to it, but the science on that is shaky at best.
Nothing stresses out the nervous system like money concerns. Especially for students. So here’s a quick tip: use coupon websites whenever you can. They will help you save money, and give you more peace of mind. You’ll have more mental energy to focus on your studying. You can also have an emergency card (even if you’ve never owned a credit card before) on standby. Just don’t splurge before it’s an emergency!
Create a schedule
Preparing to sit for exams is similar to preparing for war. In both circumstances, you need a practical strategy. Here, you need to begin by mapping out your study time and finding out which tests you are taking on
which days. Since some exams may be on the same day while others are staggered, make sure you mark your calendar with all test dates. Next, create a timeline for the duration you will be studying. Once you know how much time you
need to spend preparing for specific exams, you are highly likely to stick to the schedule.
Alternate your study spots
A study published in the New York Times indicates that alternating the room where you study is likely to improve retention. In an experiment conducted by psychologists involving college students, researchers discovered that students put in a windowless room did far less compared to students placed in a modern, spacious room with a courtyard. So, rather than spending the entire study time in a library, consider changing to a quiet coffee house or courtyard.
Eat super foods
You have probably heard that you should never miss the first meal of the day: breakfast. And this holds true when you are about to sit for your exams. Studies show that high-fiber, high-carb and slow digesting foods such as oatmeal are great to start your day.
However, good food is not just great for the day of the test, but it is also important a week or two before the exams. In a study published by the University of Oxford involving 16 college students, researchers found that students who ate a balanced diet including vegetables and fruits retained their thinking speed as well as attention. On the other hand, students fed on a low-carb, high-fat diet heavy on eggs and meat experienced a decline in thinking speed and attention.
Basically, when you study, your brain consumes glucose, so when you eat a balanced diet, you provide the brain with the necessary fuel for studying.
Take regular breaks
It is normal for a person studying exams to try and study as many hours as possible. However, this is often counterproductive. Studies show that anyone aiming for long-term retention of knowledge must take regular breaks to help the brain absorb more information. In addition, taking regular breaks helps in keeping you focused and motivated. Since studies show that new information is not assimilated after 1 hour, you should take a break every 50 minutes.
Do not stay up all night
Sleep is an important aspect of the learning process, however, most students stay up late on the eve on the exam trying to cover as much as possible. What they do not know is that staying up all night before an exam is disastrous as it gets you exhausted before the exam begins.
When you sleep, your brain assimilates information gathered during your study time. Getting enough shut-eye will go a long way in helping you recall those complex math formulas you need for your exams.
You might notice that a lot of the tips for writing an effective exam are the same for leading a balanced and healthy lifetstyle, there is a reason for that! Humans perform their best when they eat well, get enough sleep, and focus on a task. I would even throw in one extra suggestion: go for walks as study breaks. The increased oxygen consumption and Vitamin D from sunlight will help you perform even better.
Good luck on your exams!