Survival Guide: Research-Backed Tips For Acing Exams

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Bhoomika Ghaghada Career ,,,,,,,,,,,,

IB students, CBSE board students, university students and all other students: February brings with it the whiff of nerve-wrecking schedules, a touch of panic, oodles of last minute studying, sometimes an existential crisis or two, and countless declarations of ‘Why can’t I remember anything?’, ‘I’ll make a good McDonald’s employee’ and ‘I still haven’t finished the portion’

Personally, I have a younger sibling who spontaneously bursts into sobs, crying ‘I want to drop out of school!’. My response is always the same ‘It’s temporary. Don’t let the stress get to you.’ But because I can’t be there to hold your hand through it all, give this article a read whenever you feel overwhelmed with work [not limited to school students]. Here are 5 small tips that will help soothe your nerves and keep on top of your game:

Keep an eye on the clock

1. Don’t do it if you don’t have to

surviving exams
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Take a few minutes at the start of the day and make your table [Trust me, those few extra moments will save you hours of time]. The logic is simple. If there’s a submission due tomorrow, do it first. If there’s a project that is worth 50% of your grade, do it before anything else. It seems like common sense, but you will be surprised when you make your own table; we all tend to waste a lot of time performing unimportant and non-urgent tasks.

2. Give the big stuff a big ONE 

surviving exams

Allot an extra hour for the most important/difficult material. It has happened too many times to too many of us. We allot very little time for the difficult/important tasks and not getting them done by deadline – PANIC! Be mindful that the more dense the material/ subject you’re studying, the more frequent your breaks will be.

Take into account the 5-15 minutes you’ll spend in transition.

3. Don’t while it away

surviving exams

We can say it over and over, but you have to put it in action. No, you’re not good at multi-tasking [Research]. Turn off that cell phone, put away the laptop and keep your workspace clear of all distractions. You’ll find that when you don’t have your phone and the snazzy apps to fiddle with, you’ll get back to work much quicker after breaks.

A Tip On The Side: Personally, a huge fan of post-its, I say leave yourself reminders to go back to work on your laptop, on your virtual desktop, at the top of your desk and on your coffee mug. If you are one to panic easily, leave yourself post-its to breathe and relax [vowing that you’ll take a deep breathe every time you see it]. It works like a charm.

Remember! Remember.. Remember?

 1. Take a sip [not at night]

surviving exams

Wait, wait, wait. Before you all rush to get energy drinks for exams, we’re not suggesting increasing your caffeine consumption. However, consuming caffeine can improve retention for a 24 hour period [So, you won’t forget your revision notes].
Tip: Do not drink it past 7pm [Might cause you to stay up all night and it’s been said before and with good reason, you should get a good night’s rest before an exam].

2. Man Keeps Panties Alive

surviving exams

Use funny mnemonics for lists, steps, characteristics, or parts. There are fun ways to do this. From a personal instance, we used mnemonics back in 12th grade Business Studies.

“Swimming To New Zealand Brings Good Panties” It may seem senseless, but you’ll remember it because at that moment, your stomach hurt while you lurched forward with laughter. So, make it a story, a rhyme, a pattern [or even remember that list of disorders relating them to friends and family] – just make it memorable.

3. Now, together, everybody!

surviving exams

Research for years has shown that study groups are an effective learning tool. The logic is simple [and there’s evidence to prove it]: When you study together, you discuss the material. When you discuss the material, you learn it at a deeper level – perhaps linking it to your own personal experiences.

It is also suggested that teaching the material to a friend can improve your recollection of it.

T minus 24 hours

For the day before the exam:

surviving exams

1. Even if you feel like crawling back to your notes and pulling an all-nighter [we’re talking to you, crammers], don’t do it the night before. Research suggests it isn’t going to help.

surviving exams

2. Anxiety hits the hardest the day before the test. Meditation is a good way to go to beat the stress [For the record, it’s always a good way to go].

surviving exams

3. Snooze it off. Research shows that having 7-8 hours of sleep can improve your memory, while sleep deprivation will harm it.

Most importantly, relax and work hard [do both at the same time]. Try these tips, go ace that exam and leave us a thank you note when you get your results.

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Feel free to share this with friends who need to read this [You know the ones that you talk to on the phone whose panic is contagious?]. Maybe this will help them relax.