Let me start by saying that I am in no position to be talking about this topic, seeing as I am happily typing away because I am not studying. Which I should be doing, since I have mildly serious tests coming up in, what, 3 days time?
I don’t feel like studying, probably because these are the first real tests I’m facing, ever since my summer holidays ended and I haven’t gotten into the groove yet. But the fact remains that I have to study. I can’t handle bad grades.
So here are a few effective ways that I use to cram:
- Make a schedule – No matter how rough or illogical it is. Just make one. Remember that this must be done at least two and a half weeks before, or less, depending on the seriousness of the tests/exams. I always make schedules and to-do lists because they help to calm and organize the torrential state of my mind whenever I have too much to do. After making one, implement it for two days and then see if the plan is working out for you. If not, edit it and adjust your schedule by spreading the work out over more days.
- Pay attention in class. This is sort of digressive because it is not a method of ‘cramming’ but it definitely helps you later on. This is because if you do pay attention in class, you won’t have to be frantic when it’s test-time. I know its an extremely cliched sort of advice, but I have been making use of it ever since I understood my education in school will affect my life. And believe me, eventually I saved precious time because my concepts were already clear and needed no more work.
- Make notes. Write down briefly what you are reading while studying and obviously making notes during lectures is essential, too. But I’ve discovered that writing down what I’m trying to learn, sort of imprints those words on my brain.
- Be strong-willed. If you’ve made a commitment and have allotted time for study, stick to it.
- Discover your most productive environments. When and where do you absorb the most? Does listening to music help you? Or do you prefer complete silence?
- This is going to sound difficult and it was for me – Wake up early. It helps a lot if you wake up earlier than usual and hence be ready for study earlier than you would usually be. Also you’re a bit fresher. For me, the toughest part isn’t getting up, it’s in staying up! I try to keep myself awake by reading by book for at least an hour accompanied by some sort of snack. Yes, I know, eating sour cream and onion Lays right after you wake up sounds extremely unhealthy. But it’s just for test week right? 😀
- Keep sight of your goals and incentives. It’s extremely depressing if you study and study and then keep asking yourself ‘Why?!’. So, what I do is I make a proper list of topics to be covered per subject, and a list of what subjects I have to study on what days, and a list of how many days left in’ freedom’ (mind, this word appears in quite a lot of my lists.) Then I cross each bullet point on each list with relish after I’m done with the subject or topic or exam. It helps. Just seeing the number of cross-outs helps immensely. I also like to write quotes (which is SO cheesy) and stuff like “5 days to FREEDOM! :D” in bright,happy colors over the top of my lists.
- Pre-study. The time before the test should not be the first time you are looking at your syllabus. Always be prepared before hand.
- Lose the ‘lying-on-bed-and-studying’ habit if you have it. I know it’s very comfortable and I always love the fact that I have so much space to spread all my notes and books out on, but when you’re on the bed, you’re attention span decreases because you start getting sleepy. And the damage to your spine and posture comes alongside. Sit up straight, feet on floor and use the desk in your room!
- Do NOT log onto the Internet– just like I’ve done. -_-
Yeah I think that’s about it. What do you do to help you study? Any tips for my upcoming tests? 🙂