Preparing for exams properly: How to remember more than you can
Can’t learn all the material the night before an exam or in one day? Then our collection of tips to help you memorize the material better and faster and pass your exams with the desired grade, without too much effort, is for you.
For starters – determine the best study style for you
Every person is different and hence everyone’s ways of preparing for exams are different. We all fall into auditory, visual, and kinesthetic perceptions. The former is better at memorizing material when reading it aloud, the latter are better at visual images and the latter may benefit from cheat sheets and answer plans from their notes.
A very important point: try to avoid stress. It is very frustrating when you study.
Another effective method is to create a mind map. It’s great for structuring information and you can refresh your knowledge and get into the subject, even if you haven’t repeated anything in a while.
A mind map is a visualization of thoughts and knowledge in the form of a tree. You can create it using apps that are designed for all platforms.
Let’s start with something we can remember at least a little
This method is appropriate if you’re in a class or if you know the subject matter on your own. If you have no ideas of any question, then feel free to start there. But if all blocks of questions are interconnected and you can’t start a new one without the previous one, it’s better to start at the beginning.
Start with very difficult questions if you get tired quickly
It is not forbidden to start with the most difficult issues in order to get a better grasp of them. This will work for those who get tired quickly and lose concentration. In this case, it is better to leave easy questions for the end.
Remember, there is a different approach for each person, to be found by trial and error.
Trying to understand, not cram it
Cramming the material will get you nowhere. It is a losing strategy, consuming a lot of effort and time. Try to understand the content of the question, think of associations, and look for logical connections. Of course, some information, such as dates, numbers, and definitions, cannot be learned any other way, but even these will be easier to understand if you have a good grasp of them.
The 3-4-5 method
Great for those who need to prepare for an exam in a short space of time. You will need 3 days and lots and lots of energy for a lot of work.
On the first day, you need to read your notes and study guides to refresh your knowledge of the subject. This is the initial stage where you just need to get into the process. You can already get a “C” on the paper.
The second stage involves going through the same questions, but from a textbook so that you can learn more details and subtleties. If you prepare diligently on this option, you can count on a four.
In the third stage, you need to perfect your knowledge. To do this, you need to fill in all the blanks in your knowledge, repeat and read some more. Then you can get your “A”.
Two days of study, one day of repetition
This is a very simple method where you have to break all the material into two equal parts. You will need three days in total, the last of which is entirely devoted to repeating what you have learned.
Make an answer plan
Any question may be presented as a plan and each item should be associated with something.
Such plans help you to do a quick review before the test and to get yourself in the right frame of mind for the exam.
Preparing in a group
Some students find it easier to prepare with someone else than alone. In this case, you can write out difficult questions that you cannot understand or have missed. Your classmates can help you work things out and make up for any gaps in your knowledge. The main thing is that such preparation should not become a simple friendly meeting with the usual chatter. Jokes and relaxation are not forbidden, but you need to keep in mind the purpose of your meeting.
Visualize the material
For those people who are visual-oriented, visualization can help a lot to memorize the material better. You can supplement your notes with pictures, diagrams, charts, also use markers to highlight important information. Even if you usually buy a college essay, reading it and highlighting the main points will help you remember a lot.
Add variety to the learning process
A great way to increase your productivity is to break your routine. For example, change where you normally study or change your study routine. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change, just a small one that relaxes your mind. This will noticeably increase your productivity.