Researchers have found that students who prepare for exams in advance, study efficiently, and make healthy choices perform better on exams. Here are some important tips to consider:
- Eat healthy food
- Drink plenty of water
- Practice positive thinking
- Give yourself enough time to review your coursework
- Review work from the semester to see where you may need to improve
Start studying at least two weeks in advance, develop a plan to review a little every night leading up to each exam to avoid cramming.
- Explain difficult concepts to your family and friends; they may not specifically know the material, but talking through it can help solidify concepts in your mind.
- Utilize the power of collaboration; work in pairs or small groups with people who have a similar study style as you.
- Study at the most optimal times for you.
- Take short breaks every 30 minutes or so, and use that break time to take a walk or get some fresh air.
- Reflect on study strategies that have been effective or ineffective for you in the past; understanding what works for you will make your study time more impactful
- Get plenty of sleep and put your phone on “Do Not Disturb!” You need continuous sleep, and the notifications may disrupt your rest.
Practicing mindfulness and breathing techniques is an effective tool for remaining calm, sustaining your attention, and staying focused on your learning.
By simply focusing on breathing in and out for one minute, you can increase awareness of thoughts and feelings as a means to reduce stress and anxiety and boost levels of attention and concentration.
You can practice mindful breathing exercises by sitting or standing, with your eyes open or closed, or even as you are walking from your car or bus to your exam room. Included are four basic exercises:
- Inhale through your nose.
- Hold your breath in.
- Breathe out through your mouth slowly.
- Repeat for one minute, and you should feel the calming benefits.