It’s better to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier rather than sleeping later and waking up later. It’s harder for your body to function at late hours, causing studying to be ineffective. It’s the number one tip: you’ll do better with a good night’s rest than pulling an all-nighter right before your exam.
When studying, chew the same flavor gum when you are studying the same subject. On the day of the test, chew that same flavor of gum to trigger your memory through taste. Your teacher doesn’t allow gum? Chew that same flavor of gum on the way to the exam, whether it be twenty or five minutes before taking the test.
Just like the gum, listening to the same song or the same artist while studying for that specific subject aids with the testing mindset you might be in. This tip is helpful if your teacher allows you to listen to music during your final. Your hearing senses will refer back to what you studied while you were listening to that song.
Take a break once in a while! Studying for hours straight can be unhealthy and wear you out. Taking breaks is good for the mind. The recommended study amount is thirty minutes at a time, taking five minute breaks in between or studying for 45 minute intervals with 15 minutes off. Not sure what to do? Go outside and take a walk, grab a snack, or play with your pet. But be careful: rewarding yourself with too many breaks can lead to procrastination, so make sure you hold yourself accountable for following your study schedule.
It’s a sign from your body to take a break. If you find it hard to continue studying after a while, DON’T. Do something you love for a little bit; volunteer at your local animal shelter, take your dog for a walk, or listen to some music. You’ll come back happier, more motivated and ready to ace your finals.
Turn off your PHONE.
Don’t leave your phone open, next to you, or even IN THE SAME ROOM. Your phone is known to have a “phantom calling” effect where you want to check it. You can download an app to turn off your phone so you can’t open it or just leave it in a different room. (This can apply to finals too: studies show that your brain get distracted with the phone in the same room; try leaving it in your locker or at home).
FLASHCARDS around your home.
Make flashcards and stick them with tape around your house so when you go to an area of your house, you HAVE TO study it. For example, stick your flashcards on a bathroom mirror to study while you brush your teeth. Or stick flashcards in your fridge or on the box to your favorite snack.
Make a PLAYLIST.
Find or make a playlist that would help you study. Genre is very important. Try listening to classical, instrumental jazz, instrumental or atmospheric rock, world music, and ambient and electronic music. These genres use limited vocals or even different languages that blend into the rest of the music so you won’t be distracted by words.
CHANGE UP your study space.
Research says that studying in a different room or two different areas aids one’s memory. Whether you choose to study in a coffee shop, the library, or somewhere else in your home, make sure it is a productive space.
Read about Isabella Montoya’s article on how studying somewhere else helps her (when you have time) :