Are you having trouble staying focused and being time efficient enough to cover all of that key study material? Whether you’re studying for Year 12 exams, the UCAT or University exams – here are some new study techniques to try out!
1. Focus on the task
Studying for exams can be overwhelming and stressful. Knowing where to start can be hard for many students. Writing a list of key tasks for each subject or topic area can help break down your study. This will give you an idea of what needs to be completed and how much time you will need to set aside for each task.
When starting a study session, choose one task you want to finish. Be realistic about how much you are able to do in one session. Decide if you want to finish it before taking a break or set yourself some milestones where you can take some time out. If the task is too big or complicated you might find yourself getting frustrated! If the entire task takes day or weeks to finish, it might help you to break them into smaller parts, as this will seem more manageable.
Setting time goals can help you to stay motivated whilst you study. Choosing a small goal and time target can help you get a task done more efficiently. Rewarding yourself with a break to do something you enjoy is also a great incentive to complete a timed session.
You can also practice doing timed questions. This is a good way to understand the time pressure you may feel during the actual exam. Use the exact timing of your upcoming exam as a guide. This can be worked out by looking at past papers or asking a teacher or knowledgeable friend for help and guidance.
Some students have a particular method of study that works for them and they stick to it. This is great, as it is familiar and provides structure to your learning. Sometimes changing up your study methods can make your revision more engaging and help you to retain more information.
Try switching between writing notes, practising past questions and papers and reading textbooks. There are also many online resources you can look for, such as educational videos and interactive quizzes. Drawing diagrams, making mind maps and reciting facts out loud are other techniques that are also worth a try.
Going along to a workshop or course specific to your subject material can be useful. They may be offered through your school, university, local library or even a private company. These workshops can provide helpful tips for success, useful resources and can help answer those tricky questions.
This guidance helps many students understand what to prioritise and how to revise for their upcoming exams. Some courses are taught in a group setting, which provides an opportunity to collaborate with peers who are studying similar subject material and topics.
Try mixing up your solo study sessions by joining together with your friends in a group setting. This is a great way to exchange resources, study tips and any new facts you might have learnt. You can also try working through difficult areas of the subject material together. Even studying quietly as a group can help you to feel encouraged and supported to continue revising.
It can be difficult to know if you’re properly understanding and retaining study material. Some students worry they will be in the exam and forget everything they have covered during revision. A great way to avoid this happening is to test yourself – there are multiple ways you can do this. Once you try to answer the question, you can check for the correct answer on the other side of the card. This method will work well for subjects that have a lot of topics and material to memorise.
Another great way to test yourself is through using past papers and practice questions. There are some questions available that help you test your knowledge. Try also doing questions that have a similar format to that of your upcoming exam. This is helpful if the subject requires other skills, such as problem solving, interpreting information or developing an argument.