Some studies have shown that an average concentration span is as short as 15 minutes. Our ability to concentrate and retain information diminishes the longer we study and so it is useful to implement regular breaks.
With shorter, intense periods of study, you will ultimately be more productive than during a longer and less effective study time.
A great tool to use is the Pomodoro technique. This involves 25 minutes of effective study, then a five minute break. Every four study cycles, you take a longer 15-30 minute break.
There are plenty of mobile apps and websites that can help you track these study/break cycles.
Writing your own study guides and summaries for topics, concepts and texts can help you consolidate your knowledge and create great resources to come back and revise from.
When you just read from a textbook, very little gets retained. The act of reading information, understanding it and then synthesising it into your own words does wonders for helping you learn and remember things.
Take five to ten minutes to plan your study sessions before you start. Write out some realistic goals and study areas you want to focus on and place it somewhere visible. This can help break down a large and intimidating amount of work into smaller, achievable chunks.
Having a reminder of what you wanted to achieve and seeing your progress through it can help you feel more motivated to keep studying. It is also a helpful way to structure your study session.
It is tempting to avoid practice tests until you feel absolutely ready. While attempting one without any knowledge at all is a sure-fire way to dampen your confidence, leaving them to the last minute is also a bad idea.
They are extremely useful about midway in your study. They can help you to identify areas you might need to work a little more on and act as a way to check that you’re on the right track with what you have already studied. Plus, you may be surprised at how much you actually do know!
I would suggest simulating examination conditions as much as possible to give you a sense of time pressure.