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It’s that time of the year again… That’s right – Exam season! Exams are creeping in and you’re trying to cram every bit of studying you can get done in a limited amount of time. Studying for exams can be stressful and overwhelming and it’s not always fun for everyone. However, having great study habits and being prepared will help you get through your exams. Thus, here are my top five exam tips on how you can study and prepare for exams.

1. Organize Your Time

Don’t leave your studying until the last minute. Exams can get overwhelming but, being organized and having a plan on how you want to break your study days will help ease your nerves and will not stress you out so much. To help sort out your time management, create a timetable for your study. Write down how many exams you have and the days on which you write them. Then plan your study accordingly. You may find that you want to spend more time studying for some classes so, find a balance that you’re comfortable with and that works for you.

2. Take Regular Breaks

While you may think it’s best to study for as many hours as possible, this can actually be counterproductive. Don’t study for longer than 50 minutes without taking a break. It is better to study for short intense periods with constant concentration than long periods of time when you are tired and not working effectively. Thus, try studying for 45-50 minutes and then take a 10-minute break and repeat. During your break, try not to go on your phone or on social media as it can be a big distraction and you may end up spending more time on it than expected. Instead, use that time to take a walk, go outside or grab something to eat. Either way, make sure you physically get up and walk away from your study spot. Taking regular breaks really help for long-term retention of knowledge.

3. Colour Code Your Notes

Having great study notes is an important key when studying for exams. One way to have effective study notes is by colour coding them. You can use different coloured pens, highlighters, paper, etc. Having colourful notes can help you stay engaged and you won’t be bored studying the material. Therefore, create a system that allows you to colour code material that’s going to be on the exam by what’s important, less important, etc. This will help you focus on the most relevant information and prioritize the material.

4. Eat Healthy, Stay Active, and Sleep

Make sure that in the midst of all the craziness and studying, you find time to eat healthy and exercise. Exercising and eating healthily boost energy levels, clear your mind and allow you to focus more easily. It’s important that you don’t forget to take care of yourself. Likewise, SLEEP IS IMPORTANT. Some people think sacrificing sleep and pulling all-nighters will help them retain more information. However, this is not the case and it is a very bad idea. Getting a good night’s rest the night before your exam will help you remember information that you have studied and will keep you alert during your exam. Therefore, make sure you get enough sleep and are well rested so that you can be fully focused during your exams.

5. Minimize Distractions

Devote your entire focus to the task at hand. Cell phones and social media are big distractions. They can easily shift your focus away from studying. You can tell yourself that you will only be on your phone for five minutes but most of the time, you know you will end up being on your phone for an hour. To stay focused and productive while studying, you should put your phone away, out of sight and on silent. Delete social media apps for the time being (you can re-download it once exams are done). Additionally, find a quiet place to work and if you must listen to music, stick to instrumental music. Concentrate on one task and immerse yourself in it.

Lastly, I hope these tips can help you prepare for your exams. You’re at the last stretch of this semester so make sure you continue to work hard to finish the semester off strong. Try not to let the stress get to you. Believe in yourself, study hard, drink water and rest well! I wish you all the best of luck on your exams!

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