Most people have some form of exam or test during their studying, whether it’s a weekly quiz in class or a final exam at the end of the term. It might seem mundane and easy to mentally block this entire process out when you’re studying, but taking the time to apply 4 different best habits for exams into your routine will help you ace any exam you put your mind to.
1. Learn how to read efficiently
The way we read when we’re skimming through Facebook or Twitter is completely different from the way we should be reading when we’re studying for tests. Many people are not exposed to how to effectively read for information and tend to spend most of their study time with their eyes on the page and minds in the gutter. Many techniques can help you become a more effective reader such as highlighting, re-reading, note-taking, and drawing diagrams. These techniques may seem like no-brainers, but they are powerful methods that will help you absorb information and retain it in your memory bank longer. The more actively engaged you are while reading and attempting to understand texts, the easier it will be for you to recall facts on the test.
2. Listen to music while you study is one of the best habits for exam
Listening to music is one of the easiest ways to set yourself up for success on an exam. Music allows us to regulate our emotions and channel our mental energy into something specific, which is exactly what you need to do when studying. Listening to certain types of music can help with different parts of your study routine. For example, listening to classical music is a great way to boost your concentration, while listening to upbeat pop music can keep you energized and motivated. To get the most out of your study playlist, listen to what feels natural, but try different genres and tempos until you find what works best for you!
3. Create flashcards or mini-quizzes
Flashcards and mini-quizzes are a great way to get through material quickly and efficiently. Simply writing out the term/answer combination on a flashcard or multiple choice question will help reinforce it in your mind so that by the time you get to the test you will have seen it multiple times before. It might sound silly, but writing down an answer 5 times can be more helpful than reading through a textbook once!
4. Taking Breaks
is one of the best habits for exam
It’s very easy to get into the habit of binge-studying, especially during midterms or finals season. It’s probably the easiest way to convince yourself that you’re being productive because there’s no time for anything else in your life other than study.
However, taking breaks is equally as important as studying because it allows you to take a step back from all the information so you can process it faster and better. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s good to stop for an hour or two before going back at it again. A good rule of thumb is to take 10 minutes after every hour of studying (or any other amount of time that works for you).
These four habits are simple but vitally important. They’ll help ensure that you’re in the best possible mental state for exams, and could be the difference between a passing or failing grade. You should always practice these habits (even before exams), but it might be particularly worthwhile to focus on them during this stressful time of year. Your future studying self will thank you!