Exercise has been proven to increase both memory and brain power, making it one of the most useful techniques to use when studying and before an important exam. Just a 20 minute walk in the fresh air can improve your performance in an exam.
Steve Jobs once stated “Creativity is just connecting things”. Take a leaf out of his book, and try connecting things and using your creativity to do so. It’s a really useful way of remembering information. One example of this is mind maps, which are a really useful way of creating a bit of a visual reminder of the connection you make.
Get distracted easily? There are apps you can download which will block websites (Facebook for me!) for a certain amount of time, allowing you to concentrate on your studies with no way of getting distracted. Try the ‘SelfControl’ app and see what you think.
Use the Pomodoro Technique! We have a vlog on the subject to help you understand it better, but the basics of this technique are to take breaks from your studies – every 25 minutes have a five minute break. This has been used by millions to increase productivity and creativity, as it gives your brain a small break between digesting a lot of information.
Studies have proven that information retention improves when you vary your study places – so try out a different seat in the library every now and again!
Try to meditate regularly in the weeks or months leading to an exam. Meditation reduces stress and is a stress reducing practice, allowing you to feel more relaxed about exams and retain more information.
Or even just speak out loud! It has been proven that the majority of brains will hold information that has been spoken out loud, rather than read over and over. So educate your friends and remember things more easily.
Get a friend or family member to quiz you on the topics you are revising. This uses the speaking out loud aspect too, and you can assess how much information you have managed to take in, and allows you to become more confident in what you are revising.
It’s really useful to remind yourself during revision what you are studying for. Most things we study for are with an aim to improve our future, so it’s useful to remind yourself of this. Maybe you could buy some post it notes and write down quotes from people who inspire you, and stick them up in your study space?
Exams are a stressful time for all of us, and the worse thing you can do is increase this stress by trying to do all of your revision the day before an exam. Try to make a plan a few months before exam time, and do a little bit of revision each day. This is much less stressful than trying to get it all done in 24 hours!