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Last Minute Study Tips for your Exams

by Chetna Vasishth


With exams coming up, many of you are stressing about your performance, so we went out and asked you for your best last-minute study tips. And we got loads of responses. This masterclass will include many viewer tips and three winning tips as well.

In this article we cover the four main aspects of exam preparation

  1. How to Prioritise
  2. How to Memorize
  3. How to stay healthy
  4. What to avoid doing

 

Scheduling and Prioritisation Tips

 

  1. 30-40% of the syllabus gives you 75% of the marks
  2. How do I find out which are the important topics
    1. Through past papers
    2. Where you teacher stressed during the term and especially during revision days
    3. Find out important topics by going over question banks

 

  1. Past papers –
    1. Solve sections of the past papers first within time limits, then get to the full paper
    2. Solve the past papers (10 years) and sit for the entire time without a break
    3. Analyse the papers and go back and study those concepts again where mistakes are happening
    4. Go over the mistakes you made in all the tests and midterm exams – make a doubts and mistakes note book
    5. Know the format of the exam paper

 

  1. Timings
    1. Respect your brain’s schedule and find out when it is most productive – usually in the mornings.
    2. For competitive exams, study theory in the morning and numericals in the afternoon
    3. For exams like GATE, quickly browse over the theory, solve numericals for 2 days, then sit with the mistakes and revise the theory again

 

  1. Focus on your strengths – consolidate the topics that you already know well

 

  1. Josh Kaufman – 20 hours – so we’ve heard of Michael Gladwell’s 10,000 hours rule, but Josh Kaufman says that if you study systematically you can learn a skill in 20 hours
  • Deconstruct a skill, break it apart
  • Learn enough to self-correct
  1. Make a checklist of your syllabus with a time table – and keep marking off stuff as you go over it

 

  1. Write down what you studied in the past one hour, at the end of the day you will get a complete map

 

Smart Learning and Memorization Tips

 

Use the three types of learning – auditory, visual and kinesthetics

  1. Auditory –
    1. Listen with music
    2. Record audio answers of long answers and listen to them during your commute etc.
    3. Try teaching someone
  2. Visual
    1. Use Mnemonic codes, or a story
    2. Sticking formulae etc on walls and wardrobe doors
    3. Grab your own attention – a recent Microsoft study found that the average human beings attention span is 8 seconds, which is 1 second less than that of a goldfish. We need to grab our own attention by doing active learning – using different senses, including making the books and notes attractive and colourful – Attractive book marks to make it interesting and A Pocket note book for formulae

 

  1. Kinaesthetic
    1. Take frequent breaks
    2. Move around and walk about while learning

 

  1. Practice how to frame your answers in QAEE pattern – Question , Answer (Statement), Evidence and Evaluation
  2. Ms Bent FIST Study Tips

 

Tips to reduce stress and stay healthy

30 days before an exam, chances are that we’re either bored, or anxious or stressed or all of these. And our brain looks for distractions as a self-soothing tool for self-gratification. And hence on days we can’t focus at all.

So, the first thing we need to ensure is that our mind is calm. And some tips for you to make that work out are:_

  1. Daily 15 min meditation– yes this will help the calm your mind and reduce the stress
  2. Eating healthy, nutritious food, which includes proteins, greens and complex carbs. Avoid stress eating from that pack of chips or that late night ice cream binging.
  3. Get some fresh air everyday and try looking at some plants and trees if possible
  4. Have a stress reliever like plants, music or a puppy
  5. Use your breaks wisely – Make time, too, for an activity that is fun and relaxing. Go for a walk, play a favorite video game, or invite your friends over.

The second tip to keep our mind calm is

  1. Choose a peaceful place to study, some people who have noisy homes, like the library – that’s fine too. Keep your room and environment clean, airy and well lit. Our inner state is a reflection of our external space, so keep the outside calm and neat.

A third way to remain focussed is

  1. Avoid ruminations – these are negative thoughts from the past that we allow into our present – they disturb the mind and acts like distraction. A Daily 20 min cardio is a great way to kick in those endorphins which are like natural pain killers. They bring about feelings of euphoria and well-being.

 

Other Important tips to remain healthy and relaxed are

  1. Get adequate sleep
  2. Take a short nap of 15-20 minutes during the day
  3. Watch one episode of your favourite show or let this be your time to do whatever you like, rewarding yourself is a very important aspect of disciplining your mind
  4. One day before the exam, relax, spend time with family, watch something relaxing on the TV if you like

 

Things to avoid

 

  1. Distractions –
    1. Change your passwords on all apps and screens and make it ‘clear IIT mains 2019’
    2. Keep the phone physically in another room
  2. Avoid multi tasking – studying when the TV is on, or when friends are studying.
  3. Avoid group study at this stage
  4. Do not learn new topics at the last minute
  5. Avoid too many new things at this stage
  6. Avoid panicking for your favourite pen at the last minute – Stationery, buy in advance
  7. Avoid panicking in general, nothing is ever that important. No exam is the end of the world, so be a Rockstar.

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