Exam Time: Tips for Effective Studying

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Exam season is a time when stress levels are higher than usual. Stress can be positive, helping you stay motivated and focused. But too much stress can be unhelpful, and it can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy.

During exam time, it’s important to try and keep things in perspective and find ways of reducing stress. The key is to maximize your study time without increasing your anxiety.

Tips about study habits

  • Keep a study area. Having a good study area can make a huge impact on how well you learn.
  • Make a to-do list. Breaking tasks down into small, manageable tasks will make studying less overwhelming. Cross them off with a pen as you go.
  • Study past tests. These can be helpful insight into what your exam will be like, and they can also provide a guide for which areas you excel in and which you need to concentrate on more.
  • Join a study group. Forming a studying group with your classmates can be a helpful way to revise your notes and work through past exam questions.
  • Switch the phone and e-mail off. You can always call people back later. If you don’t need to study at the computer, try to stay away from it, so you can avoid being distracted by the Internet.
  • Ask lots of questions of your teacher or tutor. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re stupid—it’s smart to tap into their experience and knowledge to help you perform better.
  • Know your preferred learning style. Think about how you comprehend what your teacher says in class, and this can help you study more effectively.
  • Take regular breaks. Getting up and moving around away from your desk for 10 minutes at least every 50 minutes makes you concentrate and learn better.
  • Avoid procrastination. Procrastination happens when you do everything but the task you need to do.
  • Make a study timetable. Write down all the things you need to do each day of the week, and how long you need for each, including time for enough sleep, relaxation, and exercise.



Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.


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