How to study effectively for exams

Schools periodically test their students to know if they are growing academically. Students are meant to comprehend, assimilate and retrieve, for application or use, what they are taught in schools.

To ensure that every student understands, imbibes and can bring out knowledge gained in school after graduation for use, Schools set examinations periodically. Exams are also tool used to check if students are fit to receive more complex lectures when they move to high classes or level.

It is true that after exams, students who pass are promoted to high classes, but in the real sense of it, they are only accepted to take more complex and challenging lectures having been deemed fit for them.

It is, therefore, imperative for students to always pass their exams to enable them take more complex and challenging lectures. This is called promotion is some schools.

Whether a student likes it or not, he is to finish every course or subject that a course, school or a program requires of him to be certified or to graduate. This can only happen if a student is passing his exams.

This article discusses how students can study effectively for exams to enable them pass without difficulties. The recommendation here are mutually dependent, therefore, they must be followed through.

To perform excellently well in your exams, adopt these following recommendations:

  1. Always concentrate when studying 
  2. Start studying from day one of school resumption (early preparation for exams)
  3. Have a study plan
  4. Develop studying as a habit through consistency
  5. Understand and accept yourself
  6. Study to understand
  7. Study actively
  8. Take notes as you study
  9. Master the act of revision after every class and study session
  10. Form a study group
  11. Exercise periodically
  12. Eat healthy
  13. Take breaks

1. Concentrate when studying

If you plan to study effectively for exams, then you should concentrate while doing so. Without concentration, you may finish reading your notes and other study materials without understanding a thing from it.

If you are reading for the fun or it, you can do so without concentration, but once you want to study, please give it 100% concentration.

How to concentrate when studying include the following:

  • Get rid of every source of distraction
  • Study inside a library or create a similar place at home
  • Go to your reading place with few books and reading materials
  • Develop a studying plan
  • Take notes as you study

1. Start studying from day one of school resumption

There is one thing that is certain in the life of every student; and that is, every student will write exams. Since this is true and certain for every student, wise students start from day one in preparing for their exams.

It is true that we go to school to gain knowledge, but no school can certify us without us passing our exams. So, to proof that we have knowledge required of us as students, we need to pass our exams.

To do so excellently, start from day one of school resumption to prepare for your exams. This way, you will not be among students that emergency of examination timetable will give exam fever, as you would have been prepared by this time, save revision.

2. Have a study plan

To study effectively for exams, have a study plan and follow it religiously.

A popular saying has it that those who don’t plan, plan to fail. This is true. If you want anything that you’re doing to stand out, plan it before starting.

Studying without planning may not allow you to perform as supposed in your exams. This is because you can easily lose focus when you’re studying without plans.

In setting your study plan, use your school lecture timetable as a guide. Have a time for everything and don’t bring in any other thing when it’s not the time for such.

For instance, if it’s time to study “Mathematics”, don’t bring in English language text book near you nor study it. Give the time allotted to mathematics study to it fully.

In your study plan, you’re expected to have specific goals you want to achieve. Using mathematics as an example also, if you are to study Mathematics by 12noon to 2pm, note the particular topics you’re to study before setting out for your study place.

Even if the topics you have in your plan to study for a given time period is becoming difficult to understand, don’t go to another. Instead, rest a little and try studying after.

If it’s still hard, then find someone to help you out (this is where the importance of having a study group comes in), but for no reason should you abandon it for anything else.

3. Develop studying as a habit

Habit is not innate, we develop it through repeated actions over a long period of time.

Having a study plan and being consistent in following it will, over time, make us develop a study habit. When this happens, we would start studying subconsciously – a state where studying will no longer look like work to us.

Any students who has a good study habit equally studies effectively for exams as they are synonymous to each other. Remember that, in the beginning of this article, we said that the recommendation here are mutually dependent.

4. Understand and accept yourself

“Man know thyself” is a popular quote by Socrates. As a student, you should not follow the crowd. Understand what works for you and adopt it.

Some students study better during the day as they find it difficult to stay awake at night. Some study better at night.

You need to study yourself to know what works for you. Ones discovered, stick to it. This way, you will be effective in studying.

5. Study to understand

Studying to memorize and studying to understand aren’t the same thing. Students who start studying for exams from the first day of school resumption usually study to understand.

This way, they take notes of what they studied in their own words. This make revision easier and fun to them. So, to study effectively for exams, try and study to understand.

6. Study actively

In addition to studying to understand, students should study actively. By this, we recommend that students use pass question papers as study guides.

Before every study, itemize the study objectives and review to see if the objectives are met at the end of every study.

Then get questions from pass exams under what just studied and attempt answering them. During the questions answering session, note questions you are failing to enable you study the part again.

In summary, before starting to study any material, have study objectives, get pass examination questions on that which you want to study. At the end of your study, test your comprehension by checking to see if the objectives of your study are met and that you can answer the questions on what you have studied using pass questions.

6. Take notes as you study

Taking notes during studies is important, and every student who hungers for excellent performance in their exams should take this serious.

Notes taken during studies are often concise and in simpler words for faster revision.

Taking notes as you study is an effective way to study for an exam; as it enables students to do revision faster during exams.

7. Master the act of revision after every class and study session

To study effectively for exams, master the act of revision after every class and study session.

Some students understand when they are studying but forget greater percentage of what they had learnt after few hours to days. It’s only a very small percentage who may not forget greater percentage of what they learned during studies.

For students to prevent themselves from having this problem of forgetting a greater percentage of what they initially learned, they should revise what they studied latest 24 hours after doing so.

This is better done using notes taken as you studied. This further emphasises the importance of note taking during studies.

8. Form a study group

Study group is a good study strategy students should adopt to study effectively for exams. It helps in making studying active.

Like we said before, know what works for you and stick to it. Studying in a group doesn’t work for some students. So, evaluate yourself to know if studying alone or in a group is better for you.

9. Excercise periodically

A healthy man does everything better than a sick man. One of the ways to remain healthy and agile is through periodic exercise.

Some students see exercise as a waste of time, but in the real sense of it, it is not. It actually helps students to be more focused and to comprehend and assimilate what they study faster and better.

10. Eat healthy

A hungry man only focuses his thought in where his next meal will come from. Engaging in a mental tasks is not encouraged when one is hungry.

Studying is a very serious mental task. Students, therefore, should only do so when they not hungry.

Eating food doesn’t make not to be hungry. Instead, eating healthy does.

I will explain.

When one eats junks always, the person, over time, will start lacking some essential vitamins and minerals needed to function effectively. The brain needs some vitamins and minerals to function properly.

Not eating healthy will deprive your brain of some essential nutrients, like DHA among others, that it needs to enable you study, understand and assimilate faster.

11. Take breaks

Have you ever tried concentrating when you are tired? I have and it couldn’t achieve that.

Taking breaks during studies enables us to study better. It is one way to study effectively for exams, as it allows us to understand and assimilate better than we would have, if we study at a stretch without intermittent breaks.

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