Today is the last day of exams for self, and have discovered some tips for studying. Not exactly original but it is endorsed by self. Am very satisfied with this tried-and-tested 5-step formula.
1. Microsoft Powerpoint is perfect for making notes because there is limited space allocated for words in each slide. The limit forces you to compress your notes to be as brief as possible. By making one slide for one chapter of your notes, you have less to remember than if you allowed yourself one page full of notes. It also organises the chapter for easy reference and easy memorisation. Should you encounter difficulties in remembering notes because of the brevity, you may allow yourself some Post-It notes stuck on your printed slides. Note that you should only print one slide per page and not change the printing layout to four slides a page, because that would be cramming too much information in a space.
2. Acronyms are excellent to remember formulas even though you may think it’s a childish method. It is childish, but it is also an easier way to remember things. By remembering an initial for one step, you are essentially memorising an entire concept through one letter, instead of visualising the entire word itself as that one concept otherwise. To make it even easier to remember acronyms, put a jingle or rhythm to it. It works, really!
3. Playing teacher with your friends reinforces what you learn because you are required to explain an idea in a simple way so that your friend will understand. Spouting jargon taken from your notes will not do it unless it is mutually understood by your classmates. By verbally explaining an idea or concept to your friend, you consciously internalise your words. Also, you get to refine your explanation as you play teacher. Sometimes, you think you would know how to elaborate on an idea if that question comes out. However, when it does, you find yourself at a loss for words and unable to explain. This is when playing teacher would have helped both you and your friends.
4. Sleeping early is better than sleeping late even if it may take a little more effort. Many students burn the midnight oil studying at the last minute. But here’s an even better idea: why not leave it to a later last minute? Instead of staying up and sleeping late, sleep early and wake up early to study. Sure, you’ll be really sleepy the first half hour, but studying at 4 in the morning has less distractions and noise than studying until 2 in the morning, when tv shows and family members may get in the way occasionally. Plan the day before so that you’ll exert yourself throughout the day to make yourself tired enough to hit the sack by 8pm.
5. Having fun helps more than you think it does. Lots of parents have the mentality of ‘no tv / computer / whatever you do for fun’ during exam season. However, this is more harmful to your mental health than you might think. If you’re deprived of all the fun things, what else is there to motivate you to study? Doing things that you love should instead be rewards after a hard studying session. This way you’d be more motivated to study and cover a certain amount of revision, because you’re setting aside time to indulge in your hobbies. Study days would be less unbearable and you won’t be so stressed out thinking about the exams all the time because you have temporary distractions.
Try it out and do tell if it works! Or do you have your own special study tips?