It’s almost that time again!! Coming to the end of the term and the dreaded Christmas exams are looming. Bedrooms all over Ireland are covered in study timetables, highlighter pens and index cards and pretty soon churches will be full of Grannies saying Novenas and health shops will be sold out of rescue remedy.
But worry not friends, sitting exams is an art form, it’s all about strategy. Memory is a muscle that needs a good workout. Think about it, we have an infinite amount of brainpower every day, so once you know where to invest it, you’re laughing!
We have put together our list of top study hacks that actually work, we promise…..
1. Go for a walk before your exam
Physical movement boosts your brainpower. Scientific studies show that about 20 minutes of movement before an exam can help you perform better. Bring notes on flashcards if you want, or record yourself reading your notes and stick on your headphones.
2. Talk to yourself instead of reading
Fact: You’re 50% more likely to remember something you say out loud than something you read. Best keep it to your own bedroom though, fellow library users are not always supportive.
3. Reward Yourself With A Treat
Give yourself something to work for. Even if it’s something small, your brain will want it. Tell yourself that once you’ve finished learning about igneous rocks, you can have a lovely cup of tea, or watch an episode of friends. Our advice, reward for chapters or sections as opposed to hours, so you get through it quicker.
4. Make connections in your head
Making connections in your head is a great way to remember information. Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something”.
We love mind maps, they might just look like fancy pictures but they absolutely work. Check out a previous post we shared including how to use mind maps here.
5. Times New Roman is the Fastest Font to Read
It’s boring, but there’s a reason why it’s the default font on almost everything. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Save the fancy stuff for your Instastories.
6. Watch a documentary on your subject
Top Hack! No matter what you’re studying, there’s a documentary about it. Whether it’s photosynthesis, the immune system or the fall of Stalin, it’s on either Netflix or Youtube. No offence teachers, but they just make it so much more interesting. Just to prove our point, we just searched for Stalin and found this one. Easy!
7. If you’re dyslexic, use this font…
There’s a specific font called Dyslexie that was created to reduce the number of reading errors. It works by making letters that are commonly mixed up, like “b” and “d” more recognisable. Download it and apply it to all your notes if you can. Check it out here.
8. Review constantly
We’ve heard of the “Learning Curve”, but there’s also a “Forgetting Curve”. Humans tend to halve their memory of newly learned knowledge in just days unless they constantly review the materials. Stop what you’re doing every 20 minutes and go back over it again.
9. Use Pomodoro Time
The Pomodoro technique advises studying hard for 25 minutes, followed by a five-minute break. Set a timer, and wait for the ding.
There are so many handy study hacks websites or apps that might help. Try this one for making mindmaps, this one for blocking websites that distract you, this one to create online flashcards, this one to create the perfect background noise for productivity and this one to create quizzes for yourself.
Also, there are many ways to take notes, but Cornell Notes are actually the best. Check them out here.
And that, dear friends, is all the study hacks we’ve got for now. Now stop procrastinating and go do some work 📚
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