Its almost that time again!! The sun is out (sort of), bringing with it the dreaded JC and LC. 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, its all about strategy. Memory is a muscle that needs a good workout. Think about it, we have an infinite amount of brain power 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 brain power. Scientific studies show that about 20 minutes of movement before an exam can help you perform better. Bring notes on flash cards 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 its 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
Its boring, but there’s a reason why its the default font on almost everything. Its 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 documentary about it. Whether its photosynthesis, the immune system or the fall of Stalin, its 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 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 we’ve got for now. Now stop procrastinating and go do some work 📚