You can probably relate to the anxiety that comes with having an approaching examination.
Most students, unfortunately, study days into the examination and become anxious because there is so little time with so much to cover.
And to make up for the time lost, it is not surprising that you will start resorting to different tricks to catch up with all you have to read, thereby putting your brain on pressure.
While this is understandable, these tricks are better avoided if you are studying for an examination or if you are writing your project topics
Although, in actual fact, some certain study patterns might work for some and not work for others because we differ as humans.
However, in spite of the differences, we do have our similarities as well and so in general, attempting certain things when we are studying for an examination will definitely be counter-productive.
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Poor eating habit: There is a tendency to eat unhealthily when studying for an examination because of stress or because we are in a studying spree that we forget to eat or we grab the closest junk because we cannot make out the time to get healthy food. But the truth is why these can be understandable excuses, it is counter-productive. You miss eating actual food because you want to make that time to study but medical research makes it clear that the food we eat has an impact on our overall well-being, including how our brain functions. Surviving on surgery, caffeinated and greasy foods during examinations might just affect your health, how productive or your retention. If you need to snack, stock healthy snacks like fruits or vegetables and take a few minutes to eat well-balanced meals, it will help you actually do better.
All-nighters, marathon reading and cramming: Our brain is an essential part of our body and so, it needs rest. Most times, students fall into the temptation of pulling all-nighters and over-loading the brain. This is why it is advisable to start studying long before exams. Spacing your studying hours over three days is more efficient than cramping all those hours into a day. Even if you have missed a considerable amount of time that you should have used studying, overloading your brain is not going to help you, especially if you spend all those hours cramming. Read what you can – at a reasonable pace – to understand. The risk of doing the opposite is that you will likely not remember anything you crammed and be completely blank in the exam hall when you could have at least been able to write the little you got from studying. Sleep is as important as studying when you are preparing for exams. Don’t slack when studying but also allow your brain to rest; find a balance.
Studying around distractions: Except it is a tutorial or a study group session, studying with friends can be distracting and therefore, not advisable. A study group is even more effective when you have all studied ahead and sharing ideas on what you have earlier studied; it is not a good idea when you have not studied at all. You and your friends are likely to have things to talk about constantly and while you do love them, take time from them when you need to study. Social media is another distraction you need to flee from when studying for exams. If you can, keep your phone away or switch off your internet connection or uninstall certain apps until after your exams.
Being too comfortable: If you don’t want your comfortable body to send a message to your brain that you are ready to sleep, you shouldn’t be too comfortable when you are studying. You will likely achieve more if you are seated or studying with a desk. This does not mean that you should take up an uncomfortable posture but that you should make sure you are not all cuddled up underneath a blanket on a bed or couch and expecting not to sleep off.
Stressing and over-thinking: This will probably not come easy but try as much as you can to avoid stressing and over-thinking. You should study to the best of your ability and take a deep breath. The truth is that stressing will not increase your ability to retain and remember all you read. It will, instead, increase your anxiety and prevent you from giving your best.
For most of these to work perfectly, try to avoid procrastination and read long before exams. Consistent reading over time is more effective than marathon reading few days to the examination.