Exams can be pretty stressful, mostly because you need to remember all of the material that was covered throughout the entire course. Luckily, there are a number of ways to help you remember all of the information you need to. Even if your grades are in great standing, there is always room to improve your studying efficiency. Here are a few tips to bring your study habits and test scores up a few notches.
Harness your brain power
Before even sitting down to study, give your memory a head start by being fully rested.
Treating your body well with a healthy diet and plenty of physical exercise will increase the oxygen flow to your brain and reduce the risk of disorders that can lead to memory loss down the road. Studying in relatively short bursts between breaks for fresh air and switching up your study routine in terms of setting and time of day will also help your long-term recall.
Structure and organize what you learn
Relating new information to what you already know helps build the connections that aid memory retention. The brain organizes knowledge in related clusters, so for instance, it’s easier to memorize your shopping list if you group items according to what section of the store they are in. Try making an outline of your accounting training notes that group similar concepts and terms together and you’ll notice you’ll have a much easier time thinking of all the terms and concepts right on the spot.
Visualize concepts with mnemonic devices
A mnemonic is something that helps us remember something. For example, associating things you need to know with a little song or rhyme will often help recalling them later. In terms of your course work, create a few mnemonics to help you remember ideas that relate specifically to your discipline. For example, students in business training who need to remember the five qualities that make up a good action plan can jog their memory by linking a quality to each letter in the word SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Repetition, repetition, repetition
Especially for more challenging concepts, try reading aloud and then repeating the concepts with your eyes closed. You might feel silly doing it, but it really does help your brain retain the information.
You can also teach or explain new concepts that you’re learning to a friend or study partner to deepen your own understanding and recall.
While this advice might come a little late if you haven’t yet cracked a book for tomorrow’s exam in one of your graphic design courses, spacing your study time over several sessions is more effective than cramming all your studying into one very intense session. Long study jams reduce concentration and promote fatigue, with new learning often confusing memories of previously learned concepts. Don’t forget to remember!