We are a few months into the new academic year, and exams already upon us. Apart from our extensively researched books and instructional review notes, Exam18 is here with tips and tricks that will make you better equipped to face academics this year.
Tip #1: Highlighting Notes
Shade those important theorems and points in a popping pink or neon yellow to help imprint them into your memory. As the words would jump out at you every time you turn the pages of the book, chances of it staying in your mind are higher. Warm colours like red, yellow and orange jog the memory better than cooler shades, according to a study published by Greene, Bell and Boyer in 1983. Also, colour coding can ease clubbing together the information you have.
Tip #2: Annotating
One of the most important strategies in close reading, annotating your text material in the initial run itself can help during revisions and future readings. Respond to what you are reading and summarise for later occasions. Make connections from across the text or even outside it when possible, and set aside words or phrases that need to be looked up. Note down clarifications and doubts that need to be looked up in a secondary text material. Comparative readings of texts can also help drive a point, especially if taking a literature paper. For example, compare how Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is different from his other comedies, or compare it with other dramatic works of the time.
Tip #3: Mnemonics
Image source: researchgate.net
Resort to mnemotechnics. Visual and auditory aids are known and used even professionally to retain information. Read out aloud and record yourself in voice memos. Make flashcards and hang them around your room. These keywords can work as prompts in remembering important information. Make use of acronyms (For example, Some Old Horses: Sine = Opposite / Hypotenuse, Chew Apples Happily: Cosine= Adjacent/ Hypotenuse) and rhymes ( Remember the good old “30 days hath September…”?). Image mnemonics, that relate the information to an image or diagram, would work in a way similar to our next tip.
Tip #4: Mind maps
Making diagrams and flowcharts helps organise and record information. This structuring can even help recall things more effectively. Their condensed nature can aid in last minute revisions too. Use block letters to make sure the points are stamped into your mind forever.
Tip #5: Revise and Review Constantly
This doesn’t really require elaboration, does it? Simply reading through your notes or summaries and mind maps can work wonders while preparing for exams. Trying to mug up and entire chapter on organic chemistry a day before the exam is plainly preposterous.
Tip #6: Practice tests
Tip #7: Restrain yourself
Switch off your mobile phones while studying. There are many apps available on the internet that block out particular websites for a given amount of time. Get one of those to make sure you stay away from Youtube binges.
Tip #8: Plan it out
Make plans and try to stick to them. Divide your time according to your strengths and weaknesses, – try to stick to it. Divide your time according to your strengths and weaknesses.
Tip #9: Take Breaks (but not too often!)
Make sure not to set unrealistic goals for yourself. Take breaks and don’t be too hard on yourself. An occasional walk outdoors or a game of badminton can help clear out your brain and may even spark off some imagination. Find out that one activity that helps you cool off- it can vary from person to person. Clearing out the table is this writer’s pet peeve. Yours just might be painting or playing the guitar or exercising.
Tip #10: Rote is a last resort.
Try to comprehend what you are supposed to learn instead of just mugging it up. Be more contemplative. Question and wonder- it is the only way to appreciate what you are learning.