Know your tasks: organize your study material and schedule so you know exactly what chapters or lectures you need to review. If possible, set a to-do list as specific as you can and go checking it as you progress. Seeing how much you’ve completed will motivate you to keep going!
Keep distractions away: if you’re easily distracted by your phone, keep it away while you study. If background noise is a problem for you, try headphones or listening to instrumental music to help you focus. Find what distracts you and save it for another time.
Have a healthy diet. It’s important to drink plenty of water and eat nutritious food so your body can work properly. Certain nutrients like Omega 3 can help your memory and can be found in oily fish, like salmon. Vegetables and fruits contain carbs and fiber which will give you energy and caffeine - from coffee or tea - is extremely useful, as we all know.
Take frequent breaks, and use this time to get moving, stretch, go outside, talk to people. I particularly think exercising works fantastically because it keeps you awake and concentrated.
Make summaries. If you’re not distracted by using a computer try to make a digital one so you save time. You can later print it and use this to help you revise. It also helps you stay focused while you read. You can make your own diagrams as well for better visualizing and understanding of processes, cycles, etc.
Make flashcards or take phone pics of important diagrams so you can revise key concepts at the bus or while you’re waiting for someone. Challenge your memory!
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Whether being from a tutor or simply your friends, having someone answer your questions or explain something to you can be very helpful. You get a different perspective about the subject, see how other people learn (maybe they have great mnemonic strategies you didnt know!) and get to be more interactive. Also, on the other hand, when you explain something to someone it’s easier to spot your own mistakes and doubts and it helps retaining what you studied in long term memory.
Set a routine. Try your best to wake up and go to bed at the same time everyday and keep an organized schedule (even if its in your mind or your phone). That way you have separate times to study, workout, sleep well and avoid wasting time, arriving late, having to pull all nighters, missing when your papers are due to.
Spend more time at libraries. A library generally has more comfortable study places than you do at home, you’re surrounded by people who are also studying, there’s fairly a lot less to be distracted about, books are easily accessible and in most cases you’d be near labs or your teachers offices in case you want to go to that lab review or ask something. You also are less likely to turn your 20 min nap into a 4 hour blackout because sleeping over your books is just not that comfortable.
Don’t stress. Pulling all nighters, having emotional breakdowns or just generally panicking over exams and papers is just not worth it. In most cases what you fear about those things never happen. You’re going to be okay, even if you fail. Because there are always second chances, especially if you’re dedicated. Most successful people I know got that far through perseverance. Which is something you learn when you fail, but refuse to stop trying nonetheless.
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