7 Effective Exam Prep Tips

Studying for your exams can be a daunting task, especially if you find it hard to study for almost everything. Some people are just not wired for studying, but we’ve compiled a list of seven (7) effective exam prep tips that can give you a helping hand towards acing your exams in no time!

1: Start Studying Early for your Exam

Nothing beats stress like being well prepared, and starting your studies early means that you will keep yourself from stressing about trying to study at the last minute.

Organise your notes ahead of time, so that you can see if there are any gaps in your notes that you want to fill in before you start studying, and then you can ask your teacher about it beforehand.

2: Make a Study Area, and Keep it Clear

Psychologically, a cluttered space equals a cluttered mind, and when studying for exams, you want your mind to be clear and focused. By keeping your study area clean, you can eliminate needless distractions, and streamline your study process.

3: Keep on Moving

When you have been sitting still and studying for 40 minutes, your brain starts to lose focus. Set an alarm to go off after 40 minutes of studying, then get up and move around a bit to refresh your mind.

Even if you can’t go anywhere, just do a few jumps on the spot, or  go to the kitchen and grab a glass of water or a snack – anything to move away from your study area for 5 – 10 minutes.

Then, when you settle back down to study, refreshed and refocused, start on a new subject – your brain will get tired and unfocused faster if you keep studying  the same subject for too long.

4: Make Study Schedule – stick to it, but be flexible

Make certain that you spend extra time on the areas where you struggle, for the parts that you understand well, set aside a small amount of time for a quick revision.

Make sure that you can move your schedule around in case something unexpected happens, like a traffic jam on the way home, or load shedding right in the middle of study time. Your schedule must be able to accommodate this, so that you can adjust your studying when this happens without feeling stressed about it.

5: Take Care of Yourself

Nothing can top a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast when it comes to keeping yourself energised and focused throughout the day.

Do your best to get a full 8 hours of sleep, and keep in mind that it takes most people an average of 15 minutes to actually fall asleep once you’ve settled into bed.

Remember that screen time close to going to bed can make it difficult to sleep. Try and make sure to put away all electronics at least an hour before bed.

Take healthy snacks with your lunch, and try to carry water with you to drink, so that you can avoid pesky dehydration headaches.

6: The Best Way to Learn, is to Teach

Try and get a study group together, and learn by taking turns to teach each other. This way, you will be able to see which areas you need help with understanding, and you can ask your teacher about it in your next lesson on the subject.

7: Test Yourself with Past Papers

Another excellent way to find out where your problem areas are, is by seeing if you can answer past exam questions. This way, you can also learn how the exams will be laid out, and how to map out your time for the exam.

For example: if your exam is 2 hours long and the exam paper is divided into 4 sections and section one is multiple choice, you should need less than a half hour to complete it. But, if section three is an essay question, you may need more than a half hour to complete it.

Studying past papers will let you know the format of the exam, so you can prepare accordingly.

For more great study tips you can download our Top 12 UNISA Study Tips.

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Chloe Bydawell
Date Published: February, 8, 2022