Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Study Tips

Study tips

At this moment many people will be taking exams or preparing to take exams. I’m lucky enough to not only have had one exam this year, but to have sat this exam, meaning I have a nice, long holiday to look forward to, which gives me plenty of time to dedicate to actually posting on this blog, seeing as I’ve really neglected it whilst at university.  I thought, considering the fact that it’s exam season, that it might be nice to share a few of the things that have made studying a bit easier for me in the hopes that it will make it might be helpful in making the period slightly less unpleasant. I would like to stress that these are things that have worked for me and, therefore, might not suit everyone- we’re all different after all!

1)    Find what works for you. I’ve basically already stated this, I just thought I should reiterate it. If something helps you absorb information better or gets you motivated enough to do some solid work note it down and incorporate it into your study routine.
2)    Find which times of the day work best for you and plan to do your work then. For me, I favoured 10:00am-1:00pm and 2:00pm to 6:00pm, with the hour between 1 and 2pm being my lunch break. I didn’t always stick to these timings exactly but I found I was most productive when I worked during these times.
3)    Find an environment that works well for you and pushes you to be productive. I usually work in my bed or at my desk, but I find my desk to be uncomfortable and my bed inconvenient which made me less motivated to work. I recently switched things up and tried working in the living room, and found I got a lot more work done.
This is where I did the majority of my work for my exams, just to give you a bit of an idea. I have to be honest, I reconstructed this for the photo afterwards, hence why it's a bit thin on the ground in terms of study materials. Also, there's no coffee in the mug.

4)    Music makes the atmosphere a lot more pleasant. I know a lot of people don’t like working with music because of distractions, but for me it’s like a compromise between work and entertainment, making revision just a little more relaxing and, therefore, bearable.
5)    Drinks and snacks help too. I guess this one is obvious. For me, it has the same effect as music, in terms of making the study session more pleasurable.
6)    Write things down. For me, writing things down keeps my brain stimulated and prevents it from wandering, helping me to stay focused on what I need to learn. The majority of the revision I did this year revolved around writing things down, but I got way more done as a result.
7)    Get creative. I personally value creativity highly, and I definitely think it makes revision easier to get into, though I understand that not everyone enjoys being creative as much as I do. If you like being creative, however, I definitely think you should play around with different creative techniques to help with your studying. Make your notes colourful, draw pictures to help memorise things, create posters etc., there are loads of things you could do. I actually feel like making a post about this!
8)    Attempt some past papers. There’s nothing like applying your knowledge to actual questions that have actually answered by other students. It gives you an idea of how much you know and if there are any gaps in your knowledge that you might want to fill. If you do essay subjects making essay plans is a quick and effective way of applying your knowledge to previous exam questions as essay writing is time consuming.

9)    Don’t revise for the sake of it. I guess the purpose of revision is to make sure you digest all the information you need and are able to apply it in the exam. If you’ve done enough you’ve done enough, there’s no point in pushing yourself to do more.
10) If you're flagging don't push yourself. Take a break and enjoy it. If nothing is going in you're not going to achieve much by staring aimlessly at your work, so you might as well do something that's not work-orientated, especially as it gives your mind the opportunity to rest and reset itself.
11) Don't feel guilty for taking a break. Maybe this is just me but anytime I'm not working I feel kind of guilty. However, this guilt isn't going to make up for the work you're not doing, and you ultimately end up wasting your break if you spend it worrying about the fact you're not working. 

I hope these tips are of some use. Again, as I said, different things work for different people and these are just things that work for me. If, by some miracle, you end up finding and even reading this post and decide to try any of this (if you don't already do it), or have some great tips of your own feel free to comment or tweet me at @amandamd25

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