My Top Five Study Tips for Exams

Many students have, in their lifetimes, done an "all-nighter", or "burned the midnight oil". However, it is widely accepted that this study method is counterproductive. According to neuroscientific research, staying up the whole night can lead to a 30% decrease in brain function. To avoid this situation, I have summarised below my top five study tips for exams:

  1. Focus on health and well-being

When exam season approaches, there never seems to be enough time for basic tasks like sleeping and exercising. Sleeping for a sufficient amount of time is critical for improving memory, mood, and energy, all of which are needed to perform at one’s best during exams. Studies have reported that high school students need at least 8-10 hours of sleep every night.

Having a healthy diet is also essential, not only during exam season but also throughout everyday life. Choose to eat nutritious foods such as nuts and other superfoods to enhance concentration and improve memory.  

Taking regular breaks during long study sessions will help one to be more productive while studying. Even taking a short, one-minute walk can help to clear one’s mind and focus when concentrating on the task at hand.

Enjoying the sunshine is imperative, as vitamin D is vital for a healthy brain.

  1. Improve your study environment

 Having a clean, organised, and comfortable study environment with no distractions is essential for achieving a productive study session. Remove non-study related objects such as phones, and turn off applications like social media which could cause distractions.

  1. Overcome procrastination  

 Most of the time, procrastination creeps in because one has trouble beginning a task, either because it’s too difficult or tedious. An effective method to overcome this problem is to break down the task into small, achievable steps. Always remember: aim for starting, not perfection, as anything is better than nothing. If you are struggling with something, it is beneficial to ask teachers or peers for help.

  1. Discover your study method

 Methods of study, when to study, and where to study differ from person to person. Some people prefer to work in the morning, while others may work better at night. This comes down to personal preference and one’s experience of which time works better for them. Different study techniques work for different people. For example, auditory learners prefer to learn by listening while visual learners would rather look at diagrams. 

  1. Keep revising

 A key factor to performing well during exams is doing consistent revision. Continually reviewing will assist in understanding concepts better, and it also helps to avoid the stress of last-minute cramming.

 With exams on the horizon, I wish all students the very best, and I hope that these suggestions support both their health and well-being and their academic results!

 By Isabelle, Year 10, YCIS Pudong Secondary.

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