Study Habits and Time Management: Exam and Test Preparation

snerfuStarred Page By snerfu, 24th Jun 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Personal Development>Improving Potential

Organize time to study better. Plan your studies in line with an approach and keep working towards a fixed goal. You can answer questions in your examination and test papers easily.

Study Habits

Prepare approach from beginning onward. Time lost is gone forever you have to find it somewhere, begin to study from Day One. Focus is on complete preparedness. Use of time management while studying, helps proportion available time in better manner.

Take small steps to achieve success.

a) Pay attention in class
b) Prepare notes
c) Go through and complete homework assignments
d) Review study material every day
Use family members as sounding board, it will open out discussions and explain portions of answer to them, releasing tension built up. It is not necessary for them to understand fully what they heard, but it is better if they do.

Group studies advantages

Group studies take away tension because of involvement and let a person dwell more easily on his or her topic. For this reason, one should try to do group studies on topics that are difficult.

Group study is better during initial phases. This kind of discussion will give an insight about difficult portions, important topics and sources for study material.

When confronting tension, remember to breathe deeply and keep reminding that nothing unexpected will happen since you have skill necessary to overcome any challenge.

If any elder were willing to take part in group discussions, it would help go through study material faster.

Good nutritious food is one that supplies energy in slow-release manner. These include fish, nuts, fruits, seeds, berries and yoghurt. Sugar based products will spike energy; it will crash within half an hour and create more difficulty adjusting to that. Instead, opt for whole-grain bread and oat biscuits.

Taking short walks is good unless there are too many distractions on your way. In that case, doing some stretching exercises on balcony could be an answer.

Exercising releases tensions and helps to improve concentration. Therefore, it might be good idea to do some light exercising everyday.

Be energetic and avoid negative sentiments

• Do not be put off by talk among friends. Remember that they are also feeling the strain and will probably say things they do not mean.
• At the same time beware of overconfidence it may prove damaging. When overconfident, think back about tough portions and revise those answers again.
• Taking part in an examination is an exciting experience and do remember that all family members too feel the tension. Sharing experiences with them will make them be more encouraging.
• Use energy drinks and food supplements to revitalize body. Though one does not feel it, this is the time when body is hyperactive and needs plenty of right stuff to keep it going smoothly.

Study Time

• Beware of slacking off, there is no rest time for those who are studying, it is continuous process. When you get an urge to stop or relax for a moment, it is time to press on for another minute at least.
• Just before a test, teacher will be giving hints and pointers regarding methods of answering and what one should expect. Try to meet them before test.
• Do not ever hurry having spent so much time preparing to face test. It is good to wait a minute or so more. Time management while studying is as much about relaxing as it is about efficiency.
• Try to pace yourself evenly throughout this test. With extra time, make corrections where necessary. Remember to think without stress, it will help complete test faster.
• Keep a watch on time; if on schedule, you should have finished 10 questions of 40-question examination within 20 minutes if total time allotted was 90 minutes. Extra 10 minutes is for revision.
• Attempt all questions, do ones known best first. Good answers will give boost to rest of answer paper.
• Involve friends and family members. Answer quiz on topics you have trouble remembering.
• Be well ahead in time for both class and test. Do not keep cramming until last instant. It is nice to be relaxed.
• Go to bathroom and refresh before test. It will make you feel better.
• Study quality matters too. When preparing, do not sit and study right through an entire night. This kind of preparation will not help to retain much. Brain will retain material read in morning for a longer period.

Study Quality

o It is best not to involve family members in a study process initially. Academicians present in your family can give better help.
o Most important part of study is that matter learnt in class. This will remain for a long time. Do review to see how much you understood and how much is in the dark.
o Playing music might help people having some musical orientation. There are those who like loud blaring music, but try to avoid it if possible. Soft music could provide a slight distraction that brain needs to keep going on track. It has soothing effect that nullifies external distractions.
o Being prepared for test also means eating well before it. Food gives energy for body and keeps brain ticking. Too less or too much food will lead to sleepiness.
o Remember brain also needs short breaks. Brain does not tire but thought processes reach saturation soon. Intersperse study sessions with refreshing breaks, it will get thoughts streamlined again.
o Keep track of things done by marking time. This is useful and productive.
o Record time taken for study, and realize progress made in real time. It also serves as reference chart for subsequent studies; you already know long your study period will be.
o Remember to cover all topics until end and mark progress with charts or diagrams. Then rush through entire thing again. Change present will give an indication of actual work done.

Time Management while Studying

• Apart from study time, keep time aside for relaxation, and try to synchronize it with elders or study groups. Spend time with friends playing games or discussing progress. Another alternative is to chat up parents or read some good books. Do not let outside world creep in on studies.
• Eat nourishing food; brain needs to replenish its energy source for working properly. Avoid foods that destroy, fatty foods with too much oil or spicy food will make metabolism overactive.
• More than rushing through entire notes and review material, it is important to understand those areas where no ready answers exist. Mark these areas and concentrate on solving them before moving on to next topic.
• One way to recognize problem areas is to identify those topics that let distractions creep in when studying. This means that you are not able to concentrate on that topic fully.
• Sleep is important aspect of studies. During sleep, brain will absorb everything that studied. It is vital to give brain this small amount of time.
• When they give question paper, read through to end and get a feel. Decide which questions to answer first; it will give confidence to answer other questions.
• Most of all do not spend too much time in between questions. Move on to next, do not hesitate trying to decide whether this question feels easier compared to that one.
• One must have some doubts always. It helps to perform better. Go over schedule and progress chart, it will give bearing on next course of action.
• Be comfortable in study routine; keep all items of study within reach. Eliminate games, toys and snacks from immediate vicinity.
• Learn to recognize speed of thought process while studying. Once this is established, it is easy to recognize those areas when you are not up to speed.
• Do not spend too much time arranging books spend more time reading them.
• Slow down and do review before changing topics. Everyone needs different comfort zone when changing subject.
• Drink water right through entire process. Water keeps body cool and is vital for metabolic activity. Plenty of fluids are lost under exertion or when brain is overactive.

Organization of Study Matter

a) When doing reviews, there are points your instructor will make regarding way to approach homework. Think about reason for this and then begin study.
b) Always make notes since this will keep mind clear. Discuss unclear points with instructor.
c) Organization of study matter helps enormously. Arrange books in an order of study.
d) Organize study space into zones of concentration, study and dissipation. This means that you have light zone, dark areas and comfort zones classified. It is place where you keep books, night lamp and clear area where you study.
e) For complicated material, makes sketches of main points. Break out entire information into small bits. This will also help to make quick references from time to time.
f) Use flash cards to keep material handy. It helps to go through points fast without having to pull out all books and notes.
g) Include short gaps in study habits. Break study preparation time into short stretches of week or ten days each. Keep two-day revision gap between these.
h) To prepare for study, make outlines of topics for study in each subject. Run check with past question paper models to see which questions or topics repeat every time.
i) Organize note taking to include question generation and keyword generation related to topic. Find relevance of lecture using outlines. If lecturer seems too frivolous, it is obvious that something important is missing.
j) When you read study material, try to fix pattern of outline of lecture there. It helps develop perspective and thereby develop better study pattern.
k) Use diagrammatic representation for progress made. Do comparisons with friends, this will help identify problem areas.
l) Keep sketches of topics ready, main points all illustrated by dolls and trees, or boxes and dashes, so that brain sees whole pictures at once and do not have to read every line and point to understand the subject.
m) Keep notes of old exams; if possible file papers together for final preparation. These will give pointers regarding weak areas, strong zones and true extent of examination.
n) Try to solve old papers again. See if brain retains all material that you were conversant with at time of that examination. This kind of preparation will help cover more material in a shorter time.
o) Doing old test papers again reinforces thought process and so make corrections first if there are any required. Then assimilate correct answer.
p) Every topic involves one main idea or collection of ideas. It is also about presentation and style. Try to develop your own style of presenting ideas.
q) Organize study groups with common purpose, and try to attain goal. This might be trying to cover five topics within evening or doing an analysis of difficult topic with at least two versions. If everyone in group is trying, then topic will become very clear to everyone who is present.

Relaxing and Planning for Day of Examination

Spend some time planning for day of examination. This means thinking out process of writing examination mentally. This toughens up stance towards examination and helps tackle tough questions with more confidence.

When planning for exam day, think about shortest way to reach place. Think about transport and think about making alternative arrangements for any foreseeable misadventures.

Spend time thinking about previous examinations, if any, and compare that feeling. It gives additional confidence.

Relax completely before an examination. A tensed up brain will not output answers as quickly as one that is relaxed. So, sleep well on night before test.

If tests take place continuously, do not spend too much time in post mortem. Previous test is over, new one is more important. Orient yourself for new test by using books or flash cards.
At least 8 hours of daily sleep is required, but people do get by on 3 hours also. Do not overdo it as this may result in complete breakdown.

Remember to set alarm on night before. Ask your parents to check up too.
Most of all, everyone need luck. Good Luck and Fare thee well.

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author avatar snerfu
Bachelor, Christian, 53, settled in Madurai, India, like to watch football and tennis on TV. I also have occasional walks but try to read the Bible daily. For amusement, I read the newspaper.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th Jun 2014 (#)

Again, great basics. I was a scholarship student at university. One the first day of class each semester, I passed around a sheet of paper explaining that I was a serious student interested in forming a study group. Students appreciated my forwardness; they wanted to join a group but didn't know how to ask. We would divide up reading, tackle research questions. Later, those that were serious we stayed connected. We took several classes together and being able to divide and conquer the reading and the research allowed all of us to have the time for the rest of our lives. And we ALL stayed on honor roll throughout university. It can be done!!
Anyway, great tips!!

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author avatar snerfu
25th Jun 2014 (#)

I love your enthusiasm it makes everything worthwhile. Truly the school days and days at the university are unforgettable. Thanks for the read up Phyl.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
27th Jun 2014 (#)

Came back to see who else commented. I am the only one? Hopefully not for long.
Would you care if I wrote an article about you and featured some of my favorite articles? I really think more people should see your stuff. ;)

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author avatar snerfu
27th Jun 2014 (#)

Ha ha Phyl, you really are so enterprising. I do not mind if you mention me as long as it not too bad. Good luck with your writing.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
27th Jun 2014 (#)

Cool. I hope you'll like it. ;)

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author avatar snerfu
28th Jun 2014 (#)

Sure thing Phyl, I look forward to it.

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