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Our top 10 tips to help you prepare for your exams

STUDY BUDDY: This guide will take you through the tips in helping you prepare for your exams.

1. Make a plan (and stick to it!)

Map out all the subjects you need to revise, break them down into more manageable chunks and put them into a revision timetable. Studies have shown that it’s easier to concentrate on shorter amounts of time, so we recommend revising for 30 minutes and then taking five. Also, make sure you mix up the order of the subjects, so you aren’t studying the same thing all day.

2. Don’t put it off, start early

Resist the temptation to stay in bed and check your Facebook. It’s much easier to stay motivated if you start early and stick to your revision plan. When you start early, you get more done and it gives you the boost you need to keep ongoing.

3. Practice makes perfect

One thing many students forget to do is practice their “exam technique”.  Ask your lecturers for some previous exam papers with examples of the best way to answer them. In most exams, you can still get marks even if you got the answer wrong, providing you answer the question in a clear and logical way. Knowing the right technique to use to answer the question can help you to boost your marks.

4. Find time to exercise

It’s easy to assume that in the run-up to exams, the best thing to do is just study, study, study. That’s not entirely true, starting your day with a run is a great way to kickstart your revision. Exercise increases your heart rate, making your blood circulate faster and allowing more oxygen to get to your brain. Physical activity is also a great way to relieve stress – just what the doctor ordered!

5. Enjoy yourself

Preparing for exams and enjoying yourself aren’t normally things we put together. It’s really important though that after a day of study you reward yourself with something you enjoy. Meet up with friends, catch a movie or read a book – just avoid enjoying yourself too much!

6. Big, bold and beautiful

There’s no avoiding the fact that revising can be a bit dull, but that doesn’t mean your revision notes have to be. Studies have shown that writing out notes by hand, using colours and making key information stand out on the page all help you to retain information. In order to ensure your notes are effective, keep them nice and concise and don’t hesitate to write the same things down more than once – it all helps.

7. Make it a social

Now this one is tricky… revising with friends is a great thing to do as it allows you to help each other out on things you don’t understand and stops you from feeling bored. The problem is, its very easy to get distracted away for your revision when your friends are around. Give it a go but remember, if you’re getting off-topic, it might be better to revise alone. We would recommend mixing it up and having days where you revise alone and a few days were to revise with friends.

8. Revise as you go

It’s really easy to leave a lecture and never look at your notes again until a few weeks before the exam. Make your life a little easier during exam season and revise as you go. At the end of your lectures, if there is anything you don’t understand, ask your lecturer. It’s much better to get help up front and figure things out with your lecturer during term time than it is go it alone during study leave.

9. Don’t forget to eat

It may sound pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people skip meals when they’re revising. Make sure that you never skip a meal and that those meals are healthy. Some foods that are known to improve memory and concentration are:  

  • Fatty fish
  • Fruits and berries
  • Pumpkin seeds and nuts

10. Write, read and re-read your notes

As you study, write notes, leave it a while and then read them, leave it another while and then re-read them. The more you read and write around the subject, the easier it will be to recall during your exam. Just remember though, the key to studying is understanding the subject, not just being able to regurgitate facts and figures.

Here’s our recommended study plan, so why not give it a go? Remember, everyone is different, so try it out and see what works for you.

For more information please contact: rsm.com.au/careers