Exam Preparation Tips

It’s coming up to that dreaded time of the year. Once the Christmas talk begins, attentions turn to the looming exams that await thousands of students in GMIT. Don’t be caught out this time around, give yourself the best chance of passing with these top study tips, and try not to let the stress get to you! Remember: you’ve got this.

Give yourself enough time to study

Don’t leave it until the last minute. While some students do seem to thrive on last-minute cramming, it’s widely accepted that (for most of us) this is not the best way to approach an exam. To help sort out your time management, set up a timetable for your study. Write down how many exams you have and the days on which you have to sit them. Then organise your study accordingly. You may want to give some exams more study time than others, so find a balance that you feel comfortable with. It seems simple but this is the best way to start!

Organize your study space

Make sure you have enough space to spread your books and notes out. Have you got enough light? Is your chair comfortable? Are your distractions out of sight? Make use of the library of course but you will need a space at home too.

Try and get rid of all distractions, and make sure you feel as comfortable and able to focus as possible. For some people, this may mean almost complete silence, for others, background music helps. Some of us need everything completely tidy and organised in order to concentrate, while others thrive in a more cluttered environment. Think about what works for you, and take the time to get it right.

Use flow charts and diagrams

Visual aids can be really helpful when revising. At the start of a topic, challenge yourself to write down everything you already know about a topic – and then highlight where the gaps lie. Closer to the exam, condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams. Getting your ideas down in this brief format can then help you to quickly recall everything you need to know during the exam.

Practice on old exams

One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice taking past versions. This helps you get used to the format of the questions, and – if you time yourself – can also be good practice for making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section.

Organise study groups with friends

Get together with friends for a study session. You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. As long as you make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.

Take regular breaks

While you may think it’s best to study for as many hours as possible, this can actually be counterproductive. If you were training for a marathon, you wouldn’t try and run 24 hours a day. Likewise, studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, taking regular breaks really helps.

Everyone’s different, so develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, start early before taking a break at lunchtime. Or, if you’re more productive at night time, take a larger break earlier on so you’re ready to settle down come evening.

Make sure to involve some sort of exercising, a class in our gym the Kingfisher Renmore would be the perfect break for example!

Drink plenty of water

As a final tip, remember that being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. Make sure you keep drinking plenty of water throughout your revision, and also on the exam day.

Also, remember that we’re here for you if you need anything. You can pop down, call us or send any of our SU Officers an email!

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