Between the sleep deprivation, the anxiety, and the feeling that your future career counts on you doing well on exams, it’s needless to say that exam time is tough.
Not to mention how distracting everything turns out to be. For example, a break to watch an episode of any TV show suddenly turns into a TV binge and POOF! Half the day is gone. During this time of the year, you want to do everything but study—especially since the end is near. Summer and freedom is at your finger tips and your motivation to do well has been long gone. (Let’s be honest, it’s disappeared around Reading Week, right?)
While there is nothing that will take away hating studying and the stress that comes with it, there are a couple of things that can make study sessions more efficient. Being productive is always nice especially when you feel more productive and have rightly earned that right to a break.
1) Listen to music
This may not help everyone, because sometimes some people get carry away with singing a long to the music and can’t concentrate on their notes. However, if music is playing at very low volume levels, it can help increase energy levels. Sometimes, listening to instrumental helps works better. I don’t suggest listening to catchy or upbeat music as study music should be slow and soothing. Think Ida Maria, Ingrid Michaelson or John Mayer.
Chewing tends to help people focus, which is why snacking is a good idea when you’re studying (despite the fact it helped you gain that freshman 15). Maybe opt for healthier alternatives such as nut mix, fruit, or baked chips if you really want something salty.
3) Chew Gum
There are studies that prove that chewing gum is beneficial while hitting the books. I personally go through four packs while I study. Chewing helps focus, and there are a lot of low-cal options.
4) Take breaks
Don’t burn yourself out. When it becomes too much and all the words on a page become a blur, it’s time to take a break. Time your break and make sure your they’re not too short or too long. Fifteen minutes won’t do anything, but an hour is too much. Use your break and go for a walk, or watch an episode (one episode, not a season) of a show. Normally it’s a good idea to take a lunch break and watch the episode then (multi-tasking!).
Exercise is a stress reliever and will help you feel less panicked and less anxious about studying. Start your morning off with a run and follow up with studying for an effective study session. We all complain we stress eat, and this is the perfect way to keep you from that. Or if it doesn’t, at least you’ll be able to burn off what you just munched on.
6) Rewrite your notes
Find an empty notebook and start rewriting your notes. It’ll help as you’ll be reading the material, processing it, then processing it again when you copy it down. You’ll be able to recall the information when you look at all the notes you wrote. It’s always important to read the notes you took when your done. That way you are reading over everything twice. Then, you can keep re-reading some notes or re-write some of them if you feel it’s necessary.
7) Hot drinks
It may sound silly, but hot drinks are relaxing. They also have caffeine that’ll help keep you awake. Sitting down with a coffee or tea with your open notebook will help you feel relaxed and ready to tackle your notes.
8) Flash Cards
These work really well when you need to memorize things. With flash cards you can study on the go, and have other people test you—which this is a nice change from being locked up in a room alone with all your notes.