Hey, it's Caitlyn. I've only gone through exams once. Before that, I'd never studied, and I almost always had gotten top marks in any class. I was often asked what my studying strategies are, and I would just spout out some textbook answer. It had seemed that I was the perfect student, but in reality, like many other things, that was just a show. I'd play video games or watch Netflix and procrastinate doing the simplest tasks for school. I'd leave my homework until 15 minutes before I had to leave for school. I've almost always understood everything once it was taught, and I could put information together in my head. This was all fine and dandy, until high school. I entered a Canadian grade 9 (year 10 in the UK), and all of my habits stayed the same. I only did homework when it was marked, and most of the time, it wasn't. I had literally no motivation to do anything school related - ever.
While my friends were doing homework, I'd be out, going to Starbucks with people who had the same destructive habits that I did. I enjoyed this. I mean, my A average didn't mind. That all changed this year when January rolled around, bearing my first ever four day exam period. Weeks before the actual exams, my friends were writing out their notes. I, being naïve as I was, did a couple practice questions and looked at some verb conjugations a total of once. Exams happened, and I didn’t do well at all. Here are some things that I truly wish I’d done to improve my grades.
-Before you start, warm up your brain. Do some stretches, put on comfortable clothes, have a snack, prepare some water to have while you work. Being comfortable in your environment will help you concentrate longer.
If you’re a visual/ linguistic learner:
-Rewrite your notes. Colour code titles, definitions, subtitles, and important pieces of information. Make sure that if your teacher gives out an outline, you use it as a checklist to make sure you aren’t missing anything.
If you’re an auditory learner:
-I recommend video game music for studying purposes. It’s meant to fill the space while you’re concentrating on something else. Artistic video games such as Journey or Ori and the Blind Forest have amazing soundtracks that are definitely my number one choice for this purpose.
-Record yourself saying your notes. Most phones come with a voice memo app, and both hearing yourself aloud and being able to listen to those notes will definitely increase memorability for you.
If you’re a natural learner:
-If it’s nice enough for you, try to study outside. If not, go for quick walks whenever you decide to take a break. That should give you enough fresh air to go and continue revising for your exams.
All of these are things that I’ve found have worked for me o my friends in the past, but they may not work for everybody. Have a good day and good luck on any approaching tests/ exams!
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