14 handy study hacks that will help you ace your final exams

14 handy study hacks that will help you ace your final exams

So it’s finals season once more, and if you’re currently consumed by feelings of stress and worry, try not to sweat it! We’ve got you covered with these tips and tricks that will get you past that finish line – so let’s get down to business …

1. Put on instrumental music or ambient sounds while you study

You can try A Soft Murmur, Coffitivity, or Rainy Mood for some calming sounds that will keep your focus razor-sharp.

2. Or even better: recorded lectures

You can skip over the boring parts or play it in double-time to save time.

3. Get rid of distractions using a blocker app

It’s much too easy to fall into a time-sucking black hole filled with cat videos and memes, and for that, there are some great apps that will restrict access to websites and apps for a specific amount of time, be it on your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. For Mac users, there’s SelfControl, and for Windows users, there’s Cold Turkey.

4. Pace yourself

It can seem a bit intimidating if you feel you’ve got a lot to revise, so study small sections at a time – take a brief five-minute break after finishing one section before tackling the next.

5. Figure out your ‘zone’

Some students are morning larks, while others are night owls. Some can focus better with white noise in the background, while others prefer complete silence. Try different studying techniques and times to suss out which are the most effective for you.

6. Beware the ‘Forgetting Curve’

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According to Ebbinghaus’ “Forgetting Curve“, information is lost over time when there is no attempt to reinforce it. So while studying, be sure to review what you’ve just learned every 20 minutes to help it stick.

7. Write it out

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Studies show that writing out your revision notes by hand will help you absorb and retain the information better.

8. Get creative with your notes


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If you’ve got an artistic knack, feel free to let loose with your notes! It’s often easier to recall information if they’re presented in a variety of colors or using illustrations. Even if you don’t think you’re that arty, using different colored pens and highlighters and arranging important points into a mind map helps!

9. Jog your memory with flash cards


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True and tested, flash cards can help you retain vital information. You can also try out an online interactive flash card site, such as Quizlet, which has tons of study sets. According to the site, more than 95 percent of students who learn with Quizlet improved their grades.

10. Pop some candy to stay alert

If you find your mind wandering or nodding off, chewing gum or sucking on candy while studying is said to help boost concentration and keep you awake.

11. Do practice tests

You know what they say: practice makes perfect! You can Google “site:edu [subject] exam” to find various college exams featuring questions about any particular subject.

12. Don’t neglect your beauty sleep

Be sure to get enough Z’s before your paper so you won’t fall asleep halfway through!

13. Grab a quick breakfast beforehand

You won’t do as well on your exam on an empty stomach, as your mind will likely wander towards food-related fantasies, so be sure to eat something light in the morning, like cereal or fruit. A heavy, greasy breakfast will probably make you sleepy. And don’t forget to drink a glass of water so your body is properly hydrated! According to studies, those who drink water before a test tend to think quicker and perform better than those who didn’t.

14. Get to your exam venue early

Be sure to get to the venue as early as possible so you’re calm and in the right frame of mind to take your exam, rather than being frazzled and stressed out. Before you head in, you can try jotting down just the main points to ensure you’ve got it down pat. (But be sure to leave it outside the exam hall!)

With these useful hacks, we’re sure you’ll pass with flying colors. You got this! Good luck!

Image via Unsplash

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