I’m not a hardworking person. I’m not a person who studies 24/7. I don’t even think I have a huge memory capacity. And I don’t work according to a time table. I have a messy study schedule. I’m lazy. Procrastination is my middle name. But still, I could ace one of the hardest exams that a student faces in my country and got selected to medical school.
There are so many techniques and tactics that people discuss all over the internet regarding studying efficiently. But the ultimate truth is that the best way to study varies from person to person. For some people, working on a schedule is efficient, while some people, like me, have random energy spikes. And I personally believe that more than 70% of highschool students belong to this category.
This is the very first and the most important advice I give to anyone who is about to face an exam. Be confident in yourself; in your abilities, in your knowledge. Let’s say that your current level is a C plus. When you sit on the exam thinking that you are the best, that C plus automatically upgrades into a B minus.Confidence is like the best power booster. And I’m convinced that it also expands a person’s memory capacity and the productiveness.
Try to stay stress free as much as possible.
This might seem the most impossible thing to do, stress and anxiety goes hand in hand with exams. It’s highly unlikely that you will be able to avoid stress. But you can definitely manage it. What I did was, working on short time slots, like one hour or two hours. Studying for a long period of time can be very strenuous on the head and it negatively affects on effectiveness. Change of space can be very beneficial for stress management. Try not to work on a certain place for more than 2 hours. Take short breaks as much as possible.
Go for a walk, play with your pets, read a book etc.
But stay away from devices when you spend your break time, specifically your mobile phone.
Don’t stick to a time table. Make a to-do list.
Making a study time table is recommended by almost every one. But to me, personally, it is one of the most unsuccessful techniques. It is extremely hard to stick to a time table. And it causes even more stress when you were not able to follow the schedule, due to a change of plans. And the missed works would be piling in your head, without a reserved time to complete them.
So don’t work according to a time table if you are someone who is not good with following a strict schedule. Instead make a to-do list. Write down the things you need to get done before a certain deadline.
For example, ‘I need to read 4 chapters of biology. And do 60 chemistry mcqs within a week’
And then you can do them whenever you can, you don’t have to reserve a specific time for that. All you have to do is get it done before the deadline you assigned for it. This gives you so much time to laze around and it would lessen the tension in your head too. And in the end you will get your stuff done. It’s a win to win situation.
No matter how tough it gets, don’t think for a second that you are going to mess up. Maybe you studied the whole syllabus. Maybe you studied 1/10 of it. It doesn’t really matter. Always imagine that you are going to ace this exam. Before you even read the paper, tell yourself that this is the easiest exam you have faced. What matters is being confident about what you know. Appreciate yourself. Focus on what you have done, not what you haven’t done.
Stay relaxed. You are going to be ok. Even if you failed this, it’s not the end of the world. Do your best. Do this for yourself. Not for anyone else. Maybe you won’t be able to get an A+. But you sure will be able to exceed your potential.