1. EAT DARK CHOCOLATE
Yes, it’s maybe not as sugary sweet and creamy as you’d like… But get used to it: dark chocolate is the good stuff when it comes to feeding your brain. Studies have shown that eating dark chocolate can help you focus more and improve your memory (it contains stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine) – in our eyes, that’s a bonus! (Just don’t eat the whole slab at once: a block or two will do…)
2. GOOGLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Don’t know? Just ask! You don’t always have to rely on the classroom materials given to you for the whole source of truth. You have so much information, tools and resources at your fingertips online that you’d be crazy not to use it. Whatever you’re looking for, we can guarantee there is something out there on web to help you answer it. But, just be sure to check the reliability of the source if you need something to be precise and accurate.
3. READ OUT LOUD
When you’ve finished writing up an assignment, answering a short question or even trying to determine the correct multiple choice answer, say it out loud! Hearing spoken words will give you a much better idea of how your copy flows and if there are any noticeable errors that you won’t pick up on when just “reading” in your head. You’ll discover all your mistakes and which sentences are too long, so give it a go!
4. MAKE NOTES
Yep, grab a pen and a notepad – we are pushing old school. Believe it or not, but jotting stuff down on paper instead of typing it helps you remember it better! If you like your notes being typed up, do both. Writing it down on paper and then doing it again online will really help you store that information in your brain, perfect to use for that upcoming test.
Much like google, take advantage of YouTube and all its random content about basically everything. Enjoy wasting your first 15 mins on some non-relevant videos, but then buckle down and search for content and tutorials on your subjects and courses. YouTube can be a great resource for those who prefer listening and watching, over reading solid pages of writing.
6. CREATE A STUDY PLAN
Sounds painful, but you’ll thank yourself later! Draft a study plan – and stick to it. If you need some help setting one up, we’ve got you sorted with some easy examples here
. If you work better with longer break times or with more breaks for shorter periods, do it. Create a method that works best for you and will help you pass those exams.
7. TAKE A NAP
Probably the most important – and our favourite. Naps are helpful and if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, tell them you’re still going for a nap. It helps your brain to refresh, re-energise and retain all the information you have just tried to process. So, if it’s going to help your memory’s performance, get napping!
8. ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
This will basically keep you honest. Having a regular routine will help you study more and keep you focused. This is where your study plan comes in handy, because you can visually see where you need to take breaks and what you like doing to keep yourself motivated. It could be going for a walk, going to the gym, watching a Netflix episode, catching up with a friend, taking a nap, eating a snack, scrolling on social media or playing with your pet – whatever it is, stick to it and make sure you don’t cram everything into the last second! Try sticking to the 50/20/50 rule: 50 minutes study, 20 minutes rest and then study for 50 minutes more.
9. GET COMFY
To get yourself in the proper zone (with zero reason for distraction), get yourself comfortable. To you, this might mean having a super clean space around you and having your study area tidy, or it could be the complete opposite, where chaos is your thing (or an organised mess), where only you get it, you know where your notes are and this is what helps you function at your peak. Other little things that may improve your comfort is having some light snacks, refreshment (drink water!) and a comfortable chair. Whatever it might be, manage it your way.
Yeah, you’ve heard it before: practice makes perfect! So, don’t ignore it. Our favourite little tip is to whip out those past papers or ask a friend who’s completed it before you for their assignment. Practising old papers is a proven technique that works – so why try and reinvent the wheel? Give it a go, again and again, and before you know it you’ll be an absolute pro.
Wondering what you should do with your life? Start by discovering your natural skills. Skillsroad's free Career Quiz will help you identify your primary and secondary skills sets, and set you up with potential career paths you may enjoy, plus loads more info on how to get started. Click below to discover your future!