Check out our 7 tips below for ways to make the best use of your study time.
1. Engage with the material
Expert tutor Murray Morrison has advice on how to break the traditional pattern of monotonous study: “Old-fashioned techniques like ‘copy, cover, repeat’, or sitting numerous practice papers are not nearly as effective as people think”. He recommends that students “don’t use a highlighter to mark the things you don’t know; use a pencil to cross out the things you do know. This builds positive feedback and a sense of achievement as you cross things off, rather than highlighting your gaps.”
2. Vary your routine
Using flash cards can be very beneficial – your knowledge is reinforced as you write them and they are a great way to revise things like definitions.
Be the Teacher: A highly effective way of seeing if your knowledge of a topic is exam-ready is to “teach” it to your parent, brother, sister or even your cat! It may seem strange at first, but as Murray Morrison says: “If you can explain it to someone, if you can tell that story, you can explain it to the examiner”
3. No distractions
Choose a quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted to study in. Put your phone in another room. Difficult, we know, but this is important if you are to avoid wasting valuable hours of study on WhatsApp or Facebook. You can check your phone when you take a break.
4. Fresh air & exercise
Studies have shown that giving up exercise or sport because you are too busy studying is a terrible idea: exercise has a hugely beneficial effect on the brain. Consider exercise an integral part of both your relaxation and your study plan.
5. Avoid late night or all-night study
Your brain cannot retain information effectively when it is tired. It is also important to wind down between finishing study and sleep.
6. Manage stress to your advantage
Stress is a perfectly normal physiological response when undertaking a major exam. Managed properly, it can maximise your examination performance. Allowed to run out of control, stress can paralyse your capacity to perform well. Firstly, talking to those you trust about how you are feeling helps reduce stress. Simple breathing techniques can also help you to relax.
7. Get a sense of control
It is never too late to begin to seriously prepare for the exams. Get a revision plan in place and stick to it.
The Dublin School of Grinds is running six-hour, intensive Crash Courses at the end of May and the beginning of June. These courses give students the best possible advantage as they prepare for the all-important State Examinations. For more details and to book, click here.