Unusual Preparation Strategies for Exams: How to Pass Your Finals Without Losing Your Mind
By Space Coast Daily // January 14, 2019
One of the most challenging things for a lot of students is the act of studying. Everyone who’s been through college, or is currently attending, knows the struggle of getting yourself to study and actually maintain focus and concentration while trying to memorize hundreds of pages.
People usually develop their own studying methods and strategies, but there are few that we’ve all tried, like pulling all-nighters the night before the exam or drinking tons of coffee to keep yourself awake and focused. Bottom line, we’ve all toiled away by studying hard to keep those grades high and survive the finals.
However, we are not here to discuss the old, tedious studying methods. We’re here to look into the new and unusual ways you can start working smart and make the most out of your studying session.
So, before your next finals and exams, try these studying tips to get the best results while staying healthy, calm, quick and most importantly, sane. And, before continuing with the rest of the article, make sure to buy essays for college in case you need help, or you merely need insight on writing in general.
Be Your Own Professor
It may sound weird, but sometimes imagining to be someone/something can actually help you improve your skills and abilities in regards to what you’re pretending or imagining to be. For example, according to a Harvard study, if you pretend that you’re a superhero, and before an important task or event you strike a superhero pose, chances are you’ll perform immeasurably better.
Therefore, what you can do while studying is to try and stand as if you’re holding a class, being a professor. You can read out loud your material and try to sound as if you’re explaining a subject matter to your imaginary students.
I know this sounds weird, and maybe other people might think you’re crazy for doing this, but trust me; this strategy got me through my five-year studies, and I have benefited enormously from it.
Moreover, the method is extremely simple and useful for numerous reasons: you get to improve your stance, which adds to a psychological notion of feeling superior and better in understanding the matter; you get to listen to your own ‘explanation’ of the subject matter, and therefore, more easily and quickly memorize it.
By acting as your own professor, you will also get the necessary confidence to study, as well as increased attention span and better cognitive response to new material.
A new study, conducted by the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health shows that cognitive function improves whey standing up to learn. To some, this is yet another weird way to study, to others, this is an efficient way of staying focused and improving memorization.
The study was conducted according to research where students were given a choice to stand or to sit while learning, based on their preferences. The results of the study and the tests indicated a significant improvement in executive function and working memory capabilities in students who have decided to stand.
So, standing desks have successfully shown improved neurocognitive function while learning, but also health benefits in regards to sedentary time being directly connected to obesity.
Therefore, next time you begin with studying and preparations for exams, make sure to stand up. Of course, you won’t be standing the whole studying session, but try spending at least half of the studying time on your feet. It will surely be weird to study while standing, in the beginning, but after some time, you’ll start noticing a significant difference and improvement in your memorization and ability to focus.
Reading & Writing
So, this one is not that weird as the previous two methods. It primarily revolves around reading the material thoroughly and then taking some time to write down everything that you’ve memorized during the reading part. In this case, it is not as important to know how to write a good college essay as it usually is. If you’re dealing with hundreds of pages of complex material, try breaking it up and doing this method for each section individually.
Sound easy, right? So, all you have to do is just read out everything that you want to learn for a particular subject/exam. When you’re done with reading, try writing down all the main points you memorized first. After that, focus on elaborating each point according to what you remembered.
Once you’re done with writing, you can compare the material with what you’ve written down and see what you’ve missed or memorized incorrectly. What you need to know about this method is the fact that it takes more time than regular studying, because of the writing part.
Sometimes you’ll have to write for a long time until you’ve memorized everything. However, in the long run, you will be in control of what you’ve learned much better as the information are going into the long-term memory section.
Learning Out Loud
Learning out loud is one of those methods we all know about, but no one really practices or uses in their studying sessions. And, I do understand why; sometimes talking to yourself can seem quite weird after some time. However, learning out loud is probably one of the best ways to get a grasp of a subject matter and remember the majority of it.
When you’re learning out loud, you’re focusing mainly the observable goals and needs regarding the studying session as well as your progress during studying. The habit of narrating what you’re studying is extremely useful, especially when paired with the Reading & Writing method.
It can help you question the material, look into certain aspects more thoroughly and foster self-explaining. According to Harvard Business Review, learning out loud can also help you see new links, associations, and connections in the things that you’re learning, as well as improve your memory and ability to explain the matter by adopting new insights and skills.
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