Study tips to help study smart

With exams looming for many students stress levels are rising and panic may be setting in. So we have put together some study tips to help study smart and ace those exams.

Collate all the notes you have made in class into one folder for each subject. Give your locker, bag and study area a clean out so you don’t miss anything. Having an organised area to study in will help you to stay calm and focused.

Read through the notes and try to pick out the important information and distill them into shorter versions that can be scanned quickly before an exam. Use this technique for your books too. If you can summarise a chapter into a page it enables you to understand what is relevant and important. This is a great technique to use from day one of secondary school. Summarise a chapter then work at building it out again into longer notes. It focuses you to pick out important information and building it out again is the repetition that could trigger your memory when you need to remember facts in exams.

Create a study plan/timetable and stick to it. Decide how much time you have to study each day and break it down into time slots for each subject. Build in time for breaks between subjects, where you can get up and walk away from your study area.

Take regular breaks from studying. Your brain can only handle so much information in one go and you need to get up, walk around and have a break.

Turn off the mobile and save it for study breaks. Your mobile is perhaps your biggest distraction. We just can’t help ourselves having a look if it is close by to see what we are missing out on. Even if your phone is on silent, it will still be distracting. So put it away or turn it off until you have a break.

Use past exam papers as part of your study. Past papers are an indication of what knowledge the examiner will be looking for. Study the marking schemes on past papers to understand where you can pick up marks. And using past exam papers ensures you will have an idea of the layout of the paper before you sit the exam. Online study companies such as Studyclix allow you to take past papers online and see what marks you would have achieved if it had been a real exam.

Use your mock papers too. Get them out and study the marks to see where you came up short. I know the same questions/topics may not come up in the actual exam, but you can see where you need improvement.

Spend some time with friends and other students dissecting past exam papers to get their perspective too. And remember to talk to your teacher if there is anything you feel unsure about.

Now is not the time to burn the midnight oil. Try and keep your sleep patterns and diet as they have always been. Your body and brain needs good food and sleep to restore and ensure you are energised for the task ahead.

Best of luck to all students sitting exams this year. Check out our tips to avoid exam stress and exam techniques on


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