As the summer holidays are rapidly arriving – exams and stress are also coming closer. Students will be overwhelmed by the number of deadlines that come their way. To ensure that those deadlines and exams won’t turn into a nightmare, I hereby collected some study tips, to turn your last-minute study session into a success. Dramatic intro over.
#1 Rewrite the most important info
Okay, so let’s start with a basic. Rewriting your papers can be a real lifesaver. Studies show that writing something is the equivalent to reading it for about seven times, so it’s worth it and consumes less time. Anyways, some things have to be done right.
Firstly, don’t rewrite the exact same sentence. By doing this, you might switch to “auto-mode” after a few sentences, and there won’t be a benefit coming from it. If you write the information down in your own words, instead, you’re rethinking it, and you’ll very likely remember a lot afterwards.
Also, since those are last minute tips – if you don’t have time to rewrite everything – only write the most essential info, create a timeline, mind map, or a little lexicon containing the most important terms.
#2 Watch youtube videos
This tip is not as basic as the first one, but it works wonders (at least for me). Whenever I stumble upon a new topic, I don’t seem to understand I won’t spend too much time thinking or complaining. Instead, I watch an informative YouTube video.
This one saves you a lot of frustrating time you could’ve spent learning or doing other things. Of course, there won’t always be a video for exactly your matter, but if you watch ones about the basics, you can then continue learning and will more likely understand your topic.
#3 Change your thinking
This one is more of a psychological tip than a practical one, but it works wonders for me. Whenever I don’t feel motivated, or just overwhelmed by the quantity of what I have to learn, I like to think of me as the teacher instead of the student.
Instead of trying to force everything in my head, I will read through my papers, think about possible questions and most importantly think about how I could explain the topics to other people. By thinking that way, you will get a more in-depth view of the subject and understand it instead of just leaning it by heart.
You can even offer other classmates, that may still be stuck, to explain it to them and will that way also practice explaining it during your exam.
#4 Use a timer
I was never a fan of timers. I thought that as soon as I am concentrated, I don’t want a timer to tell me to take a break. However, since I’ve tried a Pomodoro timer app, I’m completely in love with it. And I can assure you that it definitely increases my productivity.
The app I use is called “focus keeper” and will alert you to take 5 min breaks after every 25-minute study session. After every 4-hour session, there will be a long, 25-minute break.
Though it sounds distracting, the app helps you with learning. As soon as the timer starts, I force myself to do anything. Even when I don’t know how to start, I will mostly start by rewriting something or reading.
Time goes by really fast, and after 25 minutes, I do whatever I usually want to do during my study sessions. (Clean my room, go to the toilet, get a coffee and so on). That way I won’t be distracted while studying because I’ll have to wait until my break starts to do other things.
Another app I just recently downloaded would be Forest. This one doesn’t only set a timer, but also makes sure you won’t get distracted by your phone.
#5 Learn on the go
This tip is pretty helpful when you aren’t into learning in the first place. When getting things done is hard for you, make sure to learn on the go. You can use a ton of different strategies for this.
One would be to read through your documents whenever you are on the train, bus or similar. Of course, that’s not always enough, so whenever there are specific terms, formulas or information I want to remember, I write them down on some sheets of paper and add them to my toilet door, near my bed, or desk area.
Add them to some places, you spend most of your day at, and you will read through them whenever you’re there. That way you’ll learn unconsciously. You can also set it as a phone or desktop wallpaper if you look at your devices often.
Another way to learn when you’re busy is to download a flashcard app. This one is especially helpful for facts or vocabulary. I love to use Quizlet. I create a new flashcard set when I’m at home, or look if the one I need already exists. Then, when I’m out, I can revise on the bus, train or while waiting for someone.
I hope some of the tips were helpful and I’d love to read your suggestions in the comments! If you have any particular topics you want me to cover, please leave a comment!