Do you sometimes wonder how some students do it? They work hard, support their family members at home, have time for hobbies, and still get the top results during exams. You too can achieve this, by adopting some of their study habits:
They draw up a study plan well in advance:
Smart students know that planning their study schedule is an essential part of their exam preparation. They know that last-minute planning and studying will only lead to stress, which is the last thing you want to experience right before an exam.
Planet of Success talks about creating a “study game plan” so that you can schedule your study sessions better. Here are some of the tips they give:
- Write down the daily goals you want to achieve while preparing for your exams.
- Use a “detailed to-do list” to help you focus on what’s most important.
(You can read the rest of their tips here.)
They are active readers throughout their studies:
Being an active reader is an important part of the learning and studying process. Smart students understand that active reading allows them to engage with the content so that they can get a better understanding of their work.
If you would like to become an active reader, we suggest that you start actively reading your notes, textbooks, and other study material from the beginning of your course. This way, you will save time and alleviate some of the pressure when it comes to exams. To make sure you are actively reading, you could:
- Highlight the important parts as you read
- Make notes on the side of the text, and challenge the content by asking questions
- Test yourself by rewriting what you have read in your own words
They make summaries of their work:
Making use of summaries is one of the most effective ways to understand your work and to prepare for exams. If you would like some tips on how to make effective summaries, you can read the following article:
They use a study method that they feel comfortable with:
Smart students know which study methods work for them. Some people prefer using key cards, some people prefer colour coding their notes, some people prefer recording themselves, and some people prefer visuals or diagrams.
In order to study in the smartest way possible, you have to find out what study method you prefer.
They take regular study breaks:
Smart students schedule their study sessions so that they have regular breaks in between sessions.
Taking breaks during your studies enhances your productivity and overall concentration. It might seem like you are getting a lot done if you sit at your study desk for 5 hours at a time, but research proves otherwise. MIT says that “Generally, studying in one-hour blocks is most effective (50 minutes of study with a ten-minute break). Shorter periods can be fine for studying notes and memorizing materials, but longer periods are needed for problem-solving tasks, and writing papers.”
The two things smart students avoid doing during exam preparation are:
1 – Multi- tasking:
Smart students know that the most effective way to study and prepare for exams is to avoid multitasking when studying.
Here are some tips you can use to make sure you focus on your studies instead of multitasking:
- Don’t study near a TV
- Turn off your phone
- Close your internet browser
- Put away all books and magazines that are unrelated to your studies
2 – Pulling all-nighters:
Trying to study all night without rest will only exhaust you, so instead of trying to pull all-nighters, consider spending an hour each day on making notes, reading a chapter/module, or doing some test exercises. All of this pre-exam studying will help you prepare for the exams well in advance.
Now that you have an idea of how smart students study, you can feel confident knowing that you can prepare for your exams the right way.