Exams are undoubtedly one of the most stressful parts of being a student. Even if you made time to study, there’s always that frustration of forgetting something as soon as it pops up on your test. While you can’t dodge your exams, you can make sure you’ll have less of those forgetful moments. Here’s what we suggest.
1. Walk to your exam…and take the long route!
Studies show that exercising after learning something new may improve your memory recall. That’s some great motivation to hit the gym after class! If anything, leave a little bit early and walk to your exam—and take the scenic route while you’re at it!
2. Use diagrams.
Sometimes a visual is all it takes to jolt your memory. Can the material you’re studying be arranged into a diagram or graph? If so, try it out so that you can understand how everything you’re learning connects. When you can actually grasp the concept, you’ll have an easier time remembering it.
3. Study out loud and with a friend.
Reviewing your study material out loud helps you retain information better than just silently reading your notes. We get it—it feels kind of silly talking to yourself. How about having a friend quiz you instead? Not only will you be forced to verbalize the information, but practice quizzes are also attributed to strengthening memory recall. Bonus!
4. Take a break…seriously!
Taking regular study breaks doesn’t automatically mean you’re a slacker or procrastinator. Don’t be so hard on yourself! A small break here and there is actually good for your memory—your brain needs time to digest the information, after all. You can kiss those last-minute cram sessions goodbye!
5. Review your lessons ASAP.
Do you typically forget about the notes you took for class up until the time your exam starts approaching? If so, you might want to consider doing a quick review after each lesson instead. Your memory of new material decreases rapidly the longer you wait to review it, so make sure to keep it fresh in your mind immediately!
6. And review them repeatedly.
This isn’t groundbreaking news—repetition helps memory. A good, hard study session the night before an exam is helpful, but that shouldn’t be your first study session. The more you review, the better!
7. Visualize a story.
Did you know that most people remember images more than words? If it’s applicable, take the information you’re learning and turn it into a story that you can visualize in your head. This is especially helpful with more qualitative information. We have to admit—it also makes studying more fun.
8. Skip that all-nighter.
News flash—sleep is super important when it comes to processing and retaining information. Yup, those all-nighters you’ve been pulling aren’t as helpful as you thought. Instead, try studying in the evening before you go to bed.