Don’t Attempt to Cram all Your Studying into One Session

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The most stressful time for any student is, of course, the exam period. Simply trying to pass an exam or score a good grade, while struggling to get all your other activities completed is extremely frustrating. The fact that there never seems to be enough time for everything just makes things more difficult.

Students usually tend to make their situation more complicated than it actually has to be. Face it, you’re usually procrastinating and getting distracted by the quite interesting – to put it mildly – student life, until the very last day. After that, it’s panic and hysteria to try and get everything done on time. There are ways to make the best of your studying attempts and pass your exams, while maintaining your sanity and low stress levels. Here are a few tips on how to study smart, not just hard.

Plan ahead
The key to making the most out of studying is to plan how, where and when to study. Furthermore, you must identify and set clear goals you want to reach in order to find effective ways of accomplishing them. Most students, whether in high school or college, have a tendency to cram studying into one session due to the lack of organizational and planning skills. Cramming everything in at once can cause information to mix in your head and inevitably cause confusion.

Carefully planning out your studying process will help you learn everything you need, minus the stress. Start by identifying a learning style that suits you best. See whether you learn better in groups or alone, and try to find out if you prefer studying in the morning or evening. Make a study plan based on your preferences.

Manage time
For students, managing time and daily activities can be quite a nightmare. Furthermore, it’s easy to lose track of time when focusing on too many things at once. That’s why it’s important to be consistent when it comes to studying. For example, a few hours of studying each day will help you learn a lot better than studying for twelve hours straight, the night before an exam. If you fit a few hours of studying each day into your schedule you will be able to progress much better. However, it’s important to be consistent with your daily study plan in order to get the best results. You may have to sacrifice some personal time to achieve this, but it’s for the right purpose.

Always take notes
Taking notes in class is greatly beneficial for learning the subject. Each student creates their own unique set of notes that help them learn more effectively, and many times you catch some information a professor mentions that isn’t included in textbooks. Some students neglect to take notes or simply take the opportunity to doze off during class. If you miss out on a chance to take notes, borrow them from a friend or search through websites like Thinkswap for similar study notes. The important thing is to have notes, as they will greatly aid you in learning what you need to know for an exam.

Whether you study at home, your dorm or a park, there will always be distractions. Learn how to focus on what you’re doing and tune out random things around you. Avoiding distractions altogether is almost impossible, so choose a place to study that has the least commotion. Remember to turn off your smartphone and other devices when studying, because no one can distract you more than you can distract yourself. Some things can throw you off balance such as relationship or family issues – in these kinds of situations, studying can be quite difficult. The important thing is not to force yourself to learn. If it’s not your day, take a break and relax. Forcing yourself to study is ineffective and counterproductive – you will only stress yourself out further.

Taking some “me” time every now and then is good for you. Rest is just as important as dedication and hard work. Everyone needs time to recharge and clear their thoughts in order to improve their well-being and concentration.

Studying smart is not that difficult; it just needs some good planning and organization. Mix in regular breaks to eat, sleep, exercise and relax. After all, you want your brain to function properly and not burn out completely.

This article was contributed by guest author Alex Williams.

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