You might have undergone exam stress during the preparation days. To overcome this exam strain, you first need to understand why you are feeling so tensed. Some of the common reasons for pre-exam anxiety include low motivation levels, lack of planning or preparation and peer pressure. As a student you might be studying hard to complete the huge syllabus, but in this process, it is crucial to prepare yourself mentally and physically to stay sharp during your preparation time and give your best.
This article will give you some valuable inputs about how to stay sharp during exam preparations. When it comes to your exams, you need to understand what your body requires to perform adequately. While preparing for your exams never neglect your food and sleep. These simple things make a great difference in your alertness and the way you take in the information. If you are unable to do so, you will heading for a disaster, mediocre grades and of course more stress. To help you overcome this stress and sharpen your mind before an exam, here are some very powerful tips:-
1. Get a good night’s sleep
While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, generally, a healthy adult needs around 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Children and teens need even more. You should ensure that you get an average sleep of 8 hours per night. You might think about staying awake the whole night to study, but the biggest disadvantage of this venture is that you might feel tired the entire day and especially on the day of the exam you might feel sleepy.
Research says if you stay awake for around 21 hours at a stretch, it messes up with your mind’s ability to work efficiently. Staying awake for extended hours can affect your ability to focus and concentrate.
Regular meditation can help students to reduce blood pressure, anxiety and depression and helps in a great way to improve attention, concentration and overall psychological well being. If you meditate for 15 minutes after you wake up, it will increase your mental strength and concentration.
3. Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
You might be wondering what exercise has got to do with your preparation. In case you aren’t aware, exercise is a great way to relive your stress and anxiety and boost your concentration Exercise enhances the blood flow to your brain, which ultimately helps you to think more clearly.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is nothing but stress management. Technique that comprises of observing your thoughts, controlling your breath, and feelings, This is a very quick process and to perform this drill you need to sit calmly on a chair with your back straight and feet flat on the ground. Ensure that your back does not touch the chair or wall. Then set a timer for a few seconds and while you are sitting in a relaxed position just concentrate on your breath.
In case your mind starts to wander, do not forcibly stop it let it wander and acknowledge that your mind is imagining and be happy about it, then return to your breath and focus on it. If you practice it for some time you will be able to calm your nerves and this will help you to concentrate and sharpen your mind by keeping you more relaxed.
5. Learn how to study using method of loci
As a freshman college student, you are probably accustomed to exams in high schools only covering one chapter. In college professors put more than one chapter on the exam, and you might be overwhelmed with the humongous syllabus. This article will explain a typical method that you can apply to study. This approach is known as method of loci.
Method of loci is also known as memory palace technique or the journey method. You might be wondering how the method of loci works. The method of loci is like a fantasy walk through your house, or neighborhood or even drives to work. It is not very complicated; just remember to pick a route that you are able to mentally walk through when you are trying to recall an item that you stored. After you have picked the route identify your locations that you are going to store information at. Visualize a building or even a road and occupy your mental image with details such as what you see in each room or what are the objects you see on the either side of the road.
Your next step is to mentally connect an image which you have thought for example a table in the house or a car on the road with a sizable chunk of information (for example a formula). To recall the information in the exam, simply retrace your steps through the road or the building and pick the objects you have associated with the information.
Sounds confusing? However, you will be pleased the note that the concept is quite simple although the spelling might look quite confusing. Mnemonics involves converting the information into an alternative form that you can easily remember. A good way of doing this is by taking the first letters of a string of information you want to remember and then using them to create a memorable phrase that you find easier to recall than the original information.
For example if you want to remember the order of taxa in biology (Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species) then you can use the mnemonics “Dear King Phillip Came Over For Good Soup,” or if you are confused with the order of the great lakes in order of largest to smallest (Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, Ontario) then you can find this mnemonics phrase useful Super Heroes Must Eat Oats.
Rhyming is a great way to remember the information. A very well known example of a rhyme that helps people to remember how many days are there in each month, which you also might have used when you were a kid is:
30 days hath September, April, June, and November.
All the rest have 31
Except February my dear son.
It has 28 and that is fine
But in Leap Year it has 29.
Rhyming may prove a more effective way of memorizing larger blocks of information than the mnemonic examples mentioned above. You can make your own rhyme to remember your lessons. This is an effective way to sharpen your mind before an exam.
8. Don’t be distracted
You can consider this as the rule of thumb. Prepare a time table and decide when you will study, this time should be strictly used for studying. Try to avoid all kind of distraction during this time, try not to use your cell phones or not to browse the social media or even watch your favorite shows on T.V during study time.
Make a resolution that you will not get distracted during the time when you are studying and keep all the distractions like cell phones etc away. If you can strictly adhere to your time table then you will be able to sharpen your brain before exams and this sharp brain will boost your brain power.
Exams are taken seriously and they should be treated rightly so. You may follow these tips mentioned above to prepare yourself properly for these important days so that you don’t fall short of your full ability to perform.