How to focus on studying for exams


Examinations are educational assessments intended to measure a person's knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics. The most common among students is the knowledge test.

There are several ways to study and prepare for an exam but these are the most important and better ways to do so to attain a beautiful result.

Start early

Give yourself enough time to review the material covered in class, normally you would want to weigh how soon you should start your study by how bulky or voluminous the material you need for the course is. For instance, if you have to review an entire semester bulky course for an exam, you might want to start reading a few weeks prior and if you are just taking a test in the middle of a semester that covers a few chapters of the material, a week or even days prior may be more than enough to cover it. 

Have a study schedule

Make a study schedule that fits your way of studying, while most students thrive on last-minute studying which is often not the best approach for exam preparation, organize your study habits accordingly to urgency, time-space, and weight of the course material. You only can tell how long it takes you to study. If the course material is difficult for you, starting early with a schedule would be very helpful to you to give you enough time to understand the course, practice, and review.

Review the syllabus

A syllabus is often referred to as an outline of what should be taught or learned over the length of the course. Some teachers give that at the beginning of every course, it is sometimes called the course outline. It is a good place to know if your notes are updated and above all complete and sufficient enough to study from as there might have been classes you missed. If so, you might need to borrow someone else's notes. It also helps to narrow your sections of reading, researching, and studying before it is weeks before the exams.

Re-read your notes

Read from the most basic information as you are reading for complete understanding now, break down terms to the smallest bit. You can look up information online to study well but ensure that it relates to your course material because most answers could be derived from it and the information from the internet could vary in some cases of non-calculating subjects, from what was being taught in exact material. Remember also not to neglect the chapters you are good at. While you would want to work on your area of weakness, you should also go over your area of strength.

Take notes while you study

It was shown by research conducted by Pam Mueller of Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles that writing by hand increases memory retention and understanding, ten percent of what we read, thirty percent of what we see. Make sure to write concepts that you are having a hard time remembering, make use of mnemonics. This is a system such as a pattern of letters, ideas, songs that assist in remembering something. Visual aids can be especially helpful when studying and you can also transform your revision notes into diagrams and charts. Visual remembrance can aid considerably when taking an exam.

Quiz yourself

You can make flashcards with the information from your course material, cut papers into squares and turn statements into questions in which the answer can be written under or preferably behind. Make flashcards for the information you are finding hard to grasp. Do practice questions, either from classwork or assignments. It is highly advisable to visit old exam papers. An old exam or test would help you know what to expect and also be a worthy practice for measuring the time you would need for the actual test. It would help you see the format and formation for the questions too. Ask friends or study groups to throw questions at you.

Know your assimilation method

In preparation for exams, ensure that during your study time distractions are cleared and removed from your study space. Your assimilation method should be known early. Do you assimilate through listening, reading, speaking, or do you like silence? Do you read at night or dawn? Or do you prefer listening to music? Make sure your study space is friendly and comfortable for you so that you can fully concentrate.

Get a study group with friends

Study groups will help you relate and reason your answers for certain questions and topics as we retain seventy percent of what we discuss with others. It also helps you finish the course material faster as the group would be focused and everyone would look forward to sharing what they have learned.

Take breaks

Give your brain a little breathing space, it is not the best tactic to study for long hours because long-term retention of knowledge is almost impossible. Develop a routine that fits your study style.

Eat healthy food

Keep your brain and body healthy and fit by choosing a natural vitamin, fiber content, and slow-digesting rich food that is good for you and would improve your memory, concentration, keep you on the go, reduce the stress on your digestive system, and allow your brain to allocate more energy to your brain, Watch what you eat. Avoid junk food even during late-night reading, avoid food of high content as it can focus energy away from the brain to the stomach causing you to feel sleepy and lose focus. Take fruits and drink plenty of water as being hydrated is vital and adds to your overall positive mood. 


You can exercise, try not to be anxious, keep yourself stress-free and calm as stress affects you negatively and can paralyze you during exams. It helps to write in a calm state of mind and makes your brain performs at peak capacity.

Avoid late nights when it’s close to your exam, get a full night's sleep as your brain needs time to subconsciously digest everything you have read.

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