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How to Create Good Study Habits for Exams

Two Methods:Study HelpStudy Schedules

Taking exams can lead to stress and anxiety if you have not studied during the year because you will find yourself cramming for each test and studying late into the night. With a little time management during the school year, you not only minimize stress at exam time, but maximize productivity and results.


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    Buy an extra notebook for each subject at the beginning of the year so that as you finish a chapter in class, you can immediately write notes and summaries in that book. The classwork will still be fresh in your mind so at exam time you merely have to take the notebook home from school. Write down the key points you learned from each lesson onto a cue card. This helps your mind to retain the day's important facts. On the weekends look over the cue cards. Get your parents or friends to quiz you on them.
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    Record your notes on a digital voice recorder or another device (you can also use your phone), listen to them in your spare time, listen to them as you would an audio book, concentrate on the words and try to memorize them as you hear them. Researchers also found that listening to sounds during sleep enhance memory.
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    Learn how to make mind maps, cluster maps, PowerPoint slideshows and other memory aids. Mind maps are graphical illustrations of a subject and a great memory tool to use, especially during exams. These tools are great for flash-carding and memory-retrieving.
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    As soon as you finish a topic, take out a book from the library and read more information about the subject. Look up questions you had and try to clear any confusion that you possibly had while learning the topic. Take notes to refer back to them before and at test time.
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    Don't do rough drafts for essays. Just do the good copy straight away, but thoroughly as well. In an exam situation you won't have time to write out a whole draft copy, so practice writing out good copies straight away. Make sure the good copy is neat, punctuation and spelling are correct, and the information makes sense as well as being on-topic.
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    Make a timetable for exam days by marking the dates on a calendar, so you can be prepared by the time the test comes around.
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    Make a list of your classes and the topics covered in class. As you study a topic, mark it in a way that is meaningful to you, to remind you which topics have already been studied.
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    Set aside a study time each day when you are not too tired, or too hungry. If you are going to study for a long time, remember to take a break in between, preferably every 20 minutes or so.
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    Set up a study group. Study groups share notes, thoughts and ideas or how to solve or understand a particular problem. Be sure to honor the class rules on what work may or may not be done in groups.
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    Plan out 'trial' exams for yourself. All you have to do is redo one of your past tests or quizzes within a time limit. Get into the exam mode by clearing your work desk of everything except your paper, pen and any other items you need for the test.
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    Plan for academic success and execute the plan with tenacity. Provided that you are healthy you should execute your plans whether you are feeling strong or weak, tired or energized, lazy or motivated, focused or distracted, discouraged or encouraged. Realize that it is up to you to make the moments in your hand count for something and don’t let your feelings trick you into being less than empowered.
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    Get enough sleep at night. It's harder to concentrate when you got less than six hours of sleep the night before. Aim for eight to ten hours of deep sleep to feel truly refreshed and ready for anything in the morning.
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    When choosing individual subjects to study, start with the least enjoyable or the most difficult subject. Master it, and you'll end up loving it. At the very least, you won't have to worry about putting it off until it's too late because you don't like it.
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    Follow a daily timetable, on the first day it will be a challenge; second day it will become a practice and the third day it will become a habit. It is a matter of conditioning yourself to a sustained work ethic that will facilitate peak performance in the sometimes intense academic arena.

Study Help

Study Schedules


  • Always highlight the main points in your book so you can know what is important in the whole chapter.
  • Keep your cell phone away from you, as it will distract you. Only check your emails or messages after studying, during break time.
  • Avoid visiting any social-networking sites! It can be done after the exam.
  • In the lead up to exams, try getting some exam papers from previous years. Doing these before the real exam will give you an idea as to what you'll be up against and will highlight anything you still need to revise.
  • Try to complete all of your study notes at least 2 weeks before the exam. This allows you plenty of time to work through past papers for revision and go over and re-read anything you're a bit hazy on.
  • Find as many associations or ways to connect the new information which your brain is acquiring with the information which is already securely entrenched in your brain to foster cohesion in your arsenal of knowledge.
  • Research shows our focus can last about 45 minutes, so take a 20 minute power nap or relax your mind by listening to classical music.
  • You gain less by studying for exams at the last minute. One way to think about it is to start studying for the next exam as soon as you get the material, don't wait until a week before the test to start.
  • Study two-to-three months before your exam and start off with small tasks. During week one, start with a single hour. Become accustomed to working, and gradually add more time. Over the following weeks, your study periods should get continue to get longer. Also, have all your studying tools with you and have a healthy snack and some water with you.
  • Sleep early in exam days and wake up at early in the morning to revise it. Revising at morning will help you .
  • Do not wait for exam periods to come before you start studying.
  • Always color-code your notes. Use a color that will remind you of that subject. That way, it will be easier to remember your notes for that subject.
  • Adopt passionately creative methods of memorizing related information using numbers, acronyms, mnemonic poems, wild stories and outlandish mental pictures to truly bring the material alive in a virtually unforgettable way.
  • Do not study too much or it will make you too stressed. Every hour take a break.
  • During exam always keep your mind on your work and don't be distracted by any thing.
  • Allow yourself a few minutes to settle into a zone of intense concentration when approaching your reading or writing academic assignments.
  • Pay attention at the teacher and try not to talk with your classmates during the lesson.
  • If you suffer from exam stress then take a calming antidote, perhaps a herbal tea. Just don't overdose because it'll make you feel drowsy.
  • Realize that you may need to internalize information actively to keep focused. This may be accomplished by following the text with a pencil and whispering the text to yourself to ensure that you are progressing during your study segments of time.
  • Don't study last minute. This could cause stress, and it isn't good to be stressed during an exam.
  • Watch a video on the topic you are studying. Sometimes listening to someone else explain it can help you remember the material better.
  • Reproduce the academic material from memory to monitor retention levels at regular intervals as a sort of self-testing mechanism.
  • Make your own reviewer. Write your keywords in every topic and use different colors of ink for easy recognition. When you create your reviewer, use all the resources you have available. Make sure to personalize it so you can enjoy it!
  • Eat a healthy breakfast that day, so you feel energized, but don't eat so much that you feel full.
  • Have an early night, drink a lot of fluids and most importantly try your best.
  • Sleep and getting a good breakfast will not only help with the exam you but it can also help focus better in class so you can take notes and even you can make your notes better.


  • Don't cheat. It is very dishonest and rude, and you'll get a zero on your exam. Also, It will encourage you NOT to STUDY.
  • Too much study can be as bad as not enough study because the mind shuts down when too much information is crammed into it.
  • Failing an exam can be a very traumatic, shameful and embarrassing experience even if you have other opportunities to redeem yourself, so you should do your best to ensure that your mastery of an area of study is sufficient to enable you to pass with pride.
  • If you have not prepared yourself for the test, during the term, and before the test, then expect to reap according to what you have sown.
  • Mind blanks are possibly the most frightening things to occur in an exam. They can happen in any subject, but you can overcome them. The only way to overcome mind blanks is to relax the brain from its hysterical state. In the exam room, close your eyes, breathe in for 5 seconds and let it release through the mouth automatically. Repeat this until you can feel the facts crawling back into your memory.

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Categories: Tests and Exams