One of the hardest things to do when studying for an exam, is to sit down and start. For me, once I get to that point it’s smooth sailing. I know a lot of us actually enjoy solving problems and learning new topics, but how do we get to that point of starting? I know that I like to stay busy. Staying busy makes me realize that I need to make good use of the limited time I have. Planning my study time also really helps, and I make sure to allow time for breaks when studying. Without a game plan, studying can be near impossible.
How many times have you had an entire free day and not gotten any studying done? This happens to me a lot, but for some reason when my schedule is packed – I manage to make the most of my free time and actually get stuff done. I have realized over time that I manage my time better when I know I am going to be busy. It’s easy to see when there are opportune times to study and fit them between other plans when I have other things to do. Sometimes studying seems like such “a drag”, especially when I have a free day which means it just doesn’t get done – especially when the task of starting seems so painful.
I also take the time to make a study schedule. This is important because it helps me see when I am falling behind. There’s nothing like realizing that I’ll have to study for four hours a day up until the exam, to make me realize that only two hours would be much better. Having a plan for when to study also helps me know when I can hang out with friends. Taking time out in the beginning to plan my study strategy alleviates stress in the future when preparing for the exam. I know I will have ample time as long as I stay on track.
I find it difficult to sit down to a long “study sesh” (study session) when I know I won’t have any brain breaks, so to combat this I like to set goals for myself. For example, once I finish a section or do all of the practice problems, I will allow myself to play a short game. I choose to leave my phone at home as to avoid unintentional interruptions, but I do bring my iPod and play some short games once I have achieved whatever goal I have set for myself.
When I put all of these tactics into play, I have a much higher success rate when it comes to studying. I study more often and stay on track with my study schedule. As a result, I’m better prepared for the exams.