Exam Productivity Hacks;
As exam time rolls around, I figure it’s a good time to share some studying tricks that have helped me a lot when trying to focus and study. Hope it helps!
The Pomodoro timer is one of my favorite way of managing your time and making sure that you stay on task, and giving yourself a break.
First decide what you’re going to be studying. Then set a timer for 25 minutes. During those 25 minutes the only thing you’re going to be doing is studying. After the timer is done you set a time for 5 minutes and give yourself a break. Repeat for 4 rounds.
At the end of the 4 rounds give yourself a longer break of 10 or 20 minutes and then repeat the whole cycle until you’re done studying.
You can mess around with the times, but at the end of the day using the pomodoro technique is a really good way of managing time and putting breaks into your schedule.
Here’s one good site that can help you with timing: http://tomato-timer.com/#
Do you really want to eat some gummy bears, play some video games, or go on Facebook? Leave those for after you’re done studying. Knowing that you can have some candy after you’re done studying quadratic equations is a great motivator and helps you to focus.
Avoid distractions with Cold Turkey and Self Control
Everyone knows the feeling. That moment when you turn on your computer thinking you’re going to study and then you start looking through your Facebook feed, Reddit, or watching Buzzfeed videos. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just block those sites for an hour or so?
Thankfully Cold Turkey and Self Control do exactly that. These two programs let you block groups off websites when you need to focus.
I’m a fan of swimming or going to the gym before studying more for the next exam. But exercising doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym. Doing something as simple as walking around every 45 minutes or so can help boost your focus and concentration significantly so you can study harder later.
Stop Reading Notes and make Flash Cards:
Need to memorize a ton of definitions, dates, and facts? Well reading your notes over and over again is one of the worst ways of doing this. It takes forever, and sometimes you’ll end up forgetting them anyways. My trick? Make flashcards.
On one side you put a question (and a prompt if you need it) and on the other side you put the answer. In the beginning you struggle for answer, but this leaves a lasting impression on your brain. Before you know it you’ll know all definitions and dates like the back of your hand.
No physical cue cards? Check out Cram, where you can make your own flashcards or use a set someone else made.
Turn off the Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift
As it turns out, according to research from the University of Wales, music with lyrics actually hurts your comprehension and short term memory.
That’s because if you’re listening to lyrics, then your brain is busy trying to understand the lyrics, and you aren’t able to properly focus on studying.
Still want to tune out your annoying sister? Classical music and white noise works pretty well. Checkout this YouTube channel for the white noise.
Study In a Group (and bring a smart guy)
Who says that you have to study alone? Meet up with a group of friends at the library to study together. Having a couple of friends beside you is a great way to motivate yourself to stop procrastinating. Bonus? When you have any questions, you can ask the smart guy that you brought along to answer them.
Please Sleep Early
Yes it’s exam time, and you have to study, but staying up until 3am or pulling all-nighters is not the answer. Cram studying and pulling all-nighters is tempting, but research shows that staying up until 3am, is going to hurt your marks more than anything.
My rule? I’m not going to be studying after 12.
Not getting enough sleep messes with your concentration and memory the next day. What I’ve found is that if I don’t get enough sleep, I won’t even remember much of what I stayed up to study for. So do yourself a favour, sleep early.