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How to study for exams [Part 1]

Exams are the thing that can hinder a student in the slightest possible way. It's like the obstacle in the way. It's the thing that defines your mental ability to memorize stuff. Even if the exams might not define anything about your ability they are a kind of barrier which we have to overcome every time to level up. So this is a blog where we are gonna tell you some simple ways which worked for us in the last year where we saw a huge hike of getting things done and also working efficiently for the exams. Please note that we are not a genius sometimes we might also fail even if we give our best or also it might not be the ways of studying but the person's fault. So bare with us and just go through the blog to get through the simple techniques which you might not know.

Firstly, let's get to the mindset which we have to build to study for exams. After all, everything start's from a thought so let's get directly to our mind and change the default settings regarding the exams.

  • Exams are not the most important thing on the planet

We, students, take exams so seriously that some of them get so annoyed with themselves that they even try to end their life if they don't do well in their exams. According to a 2018 analysis, 26% of students suicide due to low grades in exams. It has decreased a lot in the past few years which was around 41%. Now students deal with other issues also like love affairs and family issues. That's a different role but our performance in exams indeed defines our mood patterns or our emotions. So firstly we should not think that everything is dependent on the exams. You might have some different abilities which others don't. Not scoring good marks in exams doesn't define your future. Many famous people have failed in their exams but still, they have got a special ability which highlighted their whole future. If you aren't doing well academically that means you have to explore another door. That's fine. Even Elon Musk says "I hate when people confuse education with intelligence. You can have a bachelor's degree and still be an idiot". So just treat exams as a minute part of life. Don't get consumed by your failure nor even by your success because they don't define your knowledge.

  • Gamify the whole process Every time we tell throughout blogs that whatever you do in your life treat it as a game even if it is studying. Now when you look at the exams as not the biggest thing you should treat it as a game. So whenever you get back to studying try different study materials or reference books so that you might get some different pieces of information. You can also study with the "study with me music playlist" from Spotify or studying with your friends in the library or a study centre. You just have to make the process more fun and treat it as a game that you are playing with yourself.

  • Techniques to study for the exams

    • The small incremental process Let's say you have 2 months to study for your semester exams and now your brain sends you vibrations that you should play some "call of duty" or scroll social media and just enjoy the moment right now. You might feel like you should not study right now and you screw productivity. But once the exams are approaching you to find yourself tamed in the whole studying process it might occur because you haven't gone through the syllabus properly and not revised the formula well. So start from the very first day. If you have 2 months for the exams start from that day but my initial suggestion will be studying from the day you enter your college or school. When you start studying beforehand you don't face any kind of pressure and also you have much time as your schools and colleges haven't given you the projects and assignments. Once exams are approaching your institutions will pile up tons of assignments on you. So be clever and work in small increments don't study for more hours at the initial start of the year instead work less but work deeply without distractions. Study for an hour or something but start the process.

    • What is the biggest obstacle?

Many of the bits of this blog are taken from Ali Abdaal's "how to study for exams" Skillshare class it is absolutely worth check that out if you want. This technique is from that class where you have to ask yourself "If exams were tomorrow which topic would have created a problem for you". [Before asking this question to yourself you should at least go through your textbook once]. You will get the answer when you open the index page of the book. Is it the organic chemistry or the green chemistry which is going to create a huge problem for you on the exam day? When you get your answer work on that topic more. Practice more questions from it.

  • The Pareto principle

In 1895 economist Vilfredo Pareto put forth the principle which is also known as the 80/20 principle. He stated that "for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes". So as 80% of the outputs come from 20% of the input. So if you are finding the chapter difficult or more challenging or even if it's full of random things which are not meaningful strike them off. Find 20% of every chapter and just revise them more. You can get that 20% from anywhere from past papers, the main highlight of the chapter, or even the number of questions every topic has. You need to analyze the topic properly and find the appropriate 20%.

  • Highlight the stuff

Now when you have found the 20% of every chapter highlight the stuff using a highlighter. This will save time in the future. Whenever you want to quickly revise the main concepts before the exams you can easily go through the highlighted texts and recollect the information again. Though highlighting has no particular evidence that it helps you to memorize things but still it grabs your attention.

So this is it for this part. We will be back in the next blog with other methods and strategizes about evidence-based study techniques.

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Till then cheers ✌️


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