Friday, October 20, 2017

Study Tips

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I don't know about you, but I have a hard time to get into the study flow. I only read a few words and my attention shifts towards my phone or something else. Very annoying, if you really want to study and the exam is in a few days already. I had an exam a week ago and I have gathered some tips for you to optimize your peak of focus!

Let's just start right away, shall we?

1. Put away your phone
This one is pretty obvious, but pretty hard to do. Don't just put it under your books, so it's out of your sight. But put it in another room is that's possible and turn it off. Give yourself a phone-break every two hours or so. Because, before you know it, you're spending half an hour on Instagram of Facebook.

2. Sit at a desk
In high school I was studying in bed. It worked. But as the time passed I noticed that it's making me very lazy and slow (and I fall asleep from time to time..). So sit at a desk, which is completely cleared! Every small thing on it might be more interesting than studying.

3. Force yourself
When you're really having a hard time to focus: force yourself. Force yourself to not think about your phone, force yourself to read the next sentence, force yourself not to give in to "interesting" objects next to you.. And before you know it, you'll get into the flow of studying.

4. Exercise
Say what? Yes! Exercise. Did you know that exercise boosts your focus to study? So take half an hour or maybe even an entire hour to slip in exercise on your schedule to clear your mind and boost your focus.

5. Take breaks
It's important to take breaks and with breaks I mean for example every two hours of studying, half an hour a break. Your brain needs a small pause from all that studying. Drivers are obligated here to take a break of at least 15 minutes after 2 hours of driving, because you'll lose focus and that's very dangerous. Same goes for studying, your brain loses focus and gets distracted more easily.

6. Get enough sleep
A well-rested brain functions better than a tired brain. Same for exams! I am guilty too for sleeping only a few hours before an exam. I had a few exams where I did get enough sleep and, boy, I noticed the difference. My mind was much clearer, I understood what I was reading, I understood what I was supposed to do, I felt like I had access to all my knowledge. When I only had a few hours of sleep before an exam, my mind was dull, all I could think of was sleeping and I really had to force myself to focus and perform on the exam.

7. Don't panic
Same goes for when you are taking the exam. Don't panic and stay calm. This might sound like a cliché, but it really works. If you just keep calm and focus, you're thinking much clearer than when you're panicking. When you're panicking and stressing, your mind goes practically blank on an exam, but when you just take a deep breath and calm yourself, you can try to remember everything you know, step by step. While studying: don't try to think of the little time you have left, forget the clock. As long as you are hurrying yourself, you're not going to remember things (properly). Just try to focus and take your time to really understand what you are reading/studying. It's about quality, not quantity.

8. Make a schedule
I often tend to wait till the last week to study for an exam (I have one exam at a time, about every three weeks). But it's good to know how many lectures there are in total so you can make a rough estimate of how much you'll have to study every day in the, for instance, last week. That might be a drive for you start studying (otherwise: stress, lots of stress). It works for me, it might work for you too!

Those are my tips and I hope that they work for you! Good luck with your exams and if you have some tips too, feel free to share them in the comments! :)

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