Image: Unsplash – William Iven
[Robert Wheatley | Lifestyle Editor]
Exam month is up and running and we’re already pretty run down after all of the assignments that were (or are) due, which can sometimes make it difficult to get and stay motivated. But, we’re here to save you – well, at least motivate you to study. We asked Trident Media members what tips they had for exam prep, and how to keep yourself focused and memorise those factoids.
Robert Gammon said: “Listening to generic game music helps you concentrate – the Super Meat Boy original soundtrack does it for me.”
Music certainly can aid with studying, and depending on your music taste, you may prefer something different. YouTube offers a lot of free game soundtracks, as well as different music genres in general, from relaxing spa music to upbeat electronic tracks. Websites like RadioTunes have many music categories available for free, with an account.
Speaking of music, Benjamin Fox suggested music association:
“I find it helps to put key phrases and notes to music. Then all I have to do is sing the song – in my head, obviously – and it helps to jog my memory.”
The technique is similar to word association, only you put important information to music rather than specific words, or rhymes. Applying key facts or phrases to a song you can remember can help jog your memory when certain parts are sung in your head.
Hannah Wileman suggested quizzing friends doing the same exam, and vice versa.
“Making tonnes of notes, then testing friends on it and them testing me. If it’s a process, for example, biochemical pathway; reciting it until I get it right.”
Bryony Wharfe also found revision with students helpful.
“Revising with other students helps me the most. Doing it all by myself I may miss something or not truly understand something. Being with at least one other person helps dramatically.”
We can easily miss small things we have to revise, or we may just be having trouble understanding something that a friend can explain a lot easier. You may also find studying with students also helps motivate you to study.
You may find categorising helps you revise. Jake Borrett, creates mind maps, Q-cards and and posters that help jog his memory with key phrases and information, colour coded for the novels he studies for his English Literature exam.
“For my English Literature examination revision I often find myself writing Q-cards, mind maps and posters. My bedroom walls are then covered with these visual aids to help me remember key concepts, critics and textual quotes. I also like to use different colour pen ink in order to distinguish between novels.”
Sometimes, repetition can help reinforce information needed for an exam. Huriyah Quadri, prefers to rewrite things on paper to memorise essay structure, and to almost trick her mind into enjoying the revision by making colourful posters.
“I write and rewrite things repeatedly. The process helps me memorise the structure of my essays. I pay special attention to the first sentence of each paragraph, that usually helps me remember the rest.”
What’s most important is practice. It ensures you remember something for an exam. If you struggle with essays on the spot, practice writing one for the exam. If you need to memorise something, ensure you know what needs remembering for a particular topic.
But, do so healthily! Staying up all night before an exam will impact your performance, and may make you more susceptible to stress and forgetting in the exam. Sure, study hard the night before, but give yourself rest too! Eat something like a banana for energy, but avoid caffeine to prevent stress. If you are stressing out a lot, speak to your professors; they are there to listen. Good Luck!