In the good old days, we used to go to our school or college and meet with our buddies and it was easy to escape to study at a coffee shop or library (or at least somewhere silent). But we’re now readjusting to a new way of living in which home studying is the only option. And I am sure you're wondering how to do good in exams. Right?
If you are lucky, you live in a studio like this one and you can undisturbed get through 10 chapters like a breeze. Or, you could be stuck in a noisy flat share with other 7 people. Don't despair! I've got some secret tips to study better, some of which I tested when I was living in my family (of 7) and others when I sharing a house in London with 8 people and was preparing my Economics thesis.
You can do this! 💪
Bless the headphones' inventor. If you are trying to study in a noisy environment, you won't get very far if you can't find concentration. Headphones are the solution. If you don't have a pair, maybe opt for those which leave the sound out. Now turn on your favorite studying music.
2. Create your own study zone
If you already have a desk in your bedroom, that’s amazing. Now it's time to do a little tidy up. De-clutter your space and get rid of anything that isn't study-related. If you have tests ahead, even remove anything that isn't test related. Now, if you don't have a desk in your bedroom, you can possibly select a dedicated area of your kitchen table which will become "your study zone". And once you’re finished, make sure to remove everything so that your mum or flatmates won't complain. I used to carry my backpack around the house when I lived with my parents so to have all the necessary books with me and be able to pack them away when done.
3. Do Not Disturb Sign
Among my favourite study techniques for exams, there is this one. As mentioned, when studying for exams, concentration is key. So if you have your own kingdom...erm bedroom, simply communicate to your housemates / family that you'll be studying and that you need concentration. Simply put a Do Not Disturb sign on the handle of your door or make and print one at home. If you don't have a door that separates you from the rest of the world, then adopt another sign. It could be a little flag on your table or an object that you pull out during your high-concentration sessions.
4. Turn off ALL notifications
Good. Now that you have pushed away all the external noise it's your turn. Take your phone and put it in another room. If you can't, simply use the amazing function Do not disturb function on your phone. Maybe set also an automation where you apps do not work during certain times. And put that phone away. Same thing on your laptop, switch notifications off for emails, Messenger, Skype, Zoom etc.
5. Study in time slots
How to study for exams? At the beginning of your day, write down a clear study programme for the day. Set 2 hrs for Chemistry, 1 for Spanish and 3 for Statistics, or whatever exams you need to do. Leave a 10-15 minutes break in between those slots to drink some water, go to the loo or simply take a little walk around the house. If you are going to check your phone, set an alarm so that you don't end up spending an hour on it instead of your 15 minutes break. Discipline is the key to success!
6. Seek help, if needed
I know that not everyone has access to a laptop or reliable wifi. I know of some students who are relying on mobile data to connect to their lessons. And I spoke to many who are missing the library or actual exams resources. If that's the case, please get in touch with your university and I'm sure somebody will be there to help. And maybe you can also ask them for other study tips in this tough moment. Don't be afraid!
10. Reward yourself
Studying has never been as hard as it is in these days, during a pandemic. Being under quarantine is already tough, but having exams due is another kind of problem. For this reason, you should reward yourself every time you've achieve a study goal. The reward could be an extra hour of Netflix or an ice-cream or whatever you fancy.
And you? Which other methods are you using to do well in exams?