How To study well for exams in a short time

Exam tests, including bac, approaches. After a long year of schooling here is the time of the last straight to prepare for the exam that is looming. This period is particularly stressful: it is necessary to reactivate the memory of the courses, synthesize and face its shortcomings, not all of which have been filled. This review period is a kind of moment of truth.
Here are some tips (scientifically validated) that allow you to review your exam in the best conditions.

1-Avoid intensive cramming


Setting a goal of wanting to revise and work 4 hours to sharpen is the best way not to reach it and at worst to waste time. Memorization is really effective if you work at intervals! Work and study intensely and in a concentrated manner for 20 to 50 minutes. Then give yourself a 5-10 minute break before returning to work for 20 to 50 minutes. 20 minutes or 50 minutes? There are no rules. It depends on the concentration abilities of each. This pace allows for better fixation of information in long-term memory (1)

2-Regular sessions of cardio exercise


Studies (2) indicate that 20 minutes of cardio each day can significantly improve your memory. No need to register in a gym. It can be a brisk walk, jogging or even dancing in the evening. Practicing these simple cardio exercises, will increase your energy level and significantly reduce your stress level. Very important

3-Pay attention to your diet and focus on foods rich in antioxidants


It is well known: having a good breakfast on the day of the exam is very important to refuel and to keep the day when the expense will be important: think that brain activity, is one of the activities (with digestion) that consumes the most energy. Scientific studies (3) suggest that foods high in carbohydrates, high in fibre, with slow digestion, such as oatmeal, are much better (oatmeal is more satisfactory than cereals).

But what you eat a week or even a fortnight in advance is just as important. In one study, 16 students with a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet (resulting in high consumption of meat, eggs, cheese and cream) were tested. Cameron Holloway, a researcher at the University of Oxford who conducted the study, found that as a result of this diet his students’ intellectual performance was significantly reduced.

The other group of students who followed a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, saw their intellectual performance stabilized or slightly improved.

Be aware that when you study, your brain needs to consume glucose, so pay attention to your diet. During a day of revision where your concentration and other cognitive faculties will be solicited take the time to have a healthy snack (e.g. almonds, fruit and yoghurt …) that will feed your brain energy.

4-Alternate review sites


Spending the entire day of review in the library can be more exhausting than changing places of review, for example in a café, at home or at a friend’s house.

According to the New York Times (4) it is enough to change places for a person to improve their working abilities. In one experiment, psychologists found that students who studied a list of 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms — one windowless and cluttered, the other modern, with a view of a yard — fared much better on the final knowledge test than students who studied the 40-word list in the same room. What for?

Apparently, the brain makes subtle associations between what it studies and the background sensations it can have. So when reviewing, try alternating your workplaces between the library, a study room and a quiet coffee shop.

5.Take care of your time management

Cramming is a source of anxiety and stress, which reduces your ability to retain information. Carefully plan your review days with specific and realistic goals. It is not a question of covering your face. Take care to take a break. This will allow you to focus on the day’s work and anchor yourself in the present moment. This is how you can relieve much of the stress generated by approaching the exam date.

6-Avoid busy days and sleepless nights

It is well known that a large part of high school students concentrates their revision effort on a few days not hesitating to spend sleepless nights of revision or at least, if not, work late in the evening. Know that this is a very bad idea. Based on a 2008 study (5) conducted by Pamela Thacher, an associate professor at St. Lawrence University, late intellectual work in the evening or at night causes a four-day alteration of reasoning and memory. Even if you have the ability to work intensely and especially at night it does not mean that you will benefit from it, quite the contrary.

But above all you would suffer from a lack of sleep that will have a negative impact on your intellectual performance.. So, focus on a good night’s sleep. What you would have lost by not revising during this period of rest and life-saving sleep you will regain it the next day by having your memorization and reasoning abilities more efficient. In the end you will save time and efficiency.
Getting tired is the best way to risk ruining days of revision and work during the year: such as taking a topic off topic or not understanding or misrepresing the essential questions of the subject.

7 -Minimize distractions and stay focused.


Research shows that high school students and students prefer to study revising by listening to music, sending messages to friends or watching television. Certainly, this gives them certain well-being. But this well-being is misleading. Indeed the various stimuli provided by these small distractions have a negative effect on the ability to memory

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