5 Alternative Study Tips for Your Exams
April 18, 2017
Exam study: 5 alternative approaches
There are many tried and tested ways to study but maybe these aren’t for you; or maybe you just want to try something new.
1. Reading aloud
Reading aloud has been proven to have a different effect on the brain during study. You don’t have to read aloud to anyone; you can read aloud to yourself. You may feel a little foolish at first but lose your inhibitions and go for it.
As you read you will hear words differently and take alternative meanings from them. This will solidify your knowledge and may lead you into asking new questions and finding new answers.
Moments when you mistake or mispronounce a word or phrase may highlight something you don’t know, thus urging you to conduct research and boost your learning.
2. Teach someone else
Talk to the people around you about what you are studying. As Einstein said, “If you cannot explain it simply, you do not know it well enough.” Put this maxim to the test.
Make sure you speak to as many people as you can about what you are learning and revising. The less someone knows about the subject, the better for you; you can go into full detail and really explore your ideas.
This will also develop your sentence structure and articulation. And you will surprise yourself with how much you know.
3. Study groups
Often we consider revision a solitary activity, which does work for a lot of people. But too much consistency can become boring and futile.
Mix things up by getting together with a few others who take your subject – not necessarily students in your class.
Pick a module or topic to talk through, pool your ideas, and help each other out. Afterwards you can always reward yourselves by doing something fun.
4. Memory games
These may take some effort but they will inject an element of fun into your revision.
Think of a game you like, such as ‘Pairs’. Now, swap the picture cards for flashcards related to your subject. The game can be as detailed or simple as you like.
For example, try to match selected quotations/characters to their correct novel. You could also pair up with people and play other games (e.g. hangman) themed around your subject of study.
5. Practise and adapt
Look at past exam papers and try to answer questions. You don’t have to time yourself, sit in silence, or even restrict yourself from using study materials.
Raise the bar slightly each time you practise. You could start by writing your answers untimed and with the aid of your textbook/notes. Build yourself up by timing your answers then completing them in silence and without help.