by ACCA student blogger Naresh John
Hi all! We’re on the homestretch heading towards June exams, which are about one month away. I know that tensions can be high at this point; however, one can adopt an approach to calm the nerves and ensure success in their exams. I myself practice this as it’s quite effective in handling all of the stresses that arise with upcoming exams.
- Create a study calendar. Start exactly one month before the exams are scheduled to start. For each day write down the subject that you plan to spend time studying. If you are sitting more than one exam, take into account which exams require more in depth knowledge; these should show up on your study calendar more frequently. Stick to the calendar, an hour a day might not seem like much but it will really be useful. In designing your study calendar, try not to study for too long on something you find difficult, you will become stressed and most likely forget what you learnt an hour ago.
- Figure out your study methods.Study methods include using colors, pictures and brainstorm or mind map pages. Some people learn and remember things better if they’re in certain colors whereas other people may remember diagrams and pictures more easily. Use the method that works for you; as long as it’s effective. It’s no use reading lots of text if your study method is diagrams. Remember, everyone has different methods to study, what works for your best friend may not work for you. For me personally I employ the use of mind maps as well as reading text. I enjoy the mind map method as it clearly shows the links between various topics within the exam. As such, I create a holistic picture of the exam which allows me to understand what’s involved.
- Understand the syllabus. It’s not enough to simply memorize the material that you have covered in lectures as there is the possibility that exam questions will not be asked in a straightforward manner and your brain may be too saturated from all the information you memorize. As such, it’s important to understand the material so that you can answer the question no matter which angle the examiner asks the question from. Also, understanding the material helps you to establish links between topics within the exam. Therefore, both studying and answering questions will be much easier, as the volume you memorize would be less.
- Take breaks. After studying for a while, reward yourself by going on a walk to clear your mind or chatting with friends. Try not to feel guilty about this – you need some time to have fun and it’s better to revise when you are feeling relaxed after a break than to exhaust yourself studying all day. This is true in my case as I have realized that the brain can only take so much, therefore it makes no sense studying all day long. As such, after a break, when you resume studying, your mind is more likely to absorb more as it is fresh.
- Keep a healthy diet throughout. Studying for exams (especially close to the exam date) can sometimes cause us to neglect our nutrition as we try to maximize our study time. However, it is quite important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as this keeps the brain healthy which would result in more effective studying. Keeping a healthy diet should not be complex, as it could just entail a simple walk or jog for 20-30 minutes and having proper meals daily.
I hope that these tips will serve you all as well as it has served and continues to serve me as I pursue examinations.
Take care and best of luck in your examinations!!