It is no secret that the Singapore education system is one of the best in the world. It has a robust and well-thought-out curriculum focused on equipping students with problem-solving skills and practical knowledge to help them excel inside and outside the classroom walls. Its schools are also known for its academic rigor and a strong emphasis on examination results and grades. Perhaps this exam-oriented system is one of the reasons why the majority of students aged 10 to 15 are more worried about exams than COVID-19, as revealed in an online survey by a local charity organization.
Whether you are a student enrolled in a local or international high school in Singapore, you probably understand where the respondents of this survey are coming from. You may even be a bit nervous about taking exams yourself that you are looking for ways to ease the pressure and perform better every time. If that is the case, read on. This piece will offer you six practical study tips to help you do well in your exams.
Create a Realistic Study Schedule
Cramming before the exam hardly ever works. You lose sleep, raise your anxiety levels, and push your mind and body to the limit. If you want to do well in any exam, devoting enough time to studying is a requisite. That means you need to create a study schedule that allows you to focus on every topic unhurriedly. Try breaking the exam coverage into chunks to make the material more palatable.
Remember to allocate more time to challenging subjects or critical areas as you create a study schedule. More importantly, make sure that you end up with a plan you can commit to—something realistic. Allot time for meals, sleeping, and other daily activities, and don’t forget to include study breaks. Taking a break for at least five minutes can boost your energy, refresh your mind and body, and improve your concentration and productivity.
Set Specific Study Goals
It isn’t enough that you create a schedule for studying. It is also necessary that you plan what you want to achieve during the specified time frame. Set concrete study goals and be sure to complete them. That way, you know you are moving forward and truly learning the material. Again, make your goals specific, realistic, and attainable. For instance, instead of saying you will master the first chapter of your math book, you can commit to completing at least six equations or summarizing the chapter.
Get Sufficient Sleep before and after Studying
Even if you don’t feel particularly tired or are used to burning the midnight oil, the fact remains that your brain and body need to rest to perform optimally. You may not realize it, but depriving yourself of even a few hours of sleep can significantly impact your ability to acquire, memorize, and recall information.
Did you know that studies conducted by the United States National Institute of Health (NIH) found that sleep deprivation can cut learning ability by as much as 40%? Findings also show that getting quality sleep within 24 hours after studying is necessary to strengthen memories and consolidate information. Keep these things in mind whenever you are tempted to stay up late to review or to study more, especially the night before the exam.
Be Mindful of What You Eat and Drink
Aside from getting quality slumber, you also need to eat well to improve your concentration and overall well-being. If you can’t prepare healthy meals at home, go to the nearest hawker center and enjoy nutritious meals, such as tea rice, sliced fish soup, or a hearty bowl of ban mian. You may also want to refrain from consuming too much caffeine as it can increase your stress levels, cause headaches, and hamper good sleep.
Designate a Conducive Study Space
Condition your mind to switch to learning mode easily by designating a specific place for studying alone. It does not have to be an entire room. Even a tiny space in your bedroom or living area where you can fit a desk and chair and work comfortably will do. Make sure that your study nook is free from distractions and has enough ventilation and light so that you can get a lot of work done. Keep the area neat and organized as well. After all, clutter can affect your productivity, reduce focus, and make you feel more anxious.
Improve your ability to remember everything you studied by taking practice quizzes. You can search for sample tests online, create your own, or ask a family member to quiz you using your notes as a reference. This process may require time and energy, but the effort is worth the trouble. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology revealed that quizzing is an effective learning mechanism. It improves the retention of material and academic performance. Moreover, taking sample tests can also help you determine problem areas you need to work on more.
The tips above are just some of the things you may want to consider to help you study better, remember more information, and feel more relaxed so that you can take your exams with confidence. See how you can adapt them to suit your needs and learning style. With proper preparation, diligence, and the right strategies, you can ease your nerves and look forward to examinations with excitement.