Preparing for an exam is stressful and can be frustrating. You may feel as if there is not enough time in one day to get things done, especially when you have to study for multiple exams. Use these seven tips to help you prepare your mind for exams.
1. Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is essential during exams. When it’s time for exams, you may notice your heart racing, you feel nervous, you’re anxious, and maybe frustrated. That too, for exams like USMLE lasting up to 8 hours, all these are very common. All of these feelings and emotions are normal and you have to find different ways to calm down so you can focus. Practice breathing calmly and practice different stress-management techniques.
Before you begin to study, sit with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight against the back of the chair. Set a timer for 90 seconds and take that time to breathe air in through your mouth and out of your nose. Also, try changing the way you study. USMLE prep course that uses spaced repetition technique to improve memory recall is one such method. Similarly, you can follow other techniques to improve your memory recall.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are everywhere, and it’s your responsibility to not give in to them. Distractions can be many different things, including video games, television, music, cell phones, and other devices. Find a quiet place you can study and comprehend what you read. Set your cell phone to silent while you’re studying so you won’t be tempted to answer every phone call or respond to every text message.
3. Get Sleep
Your body can’t function without an adequate amount of sleep. During exams, you might not be able to get a full eight hours of sleep, but it’s important to rest when you can. Don’t push yourself too hard. When your body is tired, you will know. Pay attention to the signs your body gives you and don’t try to overhaul. When you push yourself beyond your limits, your body starts to get exhausted and you will find it more difficult to function. Go to sleep early so you can get up early and be refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Exercising can help you remember what you’ve been studying by helping you recall what you’ve read. While you’re exercising, enjoying the fresh air, think about the topics you’ve been studying, and the notes you’ve taken. A simple walk or jog around the block will help you retain the information you’ve been studying.
5. Reward Yourself
Rewarding yourself with treats can help get you through the rough times while you’re studying. When you’re studying for exams, that often means long nights and early mornings, so a sugar kick might not be too bad. Make sure you don’t overload on sweets, though.
6. Change Your Surroundings
Changing your surroundings can be as simple as redecorating your room or studying outside. Studying in a clean and organized environment can have positive effects on your study efforts. A clean environment can also help you remember things better. You don’t have to spend most of your time in a library. Go to a cafe or other place where you have space to spread out your notes and study.
7. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
It’s easy to sit and think about the things you have to complete within the next few days. Once you realize how much needs to be done, you psych yourself out of doing the things you need to do because you’re overwhelmed. Don’t think so far ahead into the future. Take things one day at a time and pace yourself as you study. Once you set a pace, stick to it so you can get into a routine that works best for you.
Another thing that will help you prepare your mind for exams is making flashcards. Flashcards are helpful when you’re studying alone or studying with a friend. Using flashcards to study is great because you can design them and decorate them any way you need to that will help the information stand out in your mind, but they don’t have to be fancy. You can make flashcards from plain index cards. Index cards are excellent to use because they are available in a variety of colors and sizes.
Preparing your mind for exams can be a challenge because it can overwhelming. Use these tips to help you prepare your mind and body for your exams. There’s no limit to what you can achieve.