5 study hacks that will help you ace your exams

Whether you study at a private or public university in the Czech Republic, the month of May is likely to get stressful because of all that exam pressure. Despite all your efforts, there could be something more, or different, that you could be doing to get better grades – and this is especially true if you are unhappy with your results from the previous semester. We all have that one friend who only studies a couple of hours for finals, yet gets straight A's every time. No need to be jealous, though – you can get there too by fine-tuning your memorizing and learning techniques. We did some research and created this list of five easy learning tips that will help you to ace your next exam. Unfortunately, we can’t help if you were not paying attention to your lectures during the entire semester – but hey, we all make mistakes sometimes. 

Practical learning tips for students at the best university in Prague

Back to basics. 

Sometimes the difficulties students have with exam preparations come from a lack of fundamental skills such as time management, reading for comprehension, and stress management. It is a common mistake to leave everything until the last minute and try to memorize all materials the night before, instead of choosing to work analytically or interpretively. Although some people have a natural ability to remember things fast, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the information stays in their long-term memory. To help sort out your timing, create a study schedule – find out how many exams you have this semester and plan how many hours you will need to prepare for each of them. Be sure to find a healthy balance!

Teach other people what you’ve learned. 

By “people”, we include pets, stuffed animals and imaginary friends, if nobody else is available. This tip is especially effective for more concept-based subjects such as business or law. Pretend to teach the concept in order to reinforce it into your brain. The process of translating information into your own words helps to understand it better. 

Use Mnemonics to memorize names or terminology. 

Never heard of mnemonics? You'll find them very useful for remembering complicated and specific terms, like parts of the brain or Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development, if you study psychology. A mnemonic is a tool that helps you remember a concept, name or word with a pattern of letters, numbers, or relatable associations. For example, you could quickly memorize the order of the planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) by creating a simple association sentence: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles.

Study multiple subjects each day. 

It’s more useful to study various subjects each day than to deep-dive into one thing. If you’re preparing for exams in Social Psychology, Communication Technologies, and Principles of Software Development, it’s more effective to study a bit of each subject every day. This technique will help you avoid the confusion of memorizing similar material, which can happen if you cover one topic in-depth all day. Give your brain more time to consolidate your learning.

Break down complex information with mind maps.

The point of a mind map is to make the revision process faster, making connections between the ideas by showing how concepts tie together. Mind maps consist of keywords, which are crucial for your exam revision. You can combine multiple lectures or even an entire semester of material into one mind map, as long as it doesn’t begin to confuse you. For students who prefer typing instead of handwriting and drawing, there are many online options and ready mind-map templates available. Be sure to print out your mind map and hang it in a prominent place near your desk, so you can quickly revise the material multiple times per day. 

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