how to prepare for exam

Preparing for exams can seem like a stressful time period. You and your fellow students need to start early and always get enough sleep. By choosing to start early, you are able to learn how to prepare for exam day and have the necessary focus for the test (check out 5 more ways to manage stress).

Pay attention to how many exams you need to study for. You want to ensure you have enough time for every subject and subsequent test. You also want to continuously practice exam questions that may be on the test as well. Make sure you always have the right answers when you revise them as well.

Tip #1: Understand the exam format for optimal exam preparation

The first part of exam prep is to know what type of questions will be on the exam. Will they come in the form of short answer, multiple choice, or long-form essays? Even with a mix of question types, learning hacks such as visual aids can help. Make sure you understand all the rules of the exam as well. Also, see if there are practice questions available.

Tip #2: Building out discipline and keeping to a study schedule is the key of how to prepare for exam day

This entails starting to study as soon as you hear about the exam. Your study schedule should not be one day before the exam. This is also when you should take the time to organize study groups before the exam time. Study groups can be a great way to bring support for an upcoming exam and maintain energy levels for studying.

Do keep in mind that not only should you have a study group but also a private study space. That study space should have enough room and be just for you to study in complete silence. A good study area is a library where it needs to typically be in complete silence anyway. This will help you to prepare and stay focused in this quiet spot.  

Remember your study group is a place to share study tips and practice with fellow students. There’s also a structure to the proper study group, which will lead to those good grades.

Schedule your study sessions (individual or group sessions) to make sure you’ll not postpone them. You can use a visual weekly planner for that:

Weekly planner - schedule study sessions - how to prepare for exam

Tip #3: Have all the study material ready, including practice exams

Make sure that you have old exams available for review and possibly practice exams. You also want to make sure you take good notes throughout the term or find a friend who does. You can build an education mind map that can store all the notes of class combined with the study sessions.

If you use mind mapping software, you can avoid having a more cluttered environment. That means a cleaner place to prepare for one subject or many and stay focused and a key component in how to prepare for exam day.

Mind mapping software can also act as a note-taking app for various subjects. That means if you have multiple exams to study for, you can break out into multiple mind maps (and you can add the links to easily access them). This will help with long-term retention as visual learning and repetition of rebuilding the notes helps with revision.

List with exams - mind map example - how to prepare for exam

Consider using these as your primary place to write good notes as you learn. With the right type of software, you can develop your own templates for each subject and related notes. You can also search and organize textbook chapters or lecture notes and share class material as needed.

Tip #4: Study with good habits (that means no junk food!)

Exam preparation is not just reviewing course material. Always make sure to schedule regular breaks with each study session, especially in your study groups. These regular breaks are meant to be a time to step away from the study space and routine. It gives your mind time to absorb the information reviewed during the study sessions. On your list of study tips, make sure to consider a frequent mini break from time to time. You can try the Pomodoro technique, which consists of having 25 minutes intervals of strong focus and short 5 minutes breaks between them.

Pomodoro technique - how to prepare for exam

You also want to maintain an overall positive mood when studying, especially with other students. Make sure to get enough sleep each night and not wake up tired and grumpy in the morning. A positive mood during the study session as well as the exam itself is important. A positive mood keeps you in a relaxed state to focus on exam questions and recall information on exam day.

Try to watch what you eat, as well as one of many excellent study tips. You may be tempted to go after that comfort junk food, but that can affect your energy levels. Stick to healthy snacks and drink plenty of water at all times. This will give you a slow release of energy during study time.

You should regularly exercise as a way to prepare for exams. Maybe you take those breaks to hit the gym, go for a run, or do some other activity. These will help recharge your body and give you more ideas with a clear mind.

Tip #5: Practice with visual learning no matter how many exams is crucial in how to prepare for exam day

What is visual learning? It’s how over two-thirds of the population learn a subject and helps them see the big picture. While you take notes, you want to work on visualizing the subjects and the answers to the test. You also want to visualize the exam day itself and fully understand the format. Exam preparation is also studying the same way you learn.

Visual learning is one of the most effective ways and best study tips out there to ace the exam. When you use diagrams visual aids, you’re able to study easier those complex subjects. This is similar to how you learned these subjects in the first place. You can use old exams as a starting point to build your flow charts.

Visual learning benefits for exam preparation

Tip #6: Use the right tools

Don’t build a cluttered environment that’s digital as well. Use the right tools that help you save time and focus on the test. Mindomo comes with several mind map examples for students to help with their study needs. It’s a great tool to share with your study group and organize your notes more effectively. Exam preparation can be done with tools, previous exams, and course material. All are key factors in how to prepare for exam day.

With a mind map tool, you can link any resource to easily access it, restructure lessons using visual elements, organize information exactly how you prefer, or even set tasks and schedule them to use as reminders for your study sessions.

Make sure before the exam day that you get a good night’s rest as part of your exam preparation. Avoid playing computer games the night before exams to help you fall asleep. Otherwise, you may fall asleep during the test!

Keep it smart, simple, and creative!
The Mindomo Team

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