At exam time, you always find the same helpful learning tips in various media, with which you can get through the exam stress better and more relaxed. And then they say: “The students are on the alert. Studying all night and drinking gallons of coffee are the order of the day.” And then asking, “But is that efficient?” And finally, redeemingly, “With these tips, students will learn how to prepare for exams.” And then come those learning tips that have long been familiar from our own websites.
Preparation for learning: before starting to learn, the material should be sifted and portioned. Then a learning plan can be created and the learning morsels are distributed evenly over the individual learning days. The learning location should be undisturbed and offer enough space to spread out the learning materials. Disruptive factors such as cell phones, the Internet, and the radio should be turned off. A learning location with sufficient daylight is easy on the eyes. Preparation also includes having drinks and snacks as well as writing utensils within reach. This is nonsense, of course, because drinks and snacks have no place in learning!
Learning: Ideally, students combine different learning methods. Reading aloud, summarizing texts, and writing out details in different colors – combining different learning methods is ideal. What many underestimate is the repetition and regular reproduction of the learning material. One question learners should ask themselves is, “What have I learned?” A good exercise is to have someone else quiz you. This way, not only does one have to formulate what one has learned in one’s own words – this is especially helpful in oral exams – but it also quickly becomes apparent whether the material is correct or whether there are gaps in learning. In a study group with fellow students, you can ask each other questions, bring up open questions or exchange tips.
Take a break: Some students can study all day. But for everyone else, the rule is: for every hour studied, there is a 10-minute break. This is also wrong, because after an hour of learning you should give your brain two hours to process what you have learned! During this break you should relax. Bad break activities are surfing, watching TV or playing video games. These lead to a sensory overload, which in turn is a hindrance to learning.
The day before the day: The day before the exam, no new material should be crammed. The material should only be repeated.