Hey Gorgeous Cacti! We’ve all had those moments when we’ve left everything up to the very last minute. I always see those fantastic study posts about all the things you can do weeks or even months before an exam but honestly, I know for me and probably a few others studying can be taken up to the very last minute. So here is a small list of all the things that work for me when I’ve left studying to the night or so before.
- Plan: Before starting take 5 minutes and write down a plan. For me this always makes things seem so much less overwhelming. I usually write down each exam I have to do and list them in the order they are going to happen. Under that I usually write down each small thing I need to get done in order to feel prepared for the exam. For me, I’ll usually do a couple of the quickest ones first so I feel in control before going onto the bigger things. But do whatever makes you feel best!
- Breaks: Set a timer on your phone, use an app, use whatever you want. Just make sure you get up regularly and walk around. Have a dance break, go to the bathroom, get more water, whatever. Just Move!
- Highlighting: I take a lot of notes and I always leave it until the night before until I go through them all and highlight the important aspects that I need to remember. It gets you reading through all the useful information and makes sure you stay focused while going through it.
- Rewriting: While I go through my notes and highlight the important parts, I also usually rewrite those on a separate piece of paper. I usually try to keep it below four pages long but it does depend on how much content you need to get through. If it is A Lot then I recommend only really writing down the stuff you can’t remember. I always continuously read through these pages before the exam so it all really sticks in my head.
- Music: It might be different for some of you, but I know that I absolutely cannot focus unless there is something on in the background. I can’t say what will work for you but I’d definitely recommend something that doesn’t distract you but also doesn’t bore you.
- Practice: If you’re studying maths or anything that requires doing rather then just remembering, then it would be a good idea to go through some practice problems from the textbook, online or redo any worksheets if you have them. Sometimes I’ll put simple questions that I’ve worked through on the rewritten sheets I look through right before the exam.
- Water: Drink water throughout this whole process! It keeps you awake and breaks up the time. I always put some ice cubes in there to make myself feel fancy too.
- Electronics: Get them away from you! Whenever I know I really have to study I suddenly become social media obsessed so now I’m in the habit of just completely blocking those sites from my laptop until exams are over. Put your phone in the other room! Ban yourself from tumblr! You really got to focus!
- Youtube: If you don’t understand something - youtube it! Watch those tutorials on repeat until you get it! Often if it’s getting late and I’m finding it really hard to focus then I’ll put on some videos for stuff I still only kind of understand. It’s really helpful especially when you don’t feel like writing anymore.
- Sleep: I get that you have an exam tomorrow. Yeah you just need to finish this chapter. But don’t freaking stay up until 3am! Don’t do that to yourself! You can work more in the morning. Your brain needs sleep, you’re not wasting time. Please. Just take care of yourself.
Once you get into the exam - write all formulas, mnemonics and models down immediately! I like to do this before even reading the first question. This way I get all the tools I need out of my mind right away. So I’ll have more space in my mind to think about the actual questions instead of thinking formulas and panicking.
I really hope this post has been helpful! If you have any questions at all or you need some more advice, don’t hesitate to send me an ask. Happy studies my wonderful Cacti!