Top Study Tips [and adorable study GIFS]

Here we are, in the depths of exam leave.

Surrounded by notes and textbooks, highlighters all dried up and nails chewed down to just nubs. Nubs I tell you! We live in the 21st century, why is there no technology to download study notes directly into our brains? Why am I seeing diagrams of aortic atriums in my sleep? When will it end? When?!?

Hey – it’s OK, there’s not long to go. Soon you’ll be basking in post-exam glory, looking back at previous stress levels and laughing smugly to yourself.

Until then, we’ve got some top tips to get you through the final sprint and help you ace those exams:


Teach What You Know

OK, so you may have reached the point where you’re not sure that you know anything, but trust us – you do. You’ve been absorbing those quotes, equations and facts gradually over time, just preparing to whip them out in the exam hall.

Teaching your friends an aspect of a subject, whether that be the French past participle or the ins-and-outs of the Treaty of Versailles, will help you embed that knowledge as well as help your friends understand it.

Pick a couple of study buddies, assign each other a task and swot up. Each friend then has to teach their subject to the group. Trust us, it works. It will also set you up for university group study and tutorials, which normally depend on this kind of approach.


Stock Up On Past Papers

History has a strange way of repeating itself and exams are no exception.

Practicing on old past papers is a great way of setting you up for the real exam, and there’s every chance very similar questions will crop up when you sit down at that exam hall desk.

Finishing practice papers within the allocated time frame will also train you in pacing, making sure you conclude your essay and answer all the given questions before the exam bell rings.


Eat Brain Food

I hear ya, McDonalds and Twirl Bites are just too good. Throw in some Haribo and Red Bull and you’ve got a veritable study buffet, but this is totally the wrong stuff to be putting in your study body.

Rather than jacking your brain up on sugar and processed foods you should be feeding your brain with vitamins and essential oils. Eating balanced meals of fish and vegetables may not have the same appeal as bingeing on Doritos and Dairy Milk, but it will help your brain absorb information better and keep it alert and active.

Eating junk is also likely to make you feel sluggish and lazy, which won’t help for those study sessions.


Get Some Fresh Air

Taking regular (but not too regular) breaks to nip outside and get some fresh air will help refresh your brain and body, making it more likely to absorb new information when you return to your desk in your bedroom cave.

It will also remind you there’s a world outside the doom and gloom of studying you’ve been living in for the last few weeks.


Start Mind Mapping

You don’t want to spend too much time making your notes look pretty, but a little visual change-up in your revision can help you remember different aspects of your study.

Try making some mind maps or flow charts amid your regular notes to break up the blocks of text. You’ll find you pick up the information a lot easier and it will also kick-start the creative part of your brain, making both sides work at the same time.

Remember It’s Important, But It’s Not Life-And-Death

Exams are incredibly important. They set you up for college, university or whatever it is you want to do next.

However, they don’t have the final say in your future. If you fail, or narrowly miss out on the grades you need, life is not over. You can apply through clearing (check out our handy ‘what if’ guide here) or take extra classes to make up the difference. THE WORLD WILL NOT END.


Don’t worry guys, the end is in sight. Tweet us your exam woes and successes to @sourcemag or tell us all about it on the FB page:



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