Exam Jam

Scientifically proven ways to better study habits and do amazing on your exams.

Lola Duytschaver, Staff Reporter

With exam week fast approaching and student’s with grades on the line many wonder, what’s the best way to prepare? Exams are roughly 20% of our final grade for the semester so, doing well on these can be the “make or break.” However, there is no need to worry, there are many scientifically proven ways to improve study habits and prepare overall.

Saying no to cramming is one way to improve the way in which one prepares. As cited in Scientifically, The Best Ways to Prepare for Final Exams | Big Ideas Blog (suny.edu) “Studying in 20–50-minute increments and giving yourself 5-10 minutes in between is more beneficial than cramming.  Distributing learning over time typically benefits long term retention more than a short period.” This method of incrementing study material allows for increased concentration and an increased chance of remembering that information.

Changing the location of where you study is also proven to improve concentration and retention of information. Most students choose to study in places that are comfortable such as in their bed or on their couch, however this decreases the chance of actually retaining the information that’s being studied. It is recommended that students go to locations such as your local Starbucks or Panera to create a more concentrated atmosphere for your brain.

Using Quizlet and other helpful sites creates ways to memorize study material in a productive and entertaining manner. Writing out flashcards and notes assists in the storage of data in your brain’s long-term memory, but in order to retain that information playing memory games such as Gimkit, being quizzed by friends, or creating mnemonics highly improves memory.

Although it may sound redundant, a healthy diet and lots of water will vastly improve brain function and mood. Eating healthy while you study and around the period of time before and during exams will help you have a healthier body and mind. 10 Quick Tips for Successful Exam Preparation – Hunimed states, “While studying for exams and even during an exam, it is advisable to drink water. Remaining hydrated is vital and adds to your overall positive mood.”

One last tip for acing exams is, if given permission by teachers, chew mint gum or take a couple mints during your exam. As stated in Study says peppermints help with focus during tests | Life | the-standard.org, “Some studies suggest peppermint can calm your nerves, increase your concentration and might aid in diminishing test anxiety.”