1. How you approach studying matters
Being in the right mindset is important to study smarter - sometimes you just can't force yourself to be in the "right mindset" and so this is when you have to take a break in order to avoid frustration and get back to it when you're feeling better.
Ways to help improve your study mindset:
Aim to think positively when you study, and remind yourself of your skills and abilities.
Avoid catastrophic thinking. Instead of thinking, “I’m a mess, I’ll never have enough time to study for this exam,” look at it like, “I may be a little late to study as much as I’d like, but since I’m doing it now, I’ll get most of it done.”
Avoid absolute thinking. Instead of thinking “I always mess things up,” the more objective view is, “I didn’t do so well that time, what can I do to improve?”
Avoid comparing yourself with others, because you usually just end up feeling bad about yourself. Your skills and abilities are unique to you, and you alone.
2. Where you study is important
Quiet places are usually conducive environments - find your own reliable spot and make use of it over the course of your studies. Don't be near any TVs or computers or any other interesting material that may distract you
3. Bring everything you need, nothing you don't
Some students like to type their notes out with their laptops but avoid this because the laptop will turn into a distraction later on - writing is also proven to help with understanding and memory. If need be, leave your phone locked away or turned off till you are done with studying for that day.
4. Outline and rewrite your notes
Most people find that keeping to a standard outline helps with recalling the information later on, every person is unique so find the structure that suits you. Try not to copy someone else's notes as their outline may not be best for you.
5. Use memory games (or mnemonic devices)
This is a method for remembering pieces of information using a simple association of common words which people often find easier to remember. Examples include "Cats have paws so cations are pawsitive (positive)" or "OIL RIG (Oxidation Is Loss, Reduction Is Gain)".
6. Practice by yourself or with friends
Practice by testing yourself with past exam papers, flashcards or mini quizzes or create a small study group with 4-5 friends and compare notes and topic knowledge to see if you missed out on anything important.
7. Make a study schedule you can stick to
Ensure that it is realistic enough for you to keep to rather than cramming bulks of information in your head at a single time. Spending 30 to 60 minutes revising before or after each class can actually benefit you a lot more
8. Take breaks (and rewards)
Studying for long periods of time at one go is not only not fun but also unrealistic and tiring. Segment your notes so that you study for shorter periods of time (1 hour each topic) and get a 10 minute break in between is more sustainable and easier to digest. Reward yourself with whatever motivates you to keep going whether it's a snack or a video online.
9. Keep healthy and balanced
Try to include as much as exercise as you can in your study schedule and eat healthy where possible. Vitmains are also useful in boosting your immune system and keeping concentration, alertness and even intelligence levels up!
10. Pay attention in class
If your teacher stresses on a specific topic or question type, make sure to take it down because it could be very important for you to do well on your JC exam. Take your own notes as well based on what is being talked about in class rather than just focusing on the printed materials (this may not enough).
Adapted from https://psychcentral.com/lib/top-10-most-effective-study-habits/2/
By Ms Cheng
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