Cramming for a test is obviously not the ideal way to study, but do you know why? According to research, pulling an all-nighter is not at all among the recommended study tips for students. Cramming is not one of the smartest study methods out there since it negatively affects your body and brain functions — and eventually, your exam results. So, how to study for a test without cramming? Here are some study tips you may do before your next round of examinations.
7 Tips on How To Study for a Test Without Cramming
In this guide:
- Identify your ideal study time
- Prioritize difficult subjects when studying
- Find a conducive place for studying
- Take a break and relax
- Get enough sleep
- Eat properly
- Study days ahead
Study Tip #1: Identify your ideal study time
Not everyone has the inclination (and patience) to buckle down and study at any given time. You need to identify the best time when your attention and concentration for studying is at its peak. If you get sleepy very early at night, then maximize the morning or afternoon for studying. Or, if you are physically active and gets stressed during the day, then night studying might be for you. Identifying your best study time allows you to breeze through tedious tasks such as memorizing lectures or composing essays.
Study Tip #2: Prioritize difficult subjects when studying
Studying can be physically exhausting and mentally draining. Because of this, you must study the difficult topics first, then proceed with easier topics later on. This way, you can allot more energy on the subjects where you need to focus on the most. Your mind needs to process more information for more complex subjects, and so you need to start with these. Never mind if you have less energy for other subjects — at least you won’t be expending too much effort for easier topics. This scheme ensures you will cover all subjects you need for an upcoming exam.
Study Tip #3: Find a conducive place for studying
Environment plays a crucial factor in how we execute different tasks — including studying. Looking for a place that allows you to focus and concentrate fully on your academics will help you study effectively. Most of the time, this place needs to be quiet and organized, so there will be no distractions when you study.
Identifying a conducive place for studying may differ per person. Some people find it easier to study while watching TV at home or while having some snacks or coffee in a cafe. Others may prefer the usual quiet library. In any case, try to figure out a place that suits your personal study need.
Study Tip #4: Take a break and relax
Exhaustion from too much studying is not helpful as this will prevent your mind from absorbing all the information you need for an exam. Take an occasional break in between your study period. A good 5- to 10-minute break is already enough to rest your eyes from reading and your brain from taking in all information. If it will help, go out and do a short but fun diversion during your break time. Remember: you need to take your studies seriously but not at the expense of your health (or your sanity).
Study Tip #5: Get enough sleep
Apart from taking short breaks, a good, long sleep will help you condition your body and mind a day before an exam. A solid night’s sleep before an exam allows your brain to take a good break and prepare for the tedious mental activity the following day. This is the reason why cramming is bad for you — it stresses your body and mind the entire night, which in turn badly affects you come examination day. Studies show committing to an 8-hour sleep time will do the trick.
Study Tip #6: Eat properly
Proper nourishment is necessary for our body to perform different functions, including studying. Food serves as the fuel for both body and mind and will be helpful if you need that boost come exam day. Make sure to eat healthy food so as to provide you with the right nutrients you need. Researchers suggest food such as dark leafy vegetables and carbohydrates to serve as nourishment for your brain.
Study Tip #7: Study days ahead
Finally, there’s no better way of preventing cramming than by studying way ahead of the exam day. Days before the exam, you definitely have a few ideas already as to the topics to be covered. So, make time to go over your notes days or weeks before an exam. This allows you to memorize easier and retain information better, which will become very helpful come exam day. Also, it will make you less stressed and worried when you’re already about to take the test.
Check out this video on how to study for a test without cramming:
These steps on how to study for a test are actually not difficult to follow. All you have to do is to take these study tips seriously, try not to cram, and commit yourself to acing your test. Having this kind of mindset will allow the best study methods to work to your advantage.
Do you have other suggestions and tips on how to study for a test? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section below.