It’s October, which means exams are only a month away. If you’re panicking, take a deep breath in. And out. And in again. And out again. Feel better? Right. Keep reading, because we’re here to help.

Here are 6 study tips to help you ace your exams

1. Organise your study space

The environment you choose to study in has a bigger effect on your success than you think. The most important things to consider are lighting, noise, and furniture. Ensure than you are in a well-lit, comfortable space without any noise and distraction. You should also organise your desk space. A messy desk distracts the brain and hinders your ability to focus, so clear that clutter!

2. Get rid of your phone!

Yes, really. Your cognitive capacity reduces when your smartphone is within reach. Receiving a notification on your phone can cause enough distraction to impair your ability to focus, according to this study.

Although these notifications are generally short, they can “prompt task-irrelevant thoughts, or mind-wandering, which has been shown to damage task performance," according to the researchers of the study. "Cellular phone notifications alone, significantly disrupt performance on an attention-demanding task, even when participants do not directly interact with a mobile device during the task."

3. Find your study method

People are different, and we learn differently, so it’s safe to say that you should try different study methods. Some prefer to stick to print and write out notes, while others are more visual and learn better with flow charts and diagrams. Some are auditory learners and prefer to listen to classical music, which helps to improve focus and mood. Auditory learners also find that reading notes aloud help with studying. There are other methods you may not know about that could be the perfect method for you, such as active recall, the Leitner system or the Fenyman Notebook method. Take some time to research these methods and try to find the study methos that works for you.

4. Form a study group

If there are topics or concepts you don’t understand, ask for help. If your teachers can’t spare time for extra lessons, form a study group with other learners. There’s a big difference between jotting down notes and actively discussing a topic with others. Your peers may have a better understanding of the subject and can pass on what they know.
For more technical subjects like maths and science, the best option would be to get extra lessons. Check out Master Maths and Master Science for affordable and effective tutoring.

5. Test yourself

Get your hands on some past papers and answer them as if you were in your actual exam. This will give you a good idea of the layout of the paper, how much time you’ll need to answer the questions, and most of all it will test how prepared you are. It’s easy to think you’re ready when you have the material in front of you, but once you remove your notes can you actually remember the information?

6. Tips to get you through exam day

Make sure you get enough sleep the night before – cramming doesn’t work. Trust us. Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready before the exam starts, and make sure you pack the necessary stationery. Arrive at your exam venue early so that you can get settled in – there’s nothing like running late to spike up your stress levels.

If you follow these tips, and stick to your study timetable, you should be well prepared for your examinations. Good luck!