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Ten useful study tips to help you prepare for tests and exams

Ten useful study tips to help you prepare for tests and exams

Posted: 12 Oct 2018

Here are a few study tip reminders to prepare for the exams.


Give yourself ample time to study

The worst idea is to leave studying to the night before you are writing an exam!  You should write an exam feeling refreshed and not burnt out. Short, intensive study sessions the night before does not allow your brain enough time to transfer information from your short-term memory bank to your long-term one. The worst tactic is trying to ‘cram’ by doing an ‘all nighter’ before an exam. This practice impairs your short-term memory.  When you sleep, your brain integrates the information you have learned with what you already know and helps you make sense of it.  Rather space out your time. You also need to recap, review and reinforce any new information you learn within 24 hours, so that it stays in your memory. 

Make use of e-Classroom’s revision papers

You’ll find many revision papers on the e-classroom website as well as a bank of Maths video tutorials from Grade 8-12 containing all the topics for the year. Take advantage of these opportunities to revise your work.  Practicing sample answers to past exam questions can help train your brain to retrieve information during a test or exam. E- Classroom also offers a 24 hour Math tutoring service through their academy: www.e-classroom-academy.co.za for Grade 8 & 9 learners which is very helpful if learners are struggling to understand concepts. 

Talk to yourself or explain to others when you study

An oral grasp of your study material helps you to organise it in your mind. Explain to yourself or to another person what you are studying. Try using an app on your phone called Flipgrid to record yourself talking about your topic. This method will also show you what you haven’t grasped. You can also make use of flashcards to test yourself.  Online flashcards are a great way to study.

Use all your senses when you study

Don’t just read your notes. Rather, write as much as you can. Draw pictures, diagrams and mind maps. Move around as you study. Speak as you study. Visualise what you are studying. 

Use diagrams, mind maps and drawings to help you recall your work

The brain remembers pictures and charts better than words. Mind maps help one to categorise information and see how it all fits together. The brain loves colour – use it for highlighting information. Those mental associations that you make prove useful in an exam setting. 

Organise your study space

Make sure you have sufficient light in the place where you study. Is the chair you sit on comfortable? Put away all distractions. 

Learn to focus and take regular breaks

Try not to study for more than 2 hours in one stretch. Break your 2 hours into shorter 25-minute slots. There is a free app that is available called ‘Pomodorra’ which encourages you to focus for 25 minutes before taking a five-minute break. It suggests longer breaks as you study. Try it out. 


A walk shortly before test has been shown to boost memory. Exercise is very good for the brain. 

Do you prefer to study using music in the background? 

If your answer is yes, make sure that you are listening to the right kind of music. There are some types of music that stimulate the brain productively and elevate your mood. 

Create a study group

Studying with a group is a good way to understand difficult concepts. Arrange with friends who will be an asset to you and not a distraction, to meet for occasional study group sessions. 

These are just a few ideas that can make the world of difference when you study. Good luck for the upcoming exams!



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