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5 Exam Essentials Your Teacher Won’t Tell You About

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Right before preparatory leave for semester exams, what do you look for? Pens, readings, notes, previous-year papers, motivation ( … maybe too late for that)? Here is a list of 5 more tried-and-tested things to add to your study-preparation to make yourself a more efficient and a lot more agreeable learner. Hey, we can’t find you your motivation but we can aim to replicate it:

1. What keeps you up at night (or mornings): There will be days when your body will scream for sleep despite 8 hours of it and you just won’t be able to afford it. I swear by a cup of almost-black sickeningly sweet coffee to wake me up within 20 minutes on those days. If not the caffeine, the sugar rush will kick in and kick you in the behind to get you started. If that doesn’t work for you, try Red Bull or strong tea. Even water, because dehydration tends to make you sluggish. A note of caution, however, to not drink a lot of Red Bull or Caffeinated drinks. They can be injurious to your health and might just harm rather than help you. When your body screams for sleep, you should listen to it as often as you can.

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2. Food: People will tell you to keep low-calorie, healthy snacks handy for late night munching-studying sessions. People are right, and having food like popcorn (not slathered with butter) or fruits can make studying a lot better, especially if you’re reading theoretical subjects. Other than healthy snacks, you should also have a jar of Nutella or peanut butter or chocolate bars (or whatever it is you like to indulge in) handy. There are times when your motivation will be at an all time low and you’ll feel miserable and unprepared. Like the soldiers that we are, we must power through it with weapons of our choice (yes, that means chocolate is a weapon).

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3. Short YouTube videos or TV show series: You have completed a chapter and need a break before you start the next. Before you start watching a TV show with a full-blown, intriguing plot and episodes that last 40 minutes, you tell yourself you won’t watch the entire thing.

You and I both know that you will. You will not only watch the entire thing, you might also watch the next few episodes, hence ruining your study schedule for the day. Your way out of this dilemma of watching something during a break yet not deviating a lot from your study schedule can be solved if you turn to YouTube videos or short TV series. Of course, your will power will still be tested because no one can stop you from watching a series of them one after the other, but with no plot lines and the sense of closure as you finish a video or an episode, you’ll be more likely to get back to studying.

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4. Playlists to power your question-solving/note-making sessions: A lot of people find it easier to sit for longer periods of time with music playing. While it’s not recommended to listen to music while reading and learning new concepts, once you’re onto writing things down and solving questions, music might help you through it. Invest in the 8tracks app (invest with your phone memory, the app is free!) for study playlists or make your own, and solve your way through questions. Even if you don’t get the answers right, at least you’ll still be jamming to good tunes and will be more incentivised to continue.

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5. Colourful sticky notes: You won’t believe how many doubts you’ll lose track of if you continue the ‘Oh, I’ll remember it’ practice. I find myself forgetting places where I’ve written down questions or forgetting why I even had a question in the first place. Putting a brightly coloured sticky note with the details of your doubt in the exam will make it that much easier for you to tackle them later. You can also use sticky notes to sum up important things of the chapter for a quick revision. It also makes drab readings look more aesthetic.

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Shubham Kaushik

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Shubham swears by three Fs in life: Fall Out Boy, Feminism and Food, and hopes to combine them into an amazing book someday. Staunchly against heteronormativity and a believer in the power of hugs, she considers herself a pop-culture 'activist' and a crusader against the stigma attached to fanfiction. A student of Economics at Miranda House, she likes indulging in discussions about the fragility of money and the absurdity of life. Find her reblogging memes on Tumblr or drop her a word at [email protected] if you want to discuss bands, books or have a nice pun to share.

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