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Poncho

Good Ol' Exams

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Not Doom related in the slightest, and hopefully at least one person reads this:

 

I have the absolute worst concentration ever when it comes to revision. I've got to do my baccalauréat (bascially A levels) this year, and I've got my mocks this week. Does anyone have ANY strategy that makes revision more fun (or, at least, less boring)?

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Where do you revise? If at home, then ffs take your books to a cafe or a park and study there. Bonus points if you take one more studying nerd with you. IMHO the usual everyday atmosphere at home prevents you from focusing on something.

Keep your books in your toilet (and your phone out of it), so that you can be productive while on the shitter. Try that!

Ask yourself random questions at random times during your day. For example, you're, say, in the bus going somewhere and you suddenly pop the question in your head: "How much is 2 plus 2 minus 1?".

 

If you follow my advice but still end up failing the exam and spending the rest of your life under a bridge then I'm not to blame ofc

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I just go to the library, it's silent and bereft of all distractions. If i remain at home there will be too many distracting elements such as game console, computer, even cats and that doesn't include the potential noises especially if you live in a noisy home.

 

Be sure to take 10-15 minutes breaks each hours or so between revision session. At one point or the other after focusing hard on studying, your brain might possibly need a break to assimilate the information better, as long as you come back to those studies after a short break.

 

It's all about discipline here, it's easy to go on a pause of like 10 mins but then telling yourself "heeeh another 10 minutes won't hurt".

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Disclaimer on my opinion: I'm not good at study. Quite terrible honestly. I'm the guy who reads the first sentence of a book and doesn't take in anything, reading it several times over and then out load but then gets frustrated on how long it's taking, further hindering my efforts. Although I can take in knowledge well if I'm genuinely interested in it.

 

I think one of the recurring theme's here is choosing your environment wisely. I echo this. My room is my sanctuary and great for quiet privacy but it's a trap. It's where all my major distractions are. Don't fall into the same issue. Put yourself in a quiet and comfortable environment that gives you no choice but to be productive. It may prove to be surprisingly effective.

 

When reflecting on my own work ethic. I know at home I'm embarrassingly lazy but at work I'm extremely hard working. I'm in a different state of mind based on my environment. Try out a good environment.

 

 

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Is there anyone who can help you prepare? Once I helped my sister prepare for exams, and I read her notes to her aloud, using silly voices for some parts of them. She stayed focused and remembered the stuff pretty well. How well that might work depends on the subject though.

 

And as Shanoa says, take breaks. Maybe even use them as 'rewards' to yourself for a good spell of concentrated effort. Maybe for every 6 hours work, you permit yourself to watch a favourite TV show. Or for every two hours' effort, you reward yourself by playing a Doom level (preferably a small one). I have heard it claimed that the brain works best in 25-minute chunks, so maybe take very short breaks twice an hour.

 

If you can convince yourself that you love the subject you're revising, that might help too.

 

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9 hours ago, bzzrak said:

Where do you revise? If at home, then ffs take your books to a cafe or a park and study there. Bonus points if you take one more studying nerd with you. IMHO the usual everyday atmosphere at home prevents you from focusing on something.

Keep your books in your toilet (and your phone out of it), so that you can be productive while on the shitter. Try that!

Ask yourself random questions at random times during your day. For example, you're, say, in the bus going somewhere and you suddenly pop the question in your head: "How much is 2 plus 2 minus 1?".

 

If you follow my advice but still end up failing the exam and spending the rest of your life under a bridge then I'm not to blame ofc

Well, I study at home most of the time too, and I do lack concentration! But I score good marks!

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What @Chezza said.

I found that in my room I was always being distracted somewhat.

Especially in my desk, I would start using things I left on it.

 

Also, now I am doing something else.

I sit on my bed face down, instead of sitting on it with my back and I read whatever lesson I need to study from my books/notes.

If I manage to hit the perfect stance, I can study for an hour or more.

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I achieve good results with minimal effort like this: First off, get as precise information as possible about what is and isn't going to be in an upcoming exam, and make sure the study materials I'm going to learn from contain nothing more than what is. Then wait until the few days before the exam to study the materials in 3 parts, one per day, each with a goal "read everything, understand at least something". To elaborate on the parts:

 

Two days before the exam, I read the entire study materials once, without necessarily concentrating on everything, but making sure that I read every word (as in, every word goes clearly through my sight and at least dully through my mind). If the subject involves concepts that need to be understood rather than just memorized, I think about at least some of them, but feel free to completely skip thinking about others, as long as I read the words written about them. One day before the exam, I do the very same thing again, still not necessarily concentrating on everything, but now I should know at least slightly more about the topic than I did the day before. Immediately before the exam, I do it again, this time possibly skipping anything I feel I already remember or understand. Even if there's a lot of study materials, just start reading them early enough that day to finish reading when the exam will be about to start.

 

Then I usually recall content of the study materials relatively well during the exam. I guess the trick is that 1) part of the content is in my long term memory from the previous days, 2) part is in my short term memory from just before the exam, and 3) thanks to reading everything in 3 different days, many random things stick in my memory from at least one of the days.

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More fun and less boring? Well, dunno, but unless you enjoy what you're doing/reading I doubt anything will improve the experience by much. A quiet room with no distractions (phone, PC, TV, and so on) where you can focus 100% might do something however. That's how the experience was for me as well when I was preparing for the baccalaureat, although luckily I prepared for it the entire year and took everything step by step rather than leaving it for the last couple of weeks/months, this way I was also much less nervous, stressed and had lots of spare time in my hands.

 

I'd sometimes play music in the background to keep me going and not fall asleep but of course, my mind tends to focus on it rather than the subject at hand. I'm currently in the exam session at my college and I struggle with the exact same problem. It's 0 fun, difficult, and utterly boring. Let's just say I don't understand what I've been taught in some cases either, to make matters even worse. I'm having a hard time not falling asleep after exercising for a short period of time or losing my focus entirely.

 

What I could recommend however would be preparing with someone else, just another person should suffice to keep things interesting, exchange ideas, help you where you don't understand something and vice versa, and so on, this could probably be the best option you could go for. Moreover, don't forget take breaks, even if they're going to be numerous, and don't study for very long periods of time, you'll quickly find yourself exhausted this way and probably end up learning next to nothing in the process.

Edited by Agent6

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Here is a question for yall: This one subject needs work to be done on a computer (programming for example), so will I get distracted either ways if I bring it into the library? Today I went into library to study for this exam, and frankly I learned something, yay! But the other subject I have a exam on requires use of a special software not found on library's computers. Would I be able to focus properly like I did today if I brought over my laptop which I coincidentally use for everything else (i.e gaming and web surfing)? I mean, results may vary, but is it worth a try?

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4 hours ago, TFK said:

Well, I study at home most of the time too, and I do lack concentration! But I score good marks!

I do, too!

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41 minutes ago, Battle_Korbi said:

Here is a question for yall: This one subject needs work to be done on a computer (programming for example), so will I get distracted either ways if I bring it into the library? Today I went into library to study for this exam, and frankly I learned something, yay! But the other subject I have a exam on requires use of a special software not found on library's computers. Would I be able to focus properly like I did today if I brought over my laptop which I coincidentally use for everything else (i.e gaming and web surfing)? I mean, results may vary, but is it worth a try?

Why would it not be? Just focus on the work at hand and don't let yourself be tempted to do anything else until it's done, unless you want to take a break.

 

I used my one and only computer the last year when I had to create a website for programming and I was completely absorbed by my work and never focused on something else until it was good and finished.

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Don't rely on it and you won't need intense revisioning day(s). Do minor revision every 2-3 weeks instead (or 1\4th the duration between exams). This will make revision day a breeze since most of it will be skip-able. 

 

You can still do way more if you are willing to "harm" yourself for a week or two before exams though, Doing intense crazy re-write sessions of material and studying those instead of the raw book is way more reliable since anything you don't care about won't waste your time and concentration running over it. Asking people about stuff they are worried about or focused is also surprisingly effective. 

 

Of course the above will only prepare you for the basic material questions. Anything that requires more will require frequent practice.

 

 make sure you don't' study +2 hours straight without a break. You'll be able to study way more. Generous breaks if it is something intense (1-2 hour breaks). 

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my most successful period of revision was when i did a 20min on/10min off while playing soccer matches on pro evolution soccer 6.

you could argue that i was playing too much game but i know if i hadnt done that id probably have done 0 revision.

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I am currently using a technique called 'Revise the past papers and notes ONLY' It works 99.99% of the time.

No I am not kidding, biology and physics sucks really hard

 

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