Studying for an exam or test can be intimidating, particularly if you’re an ESL student. Taking a test in another language is tough, but luckily there are plenty of ways to make sure that you really know the material for the exam. Teaching yourself how to study and building good study habits are some of the best investments you can make, as we’re learning every single day.
Here are our 7 most helpful study tips.
1. Create a study plan and stick to it
When you’re facing something intimidating, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and useless. One of the easiest ways to get around this is by breaking everything down into smaller tasks, and the same thing works with studying. Break down everything you need to know into manageable study periods, and you’ll be able to accomplish everything you need to do before the exams.
Use a calendar to create day plans for studying, and make sure you stick to them. Habits are only created through repeated action.
2. Reward good work
When studying, it’s important to take breaks and give yourself a reward. If you know that you have a snack or a video at the end of the work period, you’ll find yourself motivated to work harder so you can finish the job and get the reward sooner.
This simple trick will help turn you into a studying machine. And if you keep your snacks healthy, you’ll be learning and taking care of yourself at the same time.
3. Use a timer
One of the more popular time management methods is called the Pomodoro technique. This method requires you to use a kitchen timer and work hard for 25 minutes. At the end of the work period, you can reset the timer for 5 minutes worth of free time, which acts like a reward. These 30 minute periods also work well with dividing your time between tasks.
4. Avoid distraction
This is the number one thing to avoid when studying. Distractions like cell phones, Facebook, television, and your friends can really hurt your work and studying efforts. It’s important to separate your study time and social life so you can get work done. So turn off all your devices, find a neutral location like a library, and get studying.
5. Answer practice questions
If your exam is question based, then you may be able to get practice versions of your tests. By working your way through mock and past exams, you’ll be able to see what kind of questions they are able to ask and how they want you to answer them. You’ll also be able to see what you need to work on.
6. Study with a group
If you’re struggling to keep yourself accountable, why not try studying in a group? If you’re all working on the same subject, you can discuss ideas, ask questions, and test each other’s skills. However, you do have to make sure that you’re with people committed to actually studying, otherwise you’ll find yourself easily distracted and off topic quickly.
7. Study tools
Make use of some of the best study tools available. For example, when learning English definitions you could create flash cards that have the word on one side and the definition on the other. Shuffle the cards and then work your way through them, pronouncing the words, defining them and then checking your answers. It’s the perfect way to memorise words and phrases.
When recapping subjects, chapters and lessons, create a summary page. A summary page is where you summarise everything that you learned during that period with only the need to know information. This way you’ll have a reduced amount of learning to do as you’ll only need to memorise the important things on the page.
So remember to study hard and make sure you do well on your tests and exams. Follow our study tips above and stick to a plan, and you’ll be doing well in no time!