It’s tough staying motivated during the long gruelling study sessions of finals, especially as it nears the end of exam time: brains are burnt out, anxiety levels are high, physical and emotional exhaustion can take its toll. But as the saying goes, the final 20% of any project or endeavour always seems to take the longest.
Here are our tried and tested top 10 study hacks to get through the burn.
- Exercise! Numerous studies show the link between moving your body and growing your mind. Experiments have proven that the hippocampus, which is at the core of the brain’s learning and memory system, is improved by regular exercise. Even a brisk 10 minute walk around the block between study sprints can improve concentration levels. According to research conducted by the University of Illinois, 20 minutes of exercise before an exam also improves performance.
- If studying something from a computer screen, print it out. Researchers found that people reading from paper had a higher recognition of how well they understood the text than screen readers. Times New Roman is also the easiest font to read!
- Speak out loud instead of simply reading, studies show that we’re 50% more likely to remember something if it’s spoken out loud as opposed to reading it.
- The best way to learn is to teach. Sit down with your child and ask them to teach you what they’ve just learned, this is a great way for them to remember something while increasing their confidence in the subject matter.
- New stationery. There’s nothing like a new special pen, or fresh colouring pencils to inject new life into studying.
- Chew gum! Yes, we know, the thought of accidentally prodding your finger in a sticky glob of gum hidden underneath’s your child’s desk might give you nightmares, but it’s been used since World War One to keep soldiers alert and improve cognitive functioning. Mint flavoured gum or sweets is also used to improve alertness. Other alternatives include eating a daily dose of berries – the natural pigment called flavonoids improve memory retention.
- Group study – if your child is feeling isolated, why not try a group study session, where each person gets to share an idea or teach a part of the syllabus to the rest. This also helps keep feelings of isolation at bay.
- Is your child struggling to get up early? Have them place their alarm clock across the room, so they have to get up to switch it off. Want to start the day off with some exercise? Have them leave their clothes by the bed the night before, making it easy to slip into them in the morning.
- Eat a frog for breakfast! Not literally, but it’s a fun way to frame the strategy of picking your most difficult, dreaded subject and cross it off before doing anything else. This instils a feeling of achievement for the rest of the day.
- Temptation bundling: Combine a task your loved one really doesn’t want to do with one they really do want to do. For example, practice maths sums for an hour, followed by making a delicious smoothie together, or complete an assignment before watching 20 minutes of their favourite series.
At Wingu Academy, we’re not only passionate about delivering innovate teaching methods, but helping your child at every step of the way, including getting through the final exam crunch on top. Sunshine, beach time and festive season activities are just around the corner!