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June 10, 2021

Studying 101: your secret weapon for exam prep

by Megan Sylvester posted in Ayoa, Neurodiversity, Quick Tips.

Ayoa | Studying 101: your secret weapon for exam prep
Exam season is upon us and students of all ages are gearing up to study ahead of their upcoming assignments. As all students know, fitting in quality revision is – at times – easier said than done. Whether it’s the pesky procrastination bug or the struggle to find new, engaging ways of absorbing facts and information, the art of studying is at times an evasive one.

Luckily, like all skills, your study technique can be honed and improved – even for the most complex subjects and for the most infamous of procrastinators. So, if you’re drowning in highlighters and covered in sticky notes, now is the perfect time to get back to the basics of studying for exams. With the right tools, preparation and mindset you can easily ace all your exams this summer. Keep reading to find out four study techniques to add to your studying arsenal.

1. Make a digital study timetable

Most students know that making a study timetable is an absolute must if you want to get the hours in and reinforce your knowledge with regular study sessions. However, when it comes to physical paper timetables, this well-intentioned plan can quickly come undone. Whether it’s losing the timetable and having to start from scratch or turning the actual creation of the timetable into a procrastination technique, it’s important to keep things both simple and strategic. Creating a digital study timetable is a perfect way of doing this. Not only is there no possibility of losing it, with a ready-made template – such as this one in Ayoa – you can save time by jumping right into a study schedule that’s easy to edit and manage. When establishing your timetable, remember to spread out different subjects throughout the week, for balance and variation, and don’t be too ambitious about how much you can fit into one day. After all, a few hours of quality, highly focused studying is better than an entire day of distracted flitting back and forth!

2. Establish a good daily routine

Now you’ve got your study timetable ready to go, it’s time to build a good daily routine to go with it. Whether you’re still having to go into school or university, or have the freedom to study full time, a solid daily routine is the foundation of all productive work. The trick to this is to create a routine that works for you; for some people that might involve early mornings and for others it might mean not beginning work until the afternoon. To find out what suits you best, pay attention to when you feel most alert and productive and build your routine to maximize that period of time. However, also remember that some universal rules do still apply. General health tips are especially important during periods when you need to be operating at your best: make sure you’re staying hydrated, eating well and getting out for regular exercise. Plus, don’t forget that breaks are a crucial part of healthy work! We’re all human and no one can keep working indefinitely; by taking time out for yourself, you give your brain time to process the information you’ve been working so hard to study.

3. Make your ideas visual

A recurring issue faced by students is pinning down the best method for retaining information. Often, students end up rewriting passages from their textbooks or making endless flashcards, when the truth is that neither technique is especially effective for long-term comprehension. Enter visual thinking techniques. Working in a visual format when studying is an incredible and accessible way of processing key information faster; it works across the board, for students who are neurodivergent (including dyslexic students and those with ADHD) and neurotypical. Mind maps, in particular, mirror the natural structure of your internal thinking patterns, enabling you to link interconnected ideas and information in a way that is easy for your brain to process and remember. Similarly, a visual tool that allows you to present and break down the most important information for a subject in one place will help you to retain facts and ideas through the use of mix-medium visual cues. Whiteboards in Ayoa are perfect for exactly this, allowing you to add sticky notes, draw freehand, construct flow charts, collaborate with peers, and much more. Used in tandem with Ayoa’s mind maps, these visual study tools will not only improve comprehension but also enhance critical thinking skills and elevate your learning to a new, higher level. Plus, with everything stored digitally, you will never lose your work and can access your notes anytime, anywhere.

4. Teach others and collaborate

Did you know one of the best ways to learn is to teach someone else? When we try to explain key concepts to others we are forced to organize our thoughts and expand our understanding of the topic at hand in order to convey it to someone else. So, why not get a study group together and take it in turns to teach each other? Of course, this can be easier said than done duuring a pandemic which is why using remote tools is a good way of maintaining connections over distance. A tool like presentation mode in Ayoa’s mind map view will allow you to jump between facts and ideas when teaching fellow students, while the visual elements of the mind map will help to maximize information retention. After a few sessions teaching others you’ll quickly find that the topic you’re studying is seamlessly integrated into your knowledge and memory, so you’re ready to face all upcoming exams and assignments!

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