Here are 7 tips to avoid painful cramps so you can focus on passing the exam:
1. Handwrite a little every day
If you always type your notes at lectures, try handwriting in a lecture notepad instead. Do the first draft of an essay using pen on paper, then type up the second draft. Handwriting is a physical skill that gets better with practice.
2. Use a relaxed grip
In an exam, intense concentration might lead to gripping the pen too hard. Periodically check your grip is relaxed and loose.
3. Find a pen that’s right for you
Some people swear by gel or rollerball pens. Find a pen where the ink flows nicely. Search on the web the term ‘ergonomic pen’ and invest in one of those.
4. Size down your handwriting. Use small, tight letters; they take less time
5. Connect all your letters and avoid lifting your pen off the paper
Consider the word ‘it’.
In print style, you draw:
•the stroke of the i
•dot the i
•the stroke of the t
•cross the t
That’s four movements, lifting the pen three times.
But in cursive style, it’s:
•the body of the i and t joined together in one movement
•then (working with the closest letter first) the stroke of the t
•then the dot of the i
That’s eliminated one lift of the pen off the paper.
Consider how many times you write the word ‘it’ in an essay, and it makes sense to practice the fastest way to handwrite in a cursive instead of print style.
Similarly, the word ‘the’. In print style, you might lift the pen after the body of the t, then cross the t,, then ‘he’. Try writing the body of the in one pen stroke, and cross the t at the end.
6. Spend the first 10 minutes of a lecture handwriting in the clearest, steadiest handwriting you can do
Only speed up when you have to, to keep up with the flow of ideas from the lecturer.
7. During an exam, start by stretching your fingers and rotating your wrist. Do this periodically during the test to keep your hands limber.
Here’s an easy way into the 8-Step Study Method available at:
(By the way, it’s a doing book, not a ‘reading’ book).
1. Get ready with a textbook, a notebook and some coloured biros (at least two different colours), a pencil and an eraser.
2. Pick out part of a chapter from your textbook of something you have to read, make notes and remember;
something written in sentences; perhaps 2-3 pages, a ‘manageable chunk’.
3. Open to page xi in Brainpower Smart Study – ‘A first look at the Brainpower Smart Study 8-step Method’.
Read about Step 1.
Then follow instructions for Step 1 in your part chapter of your textbook.
Read about Step 2.
Then follow instructions for Step 2.
And so on through all 8 steps, to the end of page xii.
Refer to the wheel diagram on page x as you go.
Should only take you 30 minutes or so.
There, you have the method!
Repeat with each part chapter you need to study.
For a full explanation of each step, then read the rest of the book, Chapters 1-9.
Remember to read a chapter, and follow instructions in your textbook.
Read the next chapter, then follow instructions in your textbook.
Chapters10 – 17 are additional information re best timing for regular review, using mnemonics (memory aids), memory mapping, etc.
Chapter 15 suggests to teach someone else the method.
Pass it on.
Let me know how you get on and how many people you’ve introduced to the 8-Step Method.
Feel free to adapt, change, revise, and apply the method in different ways.
Slow motion – Water Balloon pops to the face
‘Look at the best martial artists. They move very slowly. The faster you type, the slower it will feel to you, because you surf with your thinking.
The same thing applies to reading. The faster you read, the more time will disappear, because you’ll be able to feed stuff to your brain as fast as your brain can process it.’
So says David Allen, author of business bestseller, ‘Getting Things Done’. Interviewed in Fast Company magazine, David Allen continues, ‘That’s why speed readers have better comprehension. They’ve trained their eyes to recognize stuff as fast as their brain can handle it.’
During over three decades of speed reading training I have taught more than 100,000 executives and students how to read faster.
One of my fastest readers was Continue reading
A Purdue University (Indiana, USA) study shows that rather than reread or review notes students should self-test when studying instead.
Dr Jeffrey D Karpicke studied 200 students. One group created concept maps, diagrams showing connections between the ideas in the text; the second group read the material then practiced retrieving by putting the text away and recalling from memory. One week later when both groups
were tested, the second group who practiced retrieving had 50% better scores than the first group who created concept maps.
All students were asked at the start Continue reading
What thoughts go through your mind during study or leading up to the exam?
What do you tell your friends?
Negative self-talk includes statements such as:
- ‘I’m going to fail’.
- ‘Studying is hard.’
- ‘I hate studying.’
- ‘I’m not smart enough.’
You can choose your attitude. And your attitude springs from your self-talk.
Whenever you catch yourself thinking negatively, simply replace that thought with a positive one. Tell yourself instead:
- ‘I can do this.’
- ‘I’m going to pass easily.’
- ‘I now enjoy studying.’
Observe your thoughts. ?Train your mind to think only thoughts that cultivate certainty of success. Then do whatever it takes to achieve that success, and success will follow.
This video offer good advice in under two minutes. There are 8 tips and tip #6 is the most important of all – find opportunities to quiz yourself after studying either by jotting things down or speaking it aloud.
Taking a nap after study is a good idea. Set your timer for 12 minutes – 2 minutes to go to sleep and 10 minutes to nap. Research shows the best nap duration is 10 minutes, no longer.
Did you know that students who are physically active do better on tests? Recent research shows regular exercise boosts your brainpower. Why? Continue reading
Practice Past Exam Questions
What smart students do leading up to final exams is to practice retrieval using past exam papers.
By doing past papers, you are self-testing; finding out what you know and what you don’t know. You can then study up in those areas you are weak, to fill in your knowledge gaps.
If you are unsure where to locate past exam papers, Continue reading