A 4-week study plan to get top grades in the final exams

As the exam season draws near, students tend to get stressed up. Both consistent performers and laggards can be overwhelmed with the preparations needed. Here’s a 4-week study plan to get top grades in the final exams.

Sneha can feel her mouth dry up as she looks at the pile of her textbooks. Though she has been a consistent performer throughout her tests, she is not sure her mode of preparation can help her face the final exams in a month’s time. 30 days of time to digest everything taught in a complete year!

Stressed out Girl
Stressed out girl

Rahul has literally given up. All advice from his teachers and mother fell on deaf ears throughout the year. His marks in the tests have not been great either. And now comes the mother of all exams – the annual exam. He is sure that he will not make it through. In fact, he has almost given up even bothering to study.

Stressed out boy
Stressed out boy

As the academic year draws to a close and the countdown to the final exams begin, a majority of students get stressed. As March approaches students turn jittery. The vast portions, the lack of regular studies throughout the year and inability to commit oneself to tackling the portions in the short time available – all these lead to frayed nerves and anxiety.

However, students should not lose hope. With a planned approach, proven studying methods and systematic study, one can still make the most of the time available before the exams.

Here’s a study plan focussed on helping you make the best of the final four weeks before the exams commence. There are three aspects that one needs to deal with and here’s how it can be done.

Academic Preparation

Stick to a schedule.

Do not study subjects at random. Allot a specific amount of time for each subject. Concentrate only on one subject at a time. Creating timetables is an ideal way to get down to purpose oriented study in planned fashion.

Make a timetable and stick to it
Make a timetable and stick to it
  • Plan a broad timetable to ensure full coverage of portions over the remaining period before the exams.
  • Plan a daily timetable to cover the portions you have allotted for the day.

Target Low Hanging Fruits First

If you have not been studying regularly throughout the year, then go for the low hanging fruit. Handpicking those portions from each subject that has been repeatedly asked over the past years must be the strategy.

Do not ignore revision

Focus chiefly on sections covered during revision. Pick up components like diagrams in science that have a high probability of appearing as a question. Theorems in mathematics are yet another area that allow you to score big with minimal efforts.

Do not cram.

Do not try to learn every single bit printed in the textbooks or given as notes. This can lead to disappointment and end up demotivating you. Focus on key aspects. All textbooks summarise the lesson at the end of the chapter. Do not miss out on this.

Making your personalized notes saves a tons of time
Making your personalized notes saves a tons of time

Make your personal notes every time you read the textbook. This allows your brain to digest the content more readily. It also saves you the trouble of having to read the bulky textbook again. You can just go through your personalized notes. You can finish studying for your exams in just 24-48 hours with well prepared personal notes.

Discover early on the best times that work for you.

Experiment well in advance to discover the times, your focus is at its sharpest.

Most students are accustomed to getting a good night’s sleep. They manage to study best between 7 pm to 11 pm. Others may be night owls. They like to stay up at night when external disturbances are minimal. This means they need to catch up with sleep for 1-2 hours in the evenings. Yet others love getting up early in the morning and sitting down for study. The cool mornings bring out the best in them and allow them to concentrate.

Repeat, repeat and repeat again

Repetition is key to committing to memory. Repeat each portion you learn a minimum of three times before the exams. After you learn a problem, a concept or an answer, revisit it once over the next 24 hours. The next repetition must be within the following 7 days. A final repetition can happen before the exam.

Safeguarding your Health

Taking care of your health is an often-ignored fact as the exams draw near. Staying up late, missing meals, sleeplessness can all cause a severe strain on one’s health. Poor health can adversely affect your ability to concentrate and recall things from memory.

There are some simple things that you can put to practice to avoid a health upset.

  • Drink lots of water and keep the body hydrated. Avoid coffee and tea.
  • Keep away from foods that induce sleep. Avoid junk food rich in carbs and salt. Munch on fruit and nuts instead.
  • Fix a time to go to bed and wake up in the morning. Make sure you get at least 6-7 hours of sound sleep. Do not cut down on sleep as exams draw near.
  • Avoid sharing tiffin or water bottles at school/college. Avoid parties, functions where you may end up stuffing yourself with more food than usual.
  • Do a fair bit of yoga or light stretching to prevent muscle wasting

Beat Stress

Stress and anxiety are common during the lead up to the exams. While a fair bit of anxiety is good to keep the mind chugging, too much can lead to a breakdown.

Avoid comparison with peers

Comparison with friends is the number one reason for stress and anxiety. Calling up your bestie every hour to find out their progress, visiting your close chum’s home 3-4 times a day to find out where you stand vis-à-vis them – all these can be unhealthy.

Forget the world, focus on your preparation. Have confidence in your efforts and avoid drawing comparisons.

Regulate Social Contact

Regulating your social life is important to help you get into a rhythm. Do not completely shun outside contact. Be in touch with a few select friends. This is necessary to help you relax and keep yourself abreast of news that might impact your studies.

However, do excuse yourself from visitors at home. This could be relatives or family friends. Do exchange curtsies, explain that you would like to stick to a time table and excuse yourself. Your honesty will be appreciated.

Shun mobile devices

Stay away from smartphone, PCs and tablets. Enlist the help of your parents to lock away the devices if you are unable to control your digital addiction. The ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ (FOMO) is the main reason for the persistent craving to catch hold of a smartphone or PC to catch up with the latest social media updates. Force yourself to keep aloof.

Keep your parents in the loop

Discuss your goals and timetable with your parents. Let them know your crucial study slots so that they can shield you from distractions. Knowledge of your timetable will also make your availability for any house related matters clear to them.

Keep your parents in the loop
Keep your parents in the loop

Discuss your problems/concerns with parents. Request family members to turn down the TV volume if necessary. In case you need a mini snack for late night studies, do alert your mom.

Keeping your family in the loop about your plan clears the road of minor irritants that can ruin the satisfaction of a good day’s study.

Final Words

The month before the exam is like running a marathon, not a 100-metre dash. Persistent efforts with a clear plan in mind to cover the breadth of portions and touch the necessary depth will put you in a vantage position to score well.

The going can get tough at times but keep at it. Follow the exam success tips I have mentioned in this article. Eventually, every small bit of effort adds up to take you closer to passing the exams with the top grades. All the best for your exams!

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