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Study Skills: Coping Strategies

Updated: Mar 10

Discover the significance of breaks in studying, learn effective time management strategies for exams, explore critical thinking skill development, and learn the art of self-care.


SS21. Study Break Strategies

You might be wondering – how can spending less time studying help me get everything done? Taking purposeful breaks (anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes) from studying to refresh your brain and body increases your energy, productivity, and ability to focus:

Top 5 Reasons to Take Study Breaks:

  1. Prevent Burnout: Breaks recharge your mind, preventing mental fatigue and burnout during study sessions.

  2. Maintain Focus: Reset your attention span with breaks, ensuring sustained focus and concentration.

  3. Enhance Memory: Spacing out study sessions with breaks improves long-term memory retention.

  4. Reduce Stress: Breaks alleviate stress and anxiety, promoting a healthier mindset.

  5. Boost Productivity: Contrary to belief, breaks enhance productivity and efficiency in learning.

Break Activities:

  1. Move Around: Stretch, take a short walk, or do light exercise to refresh your body.

  2. Hydrate and Snack: Stay fueled with water and nutritious snacks for sustained energy.

  3. Practice Mindfulness: Engage in deep breathing or meditation to relax your mind.

  4. Power Nap: A short nap can rejuvenate your mind and boost alertness.

  5. Enjoyable Activities: Spend a few minutes on a hobby or enjoyable activity to refresh your mind.


SS22. Managing Exam Time Constraints

Navigating exams requires more than just subject knowledge; it demands strategic time management. Here are effective strategies to help you make the most out of your exam preparation:

Prioritise Crucial Topics:

  • Identify and focus on topics with higher weightage or those you find challenging.

Set Micro-Goals:

  • Break down study goals into achievable tasks for a sense of accomplishment and sustained motivation.

Embrace Pomodoro Technique:

  • Use focused 25-minute study intervals followed by a 5-minute break, with longer breaks after four cycles.

Stay Flexible:

  • Be adaptable with your schedule to accommodate unexpected events or revisit challenging concepts.

Utilize Productivity Tools:

  • Leverage apps and tools designed for time management to stay organized and on track.

Practice with Past Papers:

  • Allocate time for practising past papers to familiarize yourself with the exam format and enhance time management skills.

These strategies, when tailored to individual preferences, can significantly enhance efficiency and productivity during exam preparation.


SS23. Increase Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking is crucial for exam success. It goes beyond memorisation, helping students analyse information logically, understand questions in context, and formulate well-reasoned responses. This skill enhances performance and builds confidence in facing various exam formats.

  1. Ask Questions: Don't be afraid to ask questions in class or look for answers online. Questions like "Can you explain more?" or "Is there another way to see this?" help you think more deeply.

  2. Join Discussions: Talk in class or online to hear different opinions and learn new things. Even if you disagree, it's a chance to think and get better at talking about ideas.

  3. Use Fun Ways to Learn: Instead of just memorizing, try things like group talks, real-life examples, and pictures to learn. It helps you understand better and think more.

  4. Learn with Examples: Understand and remember better by using examples, stories, and real-life situations. It helps you think more about what you're learning.

  5. Explore More Than School: Look into things you find interesting outside of your regular classes. Use the internet to learn more. This helps you see things from different angles and get better at thinking.


SS24. The Art of Self-Care

As exams approach, we usually concentrate on studying and forget about taking care of ourselves. However, self-care is just as important for managing stress. Here are some simple tips to look after yourself during this time.

Physical TLC:

Keep your body happy, and your mind will follow suit. Eat well, drink plenty of water, and move your body—even if it's just a short stroll around the block. Your brain will thank you for the boost in energy and focus.

Emotional Check-In:

It's okay to feel all the feelings during exam time. Embrace your emotions and find healthy outlets to express them. Whether it's venting to a friend or scribbling in a journal, acknowledging your feelings can help you stay centred and ready to tackle those textbooks.

Boundaries FTW:

Don't spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no to non-essential commitments and prioritize what's truly important. Remember, it's okay to put yourself first sometimes—your sanity will thank you for it.

Chill Vibes Only:

Take a breather and engage in activities that bring you peace and calm. Whether it's zoning out to your favourite tunes or practising a little mindfulness, find what helps you relax and make it a regular part of your routine.

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