Finally, I am done with studying for a while! I wrote my Employment Law exam yesterday which is a component to getting my professional designation in Human Resources. And now it is just a waiting game until I get my results.
I personally love studying. I know, I am a nerd. But I think part of the reason I love studying is because it gives my busy mind an outlet and it allows me to focus my energy on something. Everyone develops study habits through grade school and then university and usually the process is unique to the person. But after 12 years of grade school, 4 years of university, 1 year of college and 2 designation exams later I think I have got the studying thing down pat. I never cram and therefore never stress. Stressing before an exam has actually been shown in studies to decrease your performance. Of course there is the good type of stress that might get you into your zone but otherwise preoccupation with stress can distract you from performing well.
So if you want to prepare for a test stress free, I have a few quick tips.
- Start studying in advance. I typically start studying as soon as I know I will have to write an exam. And what this really looks like is me just putting together my thoughts and determining what I will be tested on. This could simply be creating a list of topics.
- Slow and steady. If you choose to make study notes or cue cards make them piece by piece. Maybe do just one chapter at a time. Adding information slowly means you will take in the information and actually retain it. Overloading your brain too quickly will probably result in forgetting it all quickly too.
- Use a variety of sources. I try to collect different sources to study from, practise tests, textbooks, journals, notes, slides, etc. Basically anything you can get your hands on. A variety will ensure you are covering ground as well as use different formats so you can be more well-rounded.
- Chat with a friend. Once you feel confident in the material you have studied you should set up a time to go through things with a friend. They might know about something you missed. But be careful with this. Some people can get very stressed before an exam and panic, you want to avoid them and their negative energy.
Now, you might be thinking “oh my god, that is a lot of work.” Yes, well it is. Studying takes time and dedication. And that might sound like a major pain in the ass to you. The thing is, chances are the test you are taking is expensive. If it is in university, well that’s obvious. And professional designation exams are not cheap either. So study hard and guarantee a stress-free pass. Ok I am done being a nerd a now.