Exam Hacks

Considering the fact that campus looked like a scene from The Walking Dead last week, with all the zoned out students groaning in desperate need of caffeine, it might be good to know for next time how to improve your revision.

Recent studies in John Hopkins University, Baltimore, have shown that an intake of caffeine (roughly the same amount as an espresso) following a revision session can improve memory and help retain information for up to 24 hours.

However, if like me you need a permanent coffee IV in order to prevent yourself from attacking innocent passers-by, this is not the method for you.

A friend of mine thought he had found his saviour in caffeine tablets, however after a long night of red bull and caffeine tablets he ended up chundering on the bus on the way to the exam and his already incoherent medic writing was exacerbated by the shakes that followed the bus incident.

Take regular social media breaks, really regular. According to studies by the Orca Team, “Microbreaks – between 30 seconds to 5 minutes – improve mental acuity by an average of 13 per cent,” and the longer the break the greater the improvement. This negative correlation between the amount of time spent revising and the rate of success initially seemed too good to be true, however now that I think about it, my flatmate spends her days watching Netflix.

Further to this wonderful discovery is the fact that those who spend some of their time surfing the web are an average nine per cent more productive than those who resist the urge to browse. And now for the icing on the cake: studies have shown that people are 10 per cent more efficient when they check social media regularly. It makes sense, you know, because checking your Twitter and finding out your frenemy is getting a #muchneededmanicure is exactly what you need to help improve your concentration levels.

And finally my personal favourite, have a write off day. Taking one day off to get it all out of your system and party yourself dry. Think the Butterfield diet plan but substitute the overindulgence of food with jaeger bombs and tequila.

All of these methods trump the conventional Mozart effect, timetabling and colour coordinating methods of revision that parents and teachers fail miserably at attempting to instil in us. But let me just point out, if for years we have been indoctrinated to believe that these conventional ways are the secret method, then why is it that we end up staring blankly at our books for hours and still end up pulling an all nighter?

This is a clear sign that conventional methods don’t actually work and lead to last minute cramming.

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