Written by Aneta
June 15 - (7 Min Read)
From not getting enough sleep, to completing the most dreadful study tasks in the morning, to drinking way too much coffee and – let’s be honest – hours and hours of procrastination on social media and offline, exams can be the most stressful time during your university adventure.
Constantly thinking about the exams may put a lot of pressure on you which then results in a productivity drop. Even if you put a lot of effort and time into your studies, you may not be happy with your results and miss that scholarship you are counting on. That’s why during this intense learning period, you need to create a support framework for your scholastic efforts.
From organizing your study environment, to helping you eliminate all distractions, to managing your social media time, Ellp has your back! We have prepared for you eight best ways to boost your productivity during exams. Ready, steady, go!
1. Set goals
Of course, your main goal is to pass. Yet the learning process should be divided into a set of smaller goals that will eventually help you achieve the main goal. If you haven’t worked hard enough during the year and don’t have much time left, don’t wait for miracles, instead, set measurable goals to track your progress and ensure a positive test result.
How will you set your measurable goals? To finish revising a subject, or reading a chapter, isn’t measurable in terms of knowledge acquired. So how can you measure this more effectively? Think about exercises done, definitions known and learned. An example of measurable objectives includes: know 100% of the definitions of a chapter, know how to do 100% of the simple exercises and 80% of the difficult tasks, etc. This allows you to know exactly where you are in terms of preparation. You won’t need to go back, and you’ll have a clearer, more serene mind. Bonus: you’ll work more efficiently.
2. Organize your workplace
From picking up empty (water) bottles to keeping your PC clean, these seemingly small changes make a big difference in your productivity levels. We can’t help you with making your bed, but we can help you with cleaning your PC.
Think of Ellp as a free app for productivity, designed to make your college life easier. Need to download some materials or save a summary sent to you by a friend? Want to make sure you don’t have unnecessary duplicate files in your Downloads folder and that you can easily track what you downloaded into specific folders? But, how? Ellp has just the right cards designed specifically to do just that. You can find them in the Productivity section of the app.
3. Stay hydrated
Most of us know that staying hydrated is important for physical performance, but did you know that this is just as essential – and perhaps even more so – for our brains? Aim to drink at least 6 glasses of water a day as dehydration can cause headaches and exhaustion. Drinking water helps stimulate the power of our brain and improves our memory. This is why staying hydrated during your exam period is so important, as it can help you succeed and boost your productivity. So be sure to bring a bottle of water when revising and even in the exam room.
4. Limit your time on social media
We are not telling you to cut your social media time to zero as we know for sure that you won’t be able to keep that up – we couldn’t do that either. Instead, make a conscious choice about how you use your social media time moment by moment. How? Here are some tips for avoiding social media and personal technology distractions (spoiler alert – we will mention Ellp again as this is the best app for productivity we know about)!
- Turn off alerts and notifications on your phone, so that nothing tempts you away from your book
- Check your emails maximum 3 times a day
- Set up Ellp’s Facebook card to ping you every time you spend too much time on Facebook. Even if you discuss exams or set up a study group meeting, you may easily get sucked mindless scrolling. Let Ellp motivate you back to work. It will pay off later when you will be celebrating your results!
5. Eat the right food
Successful exams are also prepared on the plate! Whether it’s for the revision period or the day of the tests, you have to be at your best. To do this, eating well is essential. During the exam period, you are a bit like an athlete, except that your main muscles are your neurons! To allow information to be processed, linked together and memorized, your brain consumes energy. This is why it is necessary to have a balanced diet so that you can give the best of yourself.
Interestingly, although the brain accounts for only 2% of our body mass, it absorbs 20% of the oxygen breathed and 20% of the energy consumed. Your brain may be especially greedy during exams time. There are essential foods to help the brain during exam period to enable long-term concentration, fight fatigue, and stress. To support the effort required during examinations, certain nutrients are indispensable:
- Protein and iron: meat-preferably red, egg, fish (choose fatty fish like mackerel, sardines, salmon, tuna for additional Omega 3 boost)
- Calcium: dairy and cheese (choose hard cheeses as they contain more calcium)
- Vitamin C (vitamin of intellectual and physical effort): kiwi, orange, grapefruit, mango, red pepper, parsley, tomatoes
An idea to combine all of the above? Whole-grain pasta with canned tuna in olive oil with fresh tomatoes and parsley. Easy to make, nutritious and yum!
6. Change environment
Your study environment can be a big factor in how successfully you’ll learn and retain information and are able to apply it in your exams. Choosing the right place to study is almost as important as having good study skills. Changing your environment may help your brain stay focused.
Whether it would be your friend’s place, a local library, a quiet park or your favorite coffee place, you need to make sure your laptop stays charged. Since you’re going to be glued to your screen, most probably you won’t even notice that your battery level dropped! Ellp can monitor that for you and alert you the moment your battery level drops below a certain threshold – 80%, 50% or 20% – it’s totally up to you. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to grab your cable and get plugged in before any important work gets lost.
7. Be social
Exams may seem a good time to close your room doors and avoid any company, but they’re not! It’s always important to surround yourself with other people. During such an extensive study period, you just need to manage your social life much better. Join a study group, invite your friends over for an evening walk or jog, or even call your parents for extra support. Spending your time with other people prevents the feeling of separation. It’s especially important during highly stressful times like exams, as stress and lack of socialization combined may lead to depression.
8. Get some rest
The biggest mistake students can make, is to eliminate exercise, entertainment and sleep during the exams period. It’s tempting to do so, as you’d get more studying done, but in the long run, it will affect your concentration and your mode of study. Sport energizes the body, releases the mind and helps fight stress. When you’re relaxed, you gain concentration and attention, so don’t hesitate to go out for some fresh air, for a short jog of half an hour or just a few pushups every morning.
Sleep allows you to record and determine the knowledge acquired during the day. 8 hours per night would be ideal; don’t get too distracted and procrastinate about sleeping. If you are having trouble keeping up with your rest schedule, get Ellp to help. Choose a specific time that you want to finish studying for the day so that your PC shuts down and you can take a nice warm shower and a good night’s sleep.
So, these are the 8 ways to boost your productivity during exams featuring your free digital helper Ellp, the app for productivity used by students around the globe. We hope that you find them useful and that you have already chosen a few to get going.
Good luck with your exams!