Meet Carmen Botes, who matriculated from Kingsmead College and achieved 10 distinctions last year. We wondered how she did it. When we approached Carmen, she didn’t hesitate and was more than happy to share her study tips with us. We hope with this knowledge your next study session will be a whole lot easier and much more successful!
1. Develop a routine
This will help you to ensure that you get enough sleep in a day and make it easier to determine how much you can get done in a day. It doesn’t have to mean going to bed at eight and waking up at five the next morning to revise; everybody has their own routine and different ways of studying. Find out how you can work most effectively and try to stick to that routine. I’m more of a night-person and work more productively late in the evening than early in the morning.
While it might be easiest to study the sections or subjects you like the most and are best at, this is not a good way of studying as these probably need the least amount of your time. First study work that you don’t understand or know well, rather than work you like the most.
3. Keep your work organised
By organising your notes according to subjects and different sections, it becomes easier to know whether you have all the work or whether you have left something out. This also makes it easier to study as you don’t have to frantically look for notes, which causes unnecessary stress, and you can use your time set aside for studying and not going through piles of old notes looking for something you’ve forgotten or lost.
4. Work well throughout the whole year
Concentrating in class and doing your homework consistently will make studying for exams a lot easier. By doing this, you won’t have to learn anything entirely new or for the first time before exams, and the work won’t feel so overwhelming. You will also have gone over the same work more times, which means that you’ll know it better by the time you have to write your exam.
5. Try to understand concepts rather than just memorising a textbook
While it is important to use the correct wording for some definitions, this will not necessarily help you answer more difficult (interpretation) questions. To see whether you really understand something, try to put it in your own words or explain it to someone else.