Do you have exams coming up soon? Maybe the entire school year/semester feels like just one deadline after another.
Student life can be pretty demanding so here are some tried and tested, easy to adopt study tips to help you perform well in your classes.
1. Begin every day by praying Fajr and reading Surah Yaseen in the morning so your day goes smoothly.
The Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever recites Surah Yaseen at the beginning of the day, then he will be in ease and goodness until the evening. And whoever recites it in the evening, then he will be in ease and goodness until the next morning.”
[Recorded by Ad Darimi with a Sound Sanad]
2. Sit toward the front of the class so you can hear the teacher clearly, be less distracted by your surroundings, and ask questions easily. Research proves that students who sit in the front rows are more motivated, have better study habits, and get a higher grade than their peers.
3. Develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses of student life. Explore what works for you (e.g. meditation, coloring, journaling, exercise etc.) and take regular time out for such activities. Don’t neglect your mental and spiritual health in the grind of everyday life.
4. Adopt an alert posture. When you’re slouching, your brain assumes you’re uninterested so your information processing is slow. Simply adopting the right posture will go a long way in helping you concentrate and perform better in class.
5. Recite these Duas for important quizzes, presentations, assignments, and exams:
رَبِّ يَسِّرْ وَ لَا تُعَسِّرْ وَ تَمِّمْ بِالْخَيْر
Rabbi yassir wa laa tu’assir wa tammim bil-khayr.
O Allah, make (this) easy for me and do not make it difficult and complete it well.
اللهُمَّ لا سَهْلَ إلا مَا جَعَلتَهُ سَهْلا وَ أنتَ تَجْعَلُ الحزْنَ إذا شِئْتَ سَهْلا
Allahumma la sahla illa ma ja’altahu sahla, wa anta taj-’alul hazna idha shi’ta sahla.
O Allah! There is nothing easy except what You make easy, and You make the difficult easy if it be Your will.
6. Keep your phone out of your visual field in class and during revision. You will listen more actively and feel less distracted. Contrary to popular belief, humans are not equipped to multitask. We can only give our full attention to one activity at a time, so if you’re distracted by your phone, you’re definitely missing out in class.
7. Download and use the myHomework app. It has saved my (life) grades more than once. Write down all of your assignments, projects, quizzes, and exam dates as soon as you come to know about them so you don’t have to rely on your memory.
8. Combine all of your reading material and create brief notes, mindmaps, and flowcharts for every topic at least a week before your finals. Just memorize those. You’ll retain information better and you’ll stay calm because suddenly 50 pages of readings got reduced to a couple pages of notes. You’ll also be able to attempt your question paper more systematically and concisely.
9. Get 6-8 hours of sleep every night. A healthy pattern of sleep is protective against many mental and physical illnesses. The best thing to do after revision is to sleep because this allows you to retain what you’ve learned. (Fun psychological fact: The most rapid forgetting happens during the first 9 hours after learning something, and the most effective way to prevent such forgetting is to go to sleep.) The more sleep-deprived you are during exams season, the more likely you are to forget everything you learned in the panic of the moment.
10. Avoid (or at least decrease) caffeine. Getting a full night’s rest and avoiding caffeine go hand in hand. When you’re well-rested, you can focus better, and you can stay on top of things without relying on caffeine to keep you alert.
11. Hard work and discipline > intelligence. Mere intelligence amounts to nothing if you can’t couple it with the perseverance, perspective, and dedication needed to keep your priorities straight and keep going despite any setback in your path because you know what you’re striving for will ultimately be worth it.
12. The one habit that works miracles – it doesn’t matter how poor or great your revision and preparation is, do Wudu, pray two Nafl (voluntary prayer), and make Dua before your exam or presentation.
The Prophet (saw) said: “He who makes wudu, and does it properly, then prays two rak’ats, Allah will grant him whatever he may pray for, sooner or later.” [Ahmad]
13. Drink plenty of water. During class, in between class, during exams, after exams, you get the idea. Drinking water reduces anxiety. Research shows that students who bring a water bottle with them to an exam perform better than those who don’t have water with them.
14. Take one day or at least an evening off from studying each week so you don’t burn out by the end of the semester. Go out with friends, read a novel, do something fun to refresh and energize yourself.
15. Lastly, remember that you’re human and superhuman perfection isn’t required of you. A bad grade isn’t the end of the world. Nothing is worth destroying your mental, emotional, or physical health over. Take care of yourself, stay healthy, try your best, and leave the rest to Allah (swt). At the end of the day, a letter on a paper can’t even begin to encompass how special, unique, and wonderful you are as a person.
I hope you found these study tips useful! Which tip would you add to the list? Leave a comment below to let me know.