How many hours have you spent procrastinating by reading ‘exam tips’ when you could have been actually studying for exams? S***loads, right? Well… why stop now!? This list is short and sweet (unlike stuvac) and it might actually help. I mean, it can’t hurt… right?
1. Use your nose. Smell can be a really powerful tool to trigger your memory. It’s all to do with brain anatomy and something called an “Olfactory Bulb”, you can read all about it here. Try spraying a particular perfume when you study, then wearing the same one into the exam. Chewing gum does the trick too.
2. Use your ears. Ever heard of Binaural beats? I don’t blame you. They’re a touch obscure, and the jury is still out on whether they actually work. But the anecdotal evidence is hard to argue with (placebo effect, for the win!). Essentially a binaural beat occurs when two similar frequencies are played into the same ear and your ear hears a third frequency that isn’t really there – after that, the science behind it gets kind of hard to follow, but the theory is that listening to certain binaural beats can alter your state of mind. So, if you’re anything like me – and listening to music while you study is a recipe for distraction (one minute I’m studying, the next minute I’m building new playlists on Spotify and dancing to Drake in my bedroom), Binaural beats could be for you. There are tonnes of “creativity” and “focus” inducing sounds online, knock yourself out.
(Side note: You need to listen to these with headphones to get the effect).
3. Learn while you sleep. Your brain processes new information while you sleep. Most of this is done in REM sleep (a certain stage of sleep when you brain does tonnes of cool stuff). Lack of REM sleep can result in reduced ability to complete complex tasks (aka reduced ability to nail your exams like the #bosslady that you are). ‘But how do I get more REM sleep?’ you ask….Enter, melatonin. Your naturally occurring sleep hormone in a bottle. It’s a safe, over the counter, homeopathic remedy that is shown to increase REM sleep – a few sprays under the tongue can help you catch your Z’s so you can catch your HDs.
4. Get (good) fat. Your brain is 60% fat (no wonder I dream about Krispy Kremes!) so it makes sense that it needs fat to function properly. Low fat diets are a recipe for slow brain function and polyunsaturated fats – particularly Omega 3 fatty acids – have been shown to improve memory. So snack on some salmon and get stuck into an avocado (like we needed an excuse!).
5. Water. Drink up girlies. 2L per day minimum. And even more if you are drinking coffee (or worse; red-bull), or sitting in an air-conditioned library that is drying you out. Just remember to hold back on the morning of your exam, ain’t nobody got time for mid-exam bathroom breaks.