The term ‘exam stress’ seems a glib and understated phrase to use for the pressures students everywhere are facing as they deal with exams. For generations so far removed from what today’s students go through, it simply doesn’t encompass the real troubles students can experience at this time. From that little knot in the stomach, to sleepless nights and real depression, exams can sometimes seriously affect the mental health of students.
Here’s how to put your worries aside and embrace the exam period as best you can.
The last thing you want to do when the sun is shining, and the weather is glorious, is hunker down and bury yourself in some study books. Surveys among students often show that motivation to get started is one of the biggest problems. It can quickly lead to anxiety and stress; that cloud of dread follows you around, getting bigger and bigger the longer you put off studying.
Chances are, a lot of your friends and classmates will be in the same boat. Creating study groups is a great way to motivate each other, and also a great way of studying. If somebody struggles with one thing, another may have a good solution.
How to study
Maybe studying with others doesn’t work for you, or maybe it just turns into a social gathering with little work getting done. Figure out what works best for you. Not everyone is academically minded, and more hours doesn’t always mean more studying.
If you are in the northern hemisphere, the sun has reappeared, flowers are blooming, and everywhere everyone is taking advantage of the beautiful weather. Everyone, of course, except for students across the world who are in the midst of dreaded exam season. Exams are an unpleasant but necessary part of the education system and are something that is unfortunately not suited to every learner. However, there are some tips and habits you can adopt to become a more successful exam sitter.
Organize your study space
It is said that a tidy desk is a tidy mind. For some of us this is true, while others thrive on organized chaos. Whatever your optimum space it, have it ready before you begin studying. If that means a clear area with minimal distractions, have a thorough clean up; if it means having all your little gadgets and essential tools spread out just how you like them, make sure you know where everything is.
You should also decide where you will be studying. Is there plenty of light? Is it quiet? Or do you prefer light music? Is it comfortable? It is usually best to separate your work space from your resting area – where you watch TV, listen to music, have lunch – so your mind gets used to knowing that when you are there, you need focus.
Use visual aids
When most of your studies involve note-taking and written forms of information, it can be a refreshing and much-needed change to create visual aids to help you. Be as creative as you can; create drawings, mind maps, diagrams, flow charts, whatever works for you. Use many different colors and surround your room with your creations. You can even try hanging some posters in the bathroom, so you can passively absorb information while you’re brushing your teeth and getting ready for the day.
Using accurate colors and layouts of information stimulate different areas of the brain, and can enhance your memorization of the main ideas and formulae. The benefits of visual learning are multiple, and you can read more about it here.
It’s the age of technology, and successful people are the new rock stars. If there’s one thing we can learn from them, it’s the little habits and techniques peppered throughout their day that keep them on top.
Have a strong morning routine
Whether you jump out of bed on a morning ready to start the day with smile, or crawl bleary-eyed towards to kitchen seeking out caffeine and hating everything, a morning routine can really make a difference to your day and your life. True, some people are better able to rise early, and some people are more suited to accomplishing more in the early hours, but there are ways that you can gradually build up an effective and efficient pre-work day routine.
Don’t expect to start on day one with a packed morning schedule, but gradually introduce activities and earlier wake up times. Activities like yoga are effective for setting a tone for your day, calming your mind, and waking up the body. Maybe you want to get important but menial tasks out of the way, like a batch check or emails, setting up meetings, or planning out goals for the month. Barack Obama famously makes time for a family breakfast, exercises, and reads the newspaper every day before starting his work day at 9am.
Have ‘off’ time
Being successful and accomplishing important tasks doesn’t mean working round the clock. Along with carefully organizing your time, make sure you schedule in some time for yourself. If you think that the likes of Bill Gates and Richard Branson are slaves to their careers, you would be wrong. Most people can only focus well for around 20 minutes, often less, and re-charging your batteries is paramount to thinking clearly and efficiently. Mark Zuckerberg shocked many people when he announced he was taking two months’ paternity leave. Spending time with your new family really isn’t that surprising, and successful people need time off just like everybody else.
Our focus with this release is on content analysis and providing better-suggested content.
New partnership with IBM Watson
If you have not already heard, InsightNG has partnered with IBM and their Watson Ecosystem. This is exciting news for us as we team up with IBM to advance our technology stack and bring more robust, value-creating solutions to the market.
With work already started, we will be enhancing our cognitive computing capabilities over time with the integration of various technologies and services from within the IBM Watson Ecosystem.
We are very proud to be a Business Partner of such a renowned brand.
Content Analysis: we know what it is about
Thanks to our new partnership with IBM, when you add an Element to a Canvas and you’re directed to a website, our intelligence engine can analyze the content and make suggestions based on keywords, concepts, people or organizations found within the text.
Virtual reality is a concept that seems a million miles away from being a part of our everyday life. For starters, what will it cost, and will that cost be reasonable for the average person? Underling steps have been taken in the world of gaming, but the predictions for the uses of virtual reality are far-reaching, with a scope of education, tourism, and physical or mental disorders.
With the arrival of introductory virtual reality such as Google Cardboard and Oculus, we are starting to see just how addictive and in-depth this new technology could be. But how can it benefit you in your everyday life?
Furthering your imagination
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you fall, and you are jolted awake by the sensation? This is called a hypnic jerk, and it happens because the brain thinks it is real, despite it being merely a visual sensation. The same devices are in play when you engage in virtual reality experiences. Pair that with surround sound and smell, and you can be forgiven for thinking what you’re experiencing is 100% real.
Virtual reality explores places your imagination cannot. As VR companies are developing technologies that engage more of the senses, entering into a VR world will become more and more real to the person in it. Watching nature documentaries will turn into being in nature; roaming amongst wild animals, inhaling the aroma of nearby plants and hearing sounds of life from every angle. What you will take away from these experiences will be so much greater as your mind was tricked into thinking you were really present. Your memory of the events will increase, as well as your empathy, understanding, and certainly heart rate!
Many scientists argue that using avatars in a virtual world can aid in cases of low self-esteem and even certain personality traits. If you spend time using an avatar that you have chosen to be attractive, you may act with more confidence in the VR world. If you choose an avatar that is younger than yourself, you may find yourself acting in a more youthful and energetic manner. These traits can be carried on in your normal life, and some scientists believe that this technology can extend to the treatment of depression.
If you’ve ever had to plough away at a thesis, essay, script, dissertation, or anything similar, you will probably relate to feelings of worthlessness, stupidity, anger, frustration, desperation, and everything in between. Don’t panic! There are ways and means to get yourself back on track with the finish line in sight.
Set rules for yourself
Your favorite band is playing in your town, you want to go out with your friends, or you just want to sleep a little longer in the mornings – setting rules for yourself and learning say no to things you want to do is tough. But self-control and self-motivation are the most crucial parts of getting your work done.
If you function better in the mornings, then you need to wake up early and do some work, it’s as simple as that. Set mini deadlines for yourself, so you are working towards something every day or every week. If you find you struggle with distractions on a regular basis, take a look at anti-distraction apps like Cold Turkey, or a scheduling app like Evernote to make sure you are on track.
Be tough, but be flexible. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach the goal you wanted to. Going out with your friends is still important to give your mind a break, but you will have to learn to say no quite a lot. Sorry!
Just write, even if it’s bad
In the words of many a famous author, good writing is really rewriting. So whatever you put down on paper first won’t always stay. Just write, write, write. Even if it’s the worst thing you have ever written, get the ideas onto paper, and you can come back to them later. You have to accept your writing will sometimes be bad before it will be good.