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How to Study Effectively

So it’s that time where you need to sit your theory exams. When you finally sit down to revise and look at all the modules and materials before you this could start to seem quite daunting. But fear not! We’ve got some tips to help you along so that you can revise like a pro!

Trying to find the best way to study for your theory exams is a very personal and ongoing process. Methods are subject to constant change depending on what you are revising. One thing is for sure, cramming most definitely doesn’t work. Especially for something as technical as theory for flying, you need to commit that information and knowledge to your long term memory. Studying the night before only puts the information in your short term memory, and your recall will only be as fresh as when you last looked at the material. So there is your first tip, start early!

By starting early you are helping yourself avoid the blind panic and frustration that you may have felt before the night of a big test that you haven’t revised for. This helps to reduce your stress levels, and by being less stressed you are spending less time worrying about that and freeing up your mind to recall that information required to ace the test.

Getting organised is also a major plus when it comes to revision. Have a planner, use a whiteboard or just use your phone, and plan what sections you are going to study. This helps you to keep track of what modules you have covered, what modules you need to work a little more on and what modules you are guaranteed to ace!

Make notes! That’s right...queue the groaning, but it’s not enough to simply read through your textbooks. The most effective way to retain information is to make notes. They don’t have to be thorough, or verbatim from the textbook, but engaging the brain whilst learning through the simple act of making notes from what you've just studied really helps you retain information. It’s best practice to read your revision books then make notes that are a summary of what you have read. This helps your brain to take in the information, process it and write it in your own words. 

Find a space to revise that works for you. This one is important. Some people find it hard to study in pure silence. Often they will find their brains filling in the silences and creating unnecessary distractions. Others find it hard to concentrate in noisy places like libraries or communal areas. You can often hear them shushing people aggressively so they can keep their head down and study. Whatever space you feel comfortable in, this is probably the most important thing, be comfortable in your working environment. There is no one way to study after all! It’s also beneficial to study in short bursts. Research has shown that by taking regular short breaks you allow yourself the opportunity to have a little refresh before going back to work. These breaks include going to get a glass of water, having a stretch or even just going on your phone for ten minutes. So take as many study breaks as you need (obviously make sure you are actually doing work and not just procrastinating).

Though we have given lots of tips, it’s worth noting that if you enjoy the subject you are studying for, the more likely you are to want to revise, and so you’ll probably just end up getting on with it! So good luck for your theory exams! Start revising early, get comfortable and we know you’’ll smash it!

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