Tuesday’s Top Tip: Using the Pomodoro technique to prepare for your exams
It’s Meg here, back for another Tuesday Top Tip. This week, my focus is on exam preparation and the technique I use to get the most out of my study sessions.
You may have heard of this technique and the famous tomato timer it is named after (see famous timer below). My go-to study technique when I have exams is the good old ‘Pomodoro Technique’. I’ll go into more detail below but basically this method will have you studying for 25 minutes, taking a short break, repeating until you have completed four blocks and then taking another longer break.
For me, part of the challenge with studying for exams is that I’m so resistant to just get started. As soon as I know I have to study, I decide it’s the perfect time to clean my bathroom, KonMari my closet, and bake five cakes. Instead, I try to force myself to follow the steps below:
- Decide on the task to be done
- Set the timer for 25 minutes
- Work on the task until the timer rings and record a checkmark
- Take a short 5 minute break
- If you have fewer than 4 checkmarks, go back to step 2.
- After four pomodoros, take a longer break for 30 minutes.
- Reset your checkmark count to zero and go back to step 1.
The beauty of the Pomodoro technique is that you get to tell yourself “it’s ok, I just need to do this for 25 minutes”. I find that I very quickly get into the swing of things and almost have to force myself to take a break. On the short 5 minute breaks, I like to stand up, stretch, make a tea, and cuddle my dog. In the longer breaks, I will reward myself with a short episode of a show I love, or listen to some music before starting the process again.
How do you study for exams? Please leave your favourite exam preparation tip in the comments below!