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How to Ace your Exams: A Guide to the Pomodoro Technique

By: Elena Brake

Are you getting ready for exams right now? As a mechanical engineering student who’s going through this right now, I understand the importance of finding effective study techniques, especially during exam season. One method that has revolutionised my approach to studying is the Pomodoro Technique. Let me walk you through how this simple yet powerful method can help you maintain your energy levels and ace your exams. 


What is the Pomodoro Technique? 

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It involves breaking your study time into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes long, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a “Pomodoro,” named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo initially used. 

How Does it Work? 

  1. Set a Timer: Choose a task you want to work on, set a timer for 25 minutes, and spend this time in focused work until the timer rings. 
  1. Take a Short Break: After completing a “Pomodoro”, take a short break of around 5-10 minutes. Use this time to recharge and relax your mind. 
  1. Repeat: Repeat the cycle. After every four Pomodoros, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. 

And that’s all there is to it! 


Benefits of the Pomodoro Technique  

  • Enhanced Focus: By breaking your study session into manageable chunks, you can maintain high levels of concentration throughout. 
  • Increased Productivity: Knowing that you only need to focus for a short period makes tasks seem more manageable and reduces procrastination. 
  • Improved Time Management: The Pomodoro Technique helps you track and optimise your study time, ensuring you make the most of every minute. 
  • Reduced Burnout: Regular breaks prevent burnout and mental fatigue, allowing you to study more effectively for longer periods. 
  • Better Retention: Short, focused bursts of study followed by breaks enhance information retention and comprehension. 


Making the Most of Your Breaks 

During your short breaks, it’s crucial to engage in activities that recharge your mind and body. Here are some ideas: 

  1. Go Outside: Take a short walk or simply step outside to get some fresh air and rejuvenate your senses. 
  1. Get Creative: Dabble in a hobby or activity that stimulates your creativity, whether it’s drawing, writing, or playing a musical instrument. 
  1. Practice Mindfulness: If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, spend a few minutes practicing mindfulness or deep breathing exercises to calm your mind. 
  1. Stay Away from Distractions: Avoid the temptation to scroll through social media or check your phone during breaks. Instead, focus on activities that promote relaxation and mental clarity. 


This technique has been a really powerful way for me to study and has helped me to achieve high grades and get so much more done in a day. It seems to make my study time feel more manageable, it helps me keep focused on what’s important, and it means that I have more time to do things I enjoy while still feeling like I’m making progress in my academic goals. So if you have exams coming up, give the Pomodoro Technique a try, and let us know how it goes! 

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