Ramadan Mubarak everyone!
Like myself, I’m sure many of you are studying for exams during this blessed month of Ramadan. Due to the nature of the lunar calendar, my exam seasons for the past two years were in Ramadan and this brought unique challenges, and continues to do so, but unique rewards as well.
I’m sure we can all agree the most challenging aspect of exams in Ramadan is hunger. When your suhoor is out of your system, it’s really difficult to concentrate and motivation goes out of the window! Trying to refocus your mind and not think about food is hard.
Another difficulty, for me personally, was guilt. I felt that I was not doing enough ibadah or making the most of Ramadan and in a way choosing dunya over deen. However, I came to realise that is not the case. The act of studying, with the right intentions, can become ibadah. Upon learning this, I no longer saw studying as an obstacle in the way of me fully observing Ramadan but a means to worship Allah by working hard for exams and getting the hasanat at the same time. Two birds, one stone.
Ramadan is the month of long nights, amongst other things, and that means bye-bye sleep schedule! This was another aspect I found challenging, and still do, especially with ongoing online classes. Believe me when I tell you that 9am Zoom meetings are not Ramadan friendly!
With that said, Allah (SWT) told us in his holy Quran that “Verily, with hardship comes ease [94:6]”
This time will pass, and we will get through it! To help you with your studies during this time, I have a few tips that may make it easier.
1. Find the best study time for you
This is important because you don’t want to plan out your studies and then realise at the end of the day you didn’t cover what you needed to do. Figure out what the best time is for you. Is it early in the morning or late at night after iftar? Doing this will save you a lot of frustration and valuable study time.
2. Time your study sessions
I personally use the Pomodoro technique which consists of 25 minutes of work and then a 5-minute break. You can increase the 25-minute intervals to 45-50 minutes with a 10-minute break, but I personally wouldn’t recommend more than an hour.
There are many apps you can use for this or even your phone clock. Forest is my favourite app because the trees are so cute and your forest is a cultivation of your hard work, so having that visually represented also has a motivational aspect attached.
3. Try to incorporate Quran and ibadah into your breaks
This could even mean listening to Quran on your break because in Ramadan it has the same hasanat as physically reading the Quran. You could also watch Islamic lectures on YouTube. I recommend Sheikh Omar Suleiman’s special Ramadan series; a bonus is that they’re all under 10 minutes!
4. Switch up your study style
Why not try flashcards or quizzes when you’re a little hungrier and don’t have energy and leave the harder/concept heavy tasks when you’re fed? That way you are also incorporating active studying instead of passively reading notes.
5. Make sure you move around
Especially in this time of quarantine where everyone is at home and sitting down a lot, exercise is needed. Trust me, your back will thank you!
That is the end of my list! I really hope this helps and remember, you can do this! I pray that Allah makes both studying and exams easy for all of you and that you are rewarded by the hard work you have put in.
Thank you for reading and if you guys have any other tips to help all of us who are studying for exams during Ramadan, please share in the comments!
A special thank you to Nadia and all those involved in the #RamadanReadathon!
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