The examination period can prove to be extremely stressful and pressuring on students to perform well. However, there are several things that you can do to prepare more effectively for your exams.
While completing your curriculum is critical for most exams, at the same time, it is also essential to plan and use your time efficiently. It is definitely not a requirement for all students to commit 12 to 14 hours in a day on studying to get high scores, and it is also not applicable in every situation.
In fact, during this time, it is important to focus on how much you have studied and not on how long you have studied. In this post, we will discuss some valuable exam tips that will help you to study smarter and excel in your academics.
1. Start Your Preparation Early
Starting early with your exam preparation will give you ample time to review everything you have already studied. It is unwise to leave everything for the last moment and make sure you understand your subject thoroughly. This will make revision much less gruesome.
You can also set up a timetable to manage your time effectively. First, note down all the exams you have and the number of days leading up to the examinations. Then, set up your study schedule accordingly with ample breaks in between.
Remember, you may require more preparation time to some subjects than others, so try to achieve a balance at your convenience.
2. Organise your Space for Study
Prior to preparing for your exams, make sure your surrounding is organized. You should have enough space around you to keep your notes and textbooks. Also, you need to ensure that there is nothing around you that might distract you like your mobile or gaming devices.
When preparing for exams, you need to feel as comfortable as possible and avoid all distractions so that you can devote full concentration to your course materials. Additionally, you also need to sort out all your study material before beginning with the preparation.
Therefore, put your notes in order, check you have all the handouts, write down your own summaries for each chapter of your textbook, and prepare an outline of the subject so that you can use it as a last-minute referral.
Ensuring everything is properly organized is one of the key study tips that students should keep in mind. It will offer you a comfortable environment and will help you to stay more focused during preparation.
3. Review and Practice Past Exam Papers
Reviewing and practicing past exam papers is one of the most effective ways to learn how to prepare for exams. It helps you to familiarise yourself with the format and structure of the question paper.
If possible, try timing yourself when practicing the old exam paper, this will help you to know how much time you are spending on each section.
You can get past exam papers from your teachers, your school library, or you can even search online.
4. Set Study Goals
For each study session, set yourself a goal to keep track of what you are studying or what you have completed. You can note down your study goals as soon as you start with your study session or you can set them at the end of the session for the next one. Here are some examples of study goals you can set:
- I will work through at least five equations.
- I will go through and summarise chapters 5 and 6.
- I will understand and learn the key concepts that were taught in week 2 to 4 lectures.
5. Make Use of Diagrams and Flowcharts
When preparing for an exam, visual aids can also be incredibly useful. So first, try to make notes of everything you know about a particular topic, and then when the exams are near, compile those notes into a one-page diagram.
Having your thoughts recorded in this format will enable you to easily recall everything you need to know while taking the exam.
6. Get Together with Friends for Study Sessions
Organizing group study sessions with friends is one of the most crucial exam study tips for students as it helps you get answers to all your questions and vice versa. However, you need to make sure that you do not waste time and stay focused on learning the importance of preparing for exams. One common mistake of group study would be that students tend to get more easily distracted as there is now another partner to start a conversation with. One person’s distraction may also end up affecting the entire group.
However if done right, studying with your friends or fellow students is also a great way to challenge yourself and keep moving towards your goal.
7. Describe your Answers to Others
Parents and siblings do not always have to be irritating, especially around your exam time. To stop them from distracting you, use them to your advantage and start describing the answers you have prepared. This will help you to retain things and know the areas where you are lacking and need more work. You could also employ this method while in a group study setting with friends.
8. Study to Suit your Learning Style
Your individual learning style will help you to know what are the best ways for you to prepare for an examination. For instance, if you are an auditory learner, you may benefit from recording your notes and then listening to them later, or you can even listen to lecture recordings.
On the other hand, if you are a visual learner, pictures and diagrams can help you remember. So explore what your learning style is so that you’d have an easier time remembering significant facts and understanding key concepts.
9. Take Regular Intervals
While it may seem that studying for more hours may result in more productivity, it’s actually the opposite, and it will definitely leave you mentally drained with no energy to study and retain knowledge. So it’s essential to take regular breaks for longer retention of information and to freshen up your mind.
Always keep in mind that everyone is different, so what works for you might not work for others. When building a study routine, consider taking intervals when it works best for you. For instance, if you study better at night, take your break early. And if you are more productive in the morning, start studying first before taking a break during lunchtime.
10. Do Not Cram
Staying up all night and cramming will only make you more anxious and stressed out. So instead of trying to cover everything in your curriculum the day before the exam, it’s better just to review what you have already studied and sleep early. You should try to space out the contents and study them prior to the couple of days before the exam.
This will keep you refreshed on the day of your exam. The key exam preparation you should be doing the night before your exam includes the following:
- Gather all your study material
- Review your notes
- Test yourself on the main concepts
- Set your alarm
11. Ask for Help
If you face trouble understanding a specific concept or subject, do not hesitate to ask for help. Talk to your mentor, teacher, tutor, or your friend to understand the concept better before it’s too late. Rather than trying to memorize or cram, taking guidance from someone can help you remember the concept for a longer time. Especially here at Mathlete Training Centre, our tutors would be more than happy to provide the necessary guidance.
12. Plan your Exam Day and Sleep Well
Make sure you have everything ready way before the day of your exam and do not leave anything for the last day. Check all the requirements and make all the other necessary arrangements.
Besides, do not forget to take at least a minimum of seven hours of sleep before the exam. Remember, exams are designed to test your thinking ability. So if you are sleep-deprived, you might not be able to complete your exam in time or justify your answers correctly.
13. Do Not Evaluate Post Examination
After finishing your exam, if you realize that you have given an incorrect answer to one of the questions, it may cause anxiety.
So avoid evaluating your question paper because, at that point, you will be able to do nothing to change your answer or your score. Instead, stay focused on your studies and prepare for the next exam to ensure that you do not repeat the same mistake.
You must consider the exam tips and tricks for students mentioned above to get the most out of your exams. However, there might be other things that work better for you, so explore every option and ask your friends around to find out how they prepare for their exams — some of their final exam study tips might help you as well.
You can even seek guidance from your teachers at school or from Mathlete Training Centre.