Friday, February 26, 2016

Be Exam Ready!

Its that time of the year that most students dread……….examinations time! The very thought about exams is a source of fear, worry, tension and anxiety for scores of students the world across. Now that the time for thorough preparations and repeated revisions has gone past, it is time to capitalize on what has already been done and see how we can use our learning to achieve best performance.

Here are a few tips on preparing yourself for exams when they’re just round the corner:

·         Each chapter of your textbook and each section of class notes contain a limited number of central ideas.  Work toward knowing these main points well and learning some of the supporting detail.
·         Develop a study action plan: Determine the total study time available to you and decide how you want to allocate it. Write down the specific hours you will study each subject.  (Use your best study times for the most challenging subjects). Review your study plan from time to time, and see whether you are in pace with it.
·         Develop a positive attitude: Approach the test-taking situation rationally and optimistically.  When a negative, illogical thought creeps into your awareness (e.g., "I know I'm going to fail this exam," or "If I fail this exam I'll never get a good job"), counter it with a positive, realistic thought (e.g., "I'll do the best I can on this exam," or "I know I can prepare well for this exam").
·         Try not to get overwhelmed.  Break the task of studying into manageable pieces and consider sharing the task with a small study group.  If each person in a study group becomes an "expert" on a small portion of the material, he/she then can teach the rest of the group.
·         Develop at least 3 coping statements to take with you into the exam hall.  Learn to cheer yourself ("I can do it!") and keep your perspective ("I don't have to be perfect; I just have to do my best").
·         Before looking at the exam, close your eyes and visualize success:  Imagine yourself opening the exam and reviewing the questions calmly and with a feeling of competence.  In the middle of the exam, if you feel panicked, close your eyes and return to the calming visualization.
·         Learn to relax when you feel yourself tensing up. Use whatever strategy works for you: yoga, using visual imagery to take “instant vacation”, deep breathing and so forth.

The Night Before the Exams ……..

1.         Spend your last hours calmly reviewing what you've learned. Try not to tackle new material then.
2.         Avoid staying up all night. The shorter you are on sleep the less clearly you will be able to think and write what you know on the exam.
3.         Cram selectively. The night before an exam when you are more anxious than usual is one of the least effective times for study. Your ability to deal with concepts and synthesize material is greatly reduced, and even your ability to memorize is impaired by marked anxiety. Cramming only serves to make you more frantic about the exam and, hence, less prepared to do your best. If you do come up to exam time unprepared, use your last minute studying as a review of key concepts, instead of trying to learn it all. Be realistic about what you can accomplish: set priorities based on what you expect to be emphasized on the test. Stay calm.

Remember, exams are an opportunity to display what you have learnt in the entire year. Use this opportunity smartly and wisely, and success will be assured!

All the Best!