For many students, preparing for an exam involves last-minute efforts of intense cramming, but getting ready for an exam is not all about studying.
There are other important things a student can do to ensure his success on an exam, such as maintaining a positive state-of-mind and good physical health. These factors, as well as studying, will guarantee the absolute best performance on an exam. Just as an athlete prepares for a game or a race with a regimen of mental and physical exercises, a student has to do everything he can to be ready for an exam. Here are a few things you absolutely have to do when prepping for an exam.
Go Over Your Main Course Reading Assignments
A few days before the exam, you want to complete all of the main reading assignments for your course and make notes for yourself. That means reading lecture notes, revising past assignments, and books that are pertinent to the upcoming examination. By doing this, you will be able to understand the major concepts in the course that you have to understand to pass your exam. Moreover, revising course notes helps you to understand what has been taught, which places you in a better position to answer any question you might come across.
Should you come across a concept that you do not understand, approach your instructor or fellow students, and ask them for assistance. Ask them to help you understand the concepts so that if they come up in the exam, you will not struggle to answer them. The best way to study at this stage is to go through past exam questions. Armed with these questions, it is relatively easy to see which concepts and themes repeat themselves. You can then devote more of your time reading up on these concepts.
Set Realistic Objectives
Knowing the key concepts of this course, the next step is to develop a realistic study timetable. Coming up with a schedule you can stick to is one of the best exam preparation approaches you can use. With a schedule, you know how much time you will spend reading up on a course or a concept. Write the timetable down in a planner or a calendar, but make sure that the timetable is realistic. A timetable arranged around eight hours of continuous studying, for instance, is not realistic. Very few students are capable of concentrating for long durations, and even fewer are capable of internalizing information gathered during long study sessions, especially if they use digital technology in their studies.
Take Some Time to Wake up Your Body
While the majority of study advice guides focus on how to prepare mentally for an exam, getting the rest of your body into the mood is equally important. Physical and mental readiness will give you the extra energy you need to take a long test. One great way to prepare your body for an exam is by listening to music. Listen to your favorite songs on the morning before the examination. You can listen to music while showering or when commuting to the exam location. Scientific studies show that music improves recall and memory encoding by binding information with auditory input.
Prepare All the Necessary Things the Night Before
As the day of the exam draws closer, you will want to make sure that everything you will use during the exam is ready. These study tips include sharpening your wooden #2 pencils, getting spare batteries for your calculator, and confirming the venue of the exam. Doing these things helps to reduce the stress that might be caused by getting to the exam late because you got lost, or you had to ask your instructor for more time because your calculator died.
Preparing for these things will put your mind at ease, meaning that you can focus on answering the test questions instead of frantically working out how to sharpen a pencil with only a few minutes remaining on the clock.
One of the tips before an exam students often ignore is wearing the appropriate attire. While choosing what to wear on exam day, think about the weather. You’re most likely going to be seated for a couple of hours during the exam. During this time, you shouldn’t have to put up with uncomfortable temperatures occasioned by the clothes you wear. The right attire safeguards against distractions, allowing you to concentrate fully on the job at hand.
Sandra Larson is a writer and she also mentors students around Melbourne. She has written a valuable guide for students who are struggling to prepare for exams. Sandra has a bachelor’s degree in education, and she uses her experience and knowledge to help students prepare for exams.