How To Study Properly Before Any Examination and pass Without Fear
When it comes to passing examination, you will have to do more than just remember information. You’ll have to demonstrate a mastery of the material you’ve studied, showing that you understand key concepts, can analyse or evaluate these concepts, and can apply your knowledge to new scenarios.
Some students are weak in reading and understanding simple comprehension passages given during a particular examination. On the other hand, some students don’t prepare well, some are day-dreamers who think they are clever, and do not bother to read further or ask a teacher what seems ambiguous. Others fail to follow up instructions or the demands of the question.
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The following is a brief of how to study in order to score more marks in your exams:
Effective and Direct Study (Active reading): Study is not just reading, but paying attention to key words in a given material. It is reading for continuous learning. A student should know how to study effectively, how to study more in limited time towards achieving desired aims. Study should be directed. Directed study means that you study according to the nature of exam and according to the way it should be learnt.
- Note-taking/Note-making: Taking and making useful notes play a vital role for success in exam. It helps you to learn easily and with perfection. Notes taken during classes are useful for revision against future examination.
- Test-taking Strategies: Test-taking strategies show you how to present your answer on answer sheet in a befitting way so that the checker gives you more marks for your answers. It also tells you those tactics for exams like time management for each question and how to tackle different question numbers.
- Time Management: Time management enables you to utilize your time more productively. Time management includes following your timetables and syllabus. A student should be able to manage the time allocated for studies and time allocated for examination.
- Dedication to Studies: Observations have shown that students are no longer dedicated to their studies. Some teachers are also to be blamed for being not dedicated to teaching, but students should be more dedicated and take it more serious because it is their future. If you fail, you are the one to bear the brunt. At times, students’ attitude towards learning discourages teachers from impacting more on the students. If a student shows a lackadaisical attitude towards learning, the teacher too will pay less concern in carrying out his or her responsibilities of teaching the students.
BEFORE THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE EXAMINATION:
Start studying early: Give yourself more than enough time to review the material that was covered in class. You might want to gauge how soon to start studying by how much material you need to review. For instance, if you have to review material for an entire semester, you might want to start studying a few weeks prior. However, if you are just taking a test that covers material over a few chapters, a week prior or even three to four days may be sufficient.
Only you know how long it takes you to study, so you are the best judge of when to start studying.
If the class material is especially difficult for you, start studying early. Give yourself enough time to truly grasp the material, practice it and then review it.
Get a full night’s sleep before the exam. Your brain needs time to subconsciously digest everything you’ve put into it, so start early so you don’t have to stay up all night.
Re-read your notes: This time re-read your notes for understanding. In other words, you are going to study your notes. Start with the most basic information. So, if you’re studying an art history unit on impressionism, make sure you know what impressionism means. Who were the most famous impressionists at the time?
Ask yourself, who, what, where, when for each theme/subject matter that you are supposed to know for the test.
You can look up information online to study from, but the best information to study from is the information presented to the class because the answers will be derived from your classroom materials. Sometimes information on the internet can vary from the information that you are presented in class.
If you are planning to study from information provided on the internet, stick with sources that end with .edu or .gov.
Take notes while you study: Yes, take even more notes. You can highlight and underline the information as well, but writing the information down really helps you retain it better. Make sure to write down concepts that you are struggling with or are having a hard time remembering.
Break down complex subjects into steps or parts. For instance, if you are trying to learn the order of historical events, list out each event that happened in the order they happened. For instance, first Linus Pauling discovered DNA, then he was awarded a prize. Write down the time frame and the events that influenced each happening. Knowing these side notes should help you to recall information because they increase your level of understanding.
Review your syllabus: The syllabus is an outline of everything that you should have learned over the course of the class. It’s a good place to start to understand major ideas and topics that you should be learning from the class. Review it and highlight the titles and subheadings. These are the sections that you’ll need to at least review to make sure you understand the big ideas behind the topics.
Some teachers write down the page numbers or chapters that each section of the syllabus pertains to in your book. Take note of those pages because you should definitely review them.
Write down the major topics and themes that you pulled out of the syllabus. Then, go through your notes to see if you have any notes at all on those topics. Once again, if you don’t, you should ask someone for notes on those topics, and re-read the sections in the book pertaining to those topics. Anything outlined in the syllabus is usually “fair game” for test material.
Review study guides and sections: In some books, each chapter has a short review or summary. This is a great place to quickly review and get a gist of a concept. Of course, if you have no idea what the summary is referring to or you need more details to jog your memory, refer to the study guide in the back of the book. Then, re-read those specific chapters or selections in the book that you were having trouble remembering.
You might be able to find a study guide online for the material that you are studying if you are not able to get one from your teacher.
Re-read important selections of the textbook: All of the titled sections of the book from your syllabus should be re-read so that you can pull out important information. While you re-read these sections, keep in the mind the major concepts that you’re supposed to be learning from those sections of the book. Write down important details as you read.
Note the chapter titles and section titles as you read. They are a dead give-away to the major concepts that are covered in those sections.
Quiz yourself: Once everything is written down on flashcards, quiz yourself with the cards. Keep reviewing the questions that you get wrong until you get them right. You can carry flashcards around with you and quiz yourself when you’re on the subway or riding in the car. You might quiz yourself for a half hour or so, then take a break. Definitely continue to quiz yourself until your get them all right.
If you keep getting certain questions wrong, review your notes and textbook again to see if there is something you’re not understanding.
Do practice questions: This is especially helpful for subjects such as math. Practice doing the questions in the book that you were assigned for homework. Do extra questions in the back of the book. Re-do questions that you got wrong, and try to figure out why you got them wrong. Do practice questions until you feel more comfortable with subject matter.
If you still have more time before your exam, ask for assistance either from a teacher or a friend.
On the day of the exam, set your alarm at least two hours before the test. Scientists believe that a good night’s rest is the key to better test scores. An hour and a half before the exam, start running through all the themes and sub-topics in your head. Like always, check your notes if you get stuck. Use your flashcards to help you commit all the tiny details to memory if they’re not already memorized. Stop studying at least 15 minutes before the exam, but an hour is preferable. If you’ve given yourself enough time to study, you should feel well prepared and relaxed.
Review past tests. If you have a friend who has taken the test the year or semester before, ask your friend if you can see his or her test. Take note of the questions that were answered and the answers that were marked correct and incorrect. If you are in college, some universities keep past exams from classes on file. Contact your professor about reviewing them.
Although reviewing past exams might not give you the exact questions that will appear on your test, it will give you an idea of how the information will be tested.
It also will tell you how the test will be scored. You’ll know if you should give long detailed answers or if your answers should be straight to the point. If you are able to review a test with answers on it, pay attention to answers that were given high marks and those that weren’t. Also, pay attention to any notes in the margins that the teacher may have written explaining why points were taken off.
Determine the format. Reviewing past tests can help you understand the format of the test and whether it will be multiple choice, short answer or essay. It also gives you more ideas about how to study. Does it ask for specific information like dates and times that events occurred? Or is it testing big ideas with explanations in an essay format?
If you understand the format of the test, you know what information to pull out and how detailed or open-ended it might be.
You’ll also be able to assess the distribution of points. Is the essay worth much more than the multiple choice? With the past test to review, you can assess what you’ve already studied and re-assess.
Go to class the day before the exam. Teachers usually provide more information about the test a day or two before the exam. Sometimes they might even tell you exactly what will be on the test and exactly what will not be, but not always. Your teachers may even provide you with a study guide to study from when they’re giving away this information, and if you don’t go, you’ll miss out on it.
Study with a friend. Get together with a friend or group of people from your class and study together. It doesn’t have to be a formal study group. You can simply review each other’s notes to see what you may have missed, and discuss concepts you think will be covered on the test.
Quiz each other. Ask each other potential exam questions. Use your flashcards to quiz each other, or ask your friend to make up new questions that you didn’t think about. Even if you use the same questions that you wrote on your flashcards, you will find that the experience is different when your friend is quizzing you. More than likely, your friend will hold you accountable for answering the question in its entirety.
- Eat right and have a good rest every night before an exam.
- Write down key words from what you are studying. It helps you memorize the phrase that you find hard to remember.
- Be sure to take breaks or refresh your mind with something calming to help your brain subconsciously process information.
- Do yoga especially breathing exercises which will make you calm, fresh and also reduce stress.
- There is a fine balance between work and play. Make time for both.
- Try to pick out the key or vital words in definitions or notes to help you remember them.
- Spend less time on social networking sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
- Always re-write the important sections of your notes, it will help you memorize them.
- Use colors, notes, and diagrams to help you study if you’re a visual learner.
- Take it easy and work at your own pace to understand the concept you are studying.
- Don’t stay up all night studying. Cramming late at night is not a good idea. Make sure you get enough sleep before the day of the exam.
- Don’t do all your studying at once. You’ll learn best if you read a little bit of your textbook each day. If you stress, you might forget whatever you have memorized.
- Don’t make unnecessary notes to fill your pages. While reading them, you may forget the important notes!
- Don’t wait till the last minute to study. You’ll be frazzled and ill prepared when you’re taking the test. Plus, your brain needs time to process information and that takes time.