PREPARATION FOR JAMB AND APTITUDE TEST: TEN SIMPLE STUDY TIPS TO HELP STUDY AND PASS LIKE A PRO.
This type of exams always opens a long term and advanced study time before its actual date. Give yourself the best chance with these top ten study tips. Every examination or test needs acute preparation. Making haste whilst the sun rises, is always the best strategy. Before taking such examination:
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1. Give yourself enough time to study: Don’t leave it until the last minute. Despite what people say, cramming all the information into your brain the night before isn’t the best way to approach an exam. Set out a timetable for your study. Write down how many exams you have and the days on which you have to sit them. Then organize your study accordingly. You may want to give some exams more study time than others, so find a balance that you feel comfortable with.
2. Organize your study space: Make sure you have enough space to spread your textbooks and notes out. Have you got enough light? Lighted room plays a vital role in encouraging your brain to learning. Is your table and chair comfortable? Are your computer games out of sight and any other thing that may catch your interest? Try and get rid of all distractions and then arrange your books into piles. Put your English books and every other books in another pile, so when it’s time to study for that exam, you’ve got everything you need in front of you.
3. Make a flow chart: This is a bit like brainstorming, but instead of coming up with new ideas, you’re writing down everything you already know about a topic. Put it in an easy to follow diagram with key points that you can easily replicate in an exam. That way, when the exam commences, you can spend five minutes preparing for your answer and then expand on your ideas.
4. Practice on previous year’s exam questions: It’s always good to find out what kind of questions are going to be in the exam and the best way is too look through previous year’s exam questions. That will give you an idea of the layout of an exam, the number of short answers and long answers there will be and the amount of time you should be giving each section.
5. Explain your answers to others: Parents, little brothers and sisters don’t have to be annoying around exam time. Use them to your advantage. Explain an answer to a question to them. That will help you to get it clear in your head. If you find it difficult to explain, perhaps you need to do a bit more study. But at least you won’t turn up to the exam and realize you don’t know the answer to a question!
6. Organize or join study group with friends who had earlier taken similar exam: You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. Your social life doesn’t have to be non-existent during study times. Some people find it difficult to read in group. Others prefer studying alone. My advice here is, pursue whichever method that works well for you.
7. Take a break: Don’t force yourself to sit studying for 24 hours. If you were training for a marathon, you wouldn’t try and run 24 hours to be perfect. Develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, then start early before taking a break at lunchtime. Do something mindless in the afternoon and then start studying again in the evening if you know you’re more productive at night. Don’t feel guilty that you’re out enjoying the sunshine instead of hunched over your textbooks. Vitamin D is important for the brain!
8. Snacks on ‘brain food’: Keep away from junk food and opt for a bowl of nuts instead. They’re much better for the waistline and for the brain. You need to fuel your body while you study so make sure you eat nutritious food that has been proven to help your brain focus such as fish, nuts, yogurt and blueberries/strawberries.
9. Pack your writing materials: Make sure your pens work well and your pencils are sharpened. Nothing is worse for your nerves than having your pen run out of ink at the start of an exam. If you’re sitting a mathematics or science exam, make sure you have all the necessary writing materials you’ll need as well as rulers, compasses and calculators.
10. Stock up with water: Being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best, so remember to keep drinking water regularly. There comes a time in every student’s life when those things that you dread begin to loom on the horizon. Depending upon how confident you are about them, your horizon will either be measured in months, or maybe days. What am I talking about? Of course I mean examinations.
Whatever your situation and whenever you are going to be sitting in an examination room, it is never too early to start getting ready for those tests. Thorough preparation will provide you with a strong foundation and will give you the confidence and belief that you can do them and that you will get the grades you want.
Conclusively, I am often asked for tips when it comes to exam success and over the years I have accumulated proven ideas to success to many people. However, if I were to limit myself to ten it would be the following:
1. Find your own deep and compelling reason to successfully learn your subject and pass your exams.
2. Plan your time to include study, revision, religious gathering and social commitments – a balance of having fun, taking breaks and studying is vital. Remember, ‘All works no play makes Jack a dull boy’.
3. Use Multi-colour Mind Maps for your notes (Highlighter), if you are reading from a textbook.
4. Review your notes regularly to reinforce your new-found knowledge.
5. Swiftly skim through your textbooks and course material before you read them in-depth to give you an overview of your subject.
6. Learn how to remember lists of things by linking each item to a location on a journey or route you are familiar with around your town. You could even use your own residence.
7. Before you do any revision, warm up by doing some gentle exercise to relieve any tension in your body and to get a rush of healthy oxygen flowing to your brain.
8. Do past papers under thorough exam conditions as often as possible to familiarise yourself with the format and the pressures of working under exam conditions.
9. In an exam, make sure you read the question hook, line and sinker, and fully understand what the examiner wants before you allocate your time and begin answering the questions.
10. If you are faced with a mental block breathe deeply, relax and ask yourself ‘If I did know the answer to this question, what would it then be’?
There’s no absolute shortcut to success, studying for final exams is extremely painful. These monstrous tests are standing in the way between you and your summer break, but that doesn’t mean that you can slack off and sip iced tea by the pool. Now is the time to focus, as these test grades reflect the hard work that you’ve put in throughout the entire school year.