You must have heard from your parents or grandparents that in their time of schooling, February and March were known as the months of final exams, especially in the government-run schools and colleges, where they had mostly been studying. And they talk about one single date – 31st March – that was essentially specific for announcing the results of all primary, middle and high schools’ classes.
This policy, envisaged by the education boards at district or division’s levels, is still in practice particularly in government’s rural and urban educational institutes. Our parents remember that as kids they used to get so excited that they kept waiting for 31st March, from the day their exams usually ended.
Yes, if the exams arouse panic, the result date brings excitement and joyful curiosity. Students happily attend the result announcement ceremony with their parents or guardians and return with prizes and certificates. Those who prepared well for the exams obviously get desired result. But those who acted carelessly and paid less attention, end up in disappointment.
However, there might be many who prepared well for the exam but couldn’t secure good grades. So, where is the problem? The answer is that students don’t know how to organize themselves and effectively manage their time for exam preparations?
Examinations you know are an imperative part of a student’s educational journey to upgrade knowledge, learning process and pertinent skills. However, this certain part of academic year is considered as a headache by a majority of students. In fact, preparing for exams is not as easy as it sounds. Exams preparation is mainly perceived as memorization of concepts, lessons, facts and figures whereas it is more about developing a sound study schedule that could proficiently deal with knowledge maximization, handling exam pressure, effective writing, and understanding of the subjects as well as time management.
Indeed, everybody has different practices and choices. Yet there are some great ways to plan study times, and retain more information to perform well in exams. Here are some of the important study techniques and tips that can help you to optimize your exams preparation:
Make up Your Mind and Start Early
First of all, convince yourself that you are determined and all set to start the preparation at least a couple of months before the final exams. The best strategy is to start studying as early as possible to have reasonable time for revision of the syllabus before the exams. In order to perform well in the annual exam, you do not need to be a bookworm but smart and dedicated.
Many students consider cramming as a helpful technique for exams preparation but, honestly speaking, cramming before a paper is really an out-dated and hopeless idea for the knowledge-based learning. Cramming can increase stress as you may not have adequate time to retain knowledge. Just make a good routine to study for a few hours daily, and then conveniently enjoy the family time at weekends. Develop a habit to repeat the lessons taught in the class at home, to fix it in your memory.
Follow a Sound Study Plan
A genuine study plan is mandatory to an efficient exam preparation. It helps to set a direction, manage extracurricular activities and allocate needed time to each subject. Make sure that you follow a study routine and well-defined study plan to establish a sense of discipline and devotion. Do evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in every subject and prioritize accordingly. It will facilitate you to straighten a study routine that works best for you. When finalized, you stick to it. A well-developed study schedule can ease you out of stress, and will enhance confidence during the exam.
Effective Time Management
Time management is undoubtedly the crucial aspect in exams preparation. So, carefully plan your study sessions, and allocate sufficient time for each subject. It’s a good idea to list down the most important topics in each subject, and make a study plan to tackle them first. Do not keep the topics for the last day. Make sure to cover all the topics and concepts in the syllabus comprehensively, and avoid selective reading. Instead of relying solely on luck, it is better to confidently rely on knowledge and your understanding. In order to clear your concept, try to come up with keywords of the topic, note down the important points, and memorize it by heart. Practising with previous exams and sample papers is a good way to prepare for an upcoming exam. It familiarizes students with the paper patterns, nature of questions, to handle pressure of exams, and manage the paper effectively within the given time.
Incorporate Learning Techniques
Students use different active and passive learning techniques for exam preparations. Active learning techniques like taking notes, key points, summarizing and brainstorming are useful to understand the basic concepts as compared to passive learning techniques, such as cramming and re-reading. It is proven that students are more likely to remember well, and understand the concepts by actively engaging with it. It is not viable to just stick to a single learning technique and course material to enhance knowledge. Go for the relevant online materials, documentaries and research papers on the pertinent topic to enhance knowledge-based learning.
Manage the Reading Environment
Reading environment has a significant impact on exams preparation and study routine. Try to dedicate a peaceful and quiet facility favourable to studying with all necessary supplies. You can avoid distractions by limiting the screens, social media, social interactions and gossips with buddies during the study time.
Combine and Group Study
Group study is a chance for students to share their knowledge, perceptions, and weak concepts. While discussing important topics, key concepts or lessons, you need to address misconceptions and confusions first. A group study session lets peers learn from each other in a friendly environment. In this way, you can learn the importance of practice, hardwork, out of the box thinking, patience and active listening as well as communication skills.
Handle Exams Pressure
Exams preparation is truly challenging. It can be stressful, though. Managing this stress with grace is compulsory for a student’s wellbeing. Positive attitude, regular exercise and physical activities will let you handle the stress, and improve your mood. It is suggested to go for exercise, a short walk with your pet and taking some rest to recharge your spirit. Try to figure out the time when you feel more energetic, fresh and focused to find the right balance between studying and taking care of yourself.
Maintain Healthy Eating and Sleeping Habits
Consuming healthy food is an important part of the exam preparation routine. The human brain performs at maximum when the body is well-nourished, energetic and strong. During the study break, do take nuts, fresh fruit, juices, vegetables, and balanced meals containing healthy fat and grain. At the same time, enough sleep and rest is necessary to keep your brain active. A good night’s sleep actually helps you to retain information. So, avoid pulling an all-nighter. In fact, a healthy body allows brain to focus and retain information better.
Polish the Writing Style & Enhance Speed Significance of Writing Style and Speed
While attempting the paper, it is extremely important for students to remain attentive and focused. Students with good hands on writing can conveniently attempt questions, review answers, and then submit the attempted sheet to the examiner.
Here are some doable tips:
Practice, Practice and Practice
Undoubtedly, the best way to improve writing speed and style is to write as much as you can during the academic year. The more you write, rewrite and work on answers to make it free from mistakes, the better. Key to optimize performance in an exam is to practise writing within the limited time.
Allocate Time for Writing
Do make conscious effort to reserve time out of your study routine, for writing. Tests, quizzes, term papers, past papers, sample papers, assignments, and writing each and every topic will help you memorize everything. It is also beneficial to boost up your writing style and speed.
Create Catchy Headlines
You know compelling headlines in the answers can catch attention in no time. It also helps to make a concept more concise, and paragraphs more impressive and easy to read.
Crafting Effective Answers
During the paper, it is suggested to carefully read and understand the question, and allocate needed time to each question accordingly. Some answers may require less explanation as compared to others. So, do not spend unnecessary time on any question. There is no hard and fast rule that students must solve questions according to the paper. You can opt for the easy question first to gain momentum and confidence, and then move on to difficult ones. And yes, do not forget to mention the correct question number in the answer sheet.
Express Yourself Through Writing
The way you write answers in the exam depicts your grip on the relevant topic and subject. Attractive handwriting, organized thoughts, clear concepts, key points and headings make a piece of writing look interesting, polished and smooth.
The Bottom Line
Preparing for exams effectively is directly proportional to success in academics. It calls for deliberate and sincere efforts from the beginning of academic year till the exams day. Honestly speaking, there is no single best approach to study, but many useful ways to optimize your time for exams preparation. It is better to practise different learning styles and study techniques to absorb maximum information and knowledge. Certainly, with full dedication, positive attitude, determination and right approach you can definitely tackle exams and attain the desired success.
All the Best!