Exam preparation requires some careful planning from your side as a student. Typically, examinations rank among the activities that can naturally give you sleepless nights. But getting nervous because of an examination does not equate to adequately preparing for it. Adequate preparation is a fail-proof approach to rid yourself of exam tension or nervousness.
It is also clear that adequate preparation for your big day gives you sufficient confidence to ace your papers. So, this post contains 15 tips on exam preparation you’ll undoubtedly find useful.
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1. Plan Your Exam Preparation Early
You can easily get tempted to stall your exam preparations till you can no longer postpone. But, starting your practice long before your exam date is critical for efficient study.
First, when you begin your preparation process, you’ll discover that nervousness begins to wear off. Also, starting your preparations early means that you won’t have to rush through your outline. You’ll be able to cover most – if not all – of your preparatory syllabus, thereby increasing your chances of exam success.
The best time to plan your preparation activities is the moment you receive the notification for your exam. This way, it immediately becomes a priority for you.
2. Know the Right Things to Study
Knowing what to study for your exam preparation is the first necessary step to exam success. It can be disastrous to spend so much time preparing for a specific set of topics, only to encounter an entirely different world on your question papers.
As soon as it is practicable, try to find out the subjects, topics, and subtopics that will be treated in your exam. This will help you get a grasp of what you’ll be confronting. You can request this outline from your teachers and tutors or go through questions from previous years. People who have taken the exams before could also help you discern what to study.
3. Understand the Nature of the Exam
Undoubtedly, the way you prepare for a multiple-choice exam is not the same way you study for essays. So, after sourcing for the outline of what to look for, the next thing to do is find out the nature of the exam you’ll be writing.
Essay exams require in-depth, and sometimes, word-for-word understanding of your materials. On the other hand, multiple-choice exams require a broad, generic knowledge of the topics covered. So you should consider how much time to allocate each topic while preparing for exams
4. Organize Your Study Materials for Exam Preparation
The materials you study for your exam preparation play a significant role in determining how ready you’ll be on that day. Having known the kind and nature of questions to expect, you should gather the right resources for adequate study.
Organizing your study materials is essential if you want to study efficiently. It will keep you from disrupting your study each time you need to lay hold of any material. You’ll also be able to have a holistic view of what you’re going to study so that no part is skipped or forgotten. Study space will go a long way to help you get all the textbooks, notes, previous questions, and digital tools you’ll need in one place for the perfect exam preparation.
5. Schedule and Organize Your Study
It is one thing to decide and prepare to study, and it is yet another thing to get down to studying. To study for an exam, you should be able to make out time for it. You also have to make learning a priority so that other activities do not choke up or creep into your study time.
After you’ve scheduled your study time, you’ll also need to organize the materials you’ll be studying. Begin by making a review of the subjects and topics you’ll be covering.
You can then group the topics or subjects the way you want and study them based on your preferences. For example, you can write out the seemingly-difficult topics and complete them before moving on to easier ones.
6. Use an Exam Preparation App for Mock Test
There are quite a few App for Exam Preparation available in the market. Some of them are free while some are subscription based. These apps cater to all major exams like JEE, CBSE, ICSE, NEET among others. You can easily register for a course and then select subjects for testing your knowledge level. The scores are only indicative of your readiness for exams but you will get a good idea on which subjects to study more.
The main things to look for while downloading such Apps are the question bank and scoring methods. We tested a few apps for exam preparation had additional features like retention levels and customized questions for each student. If you feel comfortable, you can try out these apps, which are a great help during this pandemic when tuition and guidance are scarce.
7. Manage Your Time Properly for Exam Preparation
Keeping distractions to the barest minimum should be your primary objective as you prepare for your exams. Efficient time management is your surest bet to keeping distractions down.
In your choice of when to study, choose the time of the day when you are mentally active, and alert. Don’t force yourself to study during the day if reading at night is better for you.
Also, set targets whenever you settle to read and strive to complete them. If you plan to finish an entire topic in 2 hours, try to steer clear from other activities until you have met your target. These things helps in proper time management during exam preparation.
8. Use Multiple Study Techniques
Trying different study methods can help wash off boredom from your exam preparations. You don’t always have to read long texts of a single font to get adequately prepared for your exams. Watching related videos, analyzing diagrams, and using flashcards to answer questions are effective study methods that can keep you from getting jaded as you study.
9. Try Different Environments
Studying in a secluded space like a library or your study room can help reduce distractions. But trying out different locations will help ease exam tension and boost your retention rate.
Reading a topic on history from an elevated spot in the park can be quite distracting. But it will introduce a new memory background for you to keep all the dates fresh in your head. A park environment will also keep you refreshed and ready to assimilate more information.
10. Study with Class Mates wherever possible
Studying and Exam preparation with other people will help you see things differently. Your classmates or study group members will touch on those areas you might not have paid enough attention to. This ensures that no stone is left unturned as you study for your exams and that no question takes you by surprise.
However, given the current pandemic situation every precaution should be taken while studying with friends. Hand sanitisers, mask and maintaining a distance is important to stay safe before exams.
11. Take Care of Yourself while Preparing for Exams
Your health should not suffer because you have an exam to write. Do everything possible to take care of yourself even as you prepare for your exam. In a bid to save time, you may be tempted to skip rests or find solace in junk food, but don’t fall for it. Your health needs to be at its best at this period.
Eat healthy, balanced meals, exercise regularly, and always take active breaks to rest between your study periods. As you study, do not neglect the center of your learning – your brain. To improve your concentration and retentive capacity, stick with foods that enhance your brain functions. Nuts, milk, yogurt, and seafood should not be lacking in your diet as you prepare for your big day.
12. Check and Fill Knowledge Gaps
After each study schedule, always acknowledge what you’ve achieved from the study. You should also be able to point out the knowledge you’ve gained from that study. Take notes as you study, and go back to them afterward. You can also set questions from your study outline and try to answer them on your own later.
At the end of your exam preparation, see to it that you cover all or most of your outlined topics. You’ll be more confident confronting the giant in the hall if you have an idea of what it looks like.
13. Dedicate the Day Before for Revision Alone
Revision is an effective way to bring them together after trying to work around different topics for several days or weeks. To manage mental stress and adequately process the things you’ve learned, pause with learning new stuff at least a day before your exam.
Go over your notes, outlines, and learning cards as a concluding activity. It is also suggested that you carry out this revision a day or two before your D-day.
14. Get Your Exam Materials Ready
By now, you already know what you’ll need for your exam. You’ll want to get ready at least a day before. Looking for your calculator or identity card on the morning of your exam will not only delay you. It will also leave you disorganized. So, get your cloth, shoes, exam materials, and other materials ready the night before so that you won’t have to deal with hitches on the day of your exam.
15. Rest Early, Rise Early
All the preparations you’ve done for your exams can quickly get devalued if you fail to rest properly. Try to round off your study the evening before your exam so that you can have enough rest before morning.
A walk around the park in the cool of the evening will help calm your nerves and put you at ease. Have your dinner early, and sleep for at least 6 hours. Depending on your exam time, be ready early enough, and arrive at the venue at least an hour before commencement.
Final Tips for Exam Preparation as You Study
As you study, relieve yourself of mental stress by taking regular breaks and engaging in nerve-calming activities.
Utilize videos, diagrams, and colored notes to enhance visual learning.
Before reading any topic, try first to get an understanding of what it talks about. Then proceed to a detailed study of the subject.
Always eat healthy diets, and don’t forget to rest as you study.
The use of keywords and shorthand will help you remember the things you study.
Try to keep distractions to the barest minimum as you study. If possible, stay away from the TV and social media until you’ve taken the exams.
Try to set and answer likely questions from your study outline. A tutor, a friend, or a parent can help you with this.
Read the answers to these questions to people other than yourself. This way, you’ll remember the answers faster and also eliminate errors from the answers you memorize.
Study when you are at ease and can be more focused.