Each year of college studies ends with a set of exams, and this is what any student fears. While being stressful and time-limited, each exam should assess what students know and can do based on the tested material and allow all students to respond to all questions when permitted.
If you or your close ones are about to get to the examination stage of their study term, they all need to understand how to prepare for it and deal with possible nervousness and fear of failure. Fortunately, this article can provide some great ideas to prepare with ease.
Plan your studies and prepare the necessary material
Exams are a great way to test your knowledge, but it is up to you to make sure you have the necessary skills to pass. It is never too late to start preparing for them, but it is important to avoid cramming and give yourself enough time to understand and practice the material.
Review your course materials daily, preferably right after class. The more you see the material, the easier it is to remember. Taking notes using the Cornell method is also a good idea, which leaves one side of each notebook page open for writing questions and another for answers.
Make a list of all the topics to be covered on the exam and evaluate each one as easy, difficult, or medium. Distribute these topics over the study blocks available to you before the exam, saving more time for the more complicated topics, and be sure to use a research paper typer free to save even more time for your exam studies.
Using the syllabus, textbook, and your notes to figure out what you know and don’t know is key to successful studying. It is important to determine what you need to study and which topics to review first. This will allow you to focus your efforts and not waste time on things you already know.
For some tests, it can be helpful to write down all of the necessary information on a piece of paper so that you have a kind of cheat sheet during the test. This can be particularly helpful for exams that require remembering facts, data, or formulas.
Try taking similar tests to get used to a format
If your class involves a written exam, reading the test questions beforehand is helpful. This can help avoid mistakes often made due to stress and nerves. It will also help you to understand what the professor is looking for in terms of answers and how they are graded. Knowing the test format will help you to plan how much time you should spend on each topic. It will also help you know whether the test is open-ended, multiple choice, short answer, or essay questions.
Practice answering multiple choice and short answer questions. These will help you get the hang of the format and determine what types of information are most likely to be included in each question. If the exam is an essay, prepare a few full-length essays by predicting questions and creating outlines. Evaluate your practice runs to see what type of essay you can produce in the amount of time allotted for the exam.
It is also a good idea to practice taking the test under conditions similar to the actual test, including time constraints. Practicing this technique will help you develop strategies to quickly work through the questions without sacrificing accuracy. It will also allow you to work out any problems with your writing style or technique before the test day.
Take a break
If you’re feeling overwhelmed during an exam period, it may help to take a break. This might mean logging out of Facebook, taking a walk, or even just sitting quietly for twenty minutes with your eyes closed, breathing in for the count of four, and then out for the count of four. Deep breathing, which increases oxygen flow to your brain, can also be helpful in focusing and de-stressing.
When it’s time to study again, focus on one set of class notes or a chapter at a time. Don’t review weeks of material all at once, as this can decrease your long-term retention. Instead, focus on a smaller amount of material and quiz yourself every few days to see how you’re doing.
Planning out your breaks and working with a study buddy to coordinate your break times might be a good idea. Coordinating breaks can help to prevent you from going over your allocated break times, which is a major no-no during exams. If you don’t have a study buddy, ask an understanding parent or sibling to help keep you on track or find a friend who will agree to take turns talking with you during breaks (just make sure they can understand when the conversation is over and that they won’t monopolize your time). Having someone to talk to can also be useful for explaining answers to questions that you might not remember.
Take care of yourself
Exams require a lot of mental and physical energy. While it’s important to focus on studying and getting plenty of rest, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Eating well, exercising regularly, and sleeping are essential to staying healthy and performing at your best.
You should also get a decent amount of healthy sleep the night before your exam. Try to avoid pulling an all-nighter. A full night’s sleep will recharge your brain and help you perform better on exams.
A few minutes of physical activity can boost your mood, relieve stress, and improve focus. Take a walk, go for a quick run, or do some light cardio.
Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining your health and focusing during exams. Try to drink plenty of water, but avoid sugary drinks like sodas or juices, as they can distract you from your work.
Avoid consuming foods that trigger an increase in stress levels and make you feel anxious, including processed food, dairy, and caffeine. Instead, choose healthy snacks that will give you the energy and focus you need to do your best on the exam.
Socializing can reduce stress and is also good for your mental health. Try reaching out to your friends during exam season, especially those who inspire or make you laugh.