Exams are around the corner. Even though you have prepared thoroughly, there are some important exam tips and some common pitfalls you might want to avoid. I will also share with you some empowering strategies that will reduce your exam anxiety and put your brain in optimal condition.
1. The Night before Your Exams
At this moment of time, you will probably be worrying about how well or how badly you will do. There will always be a lingering doubt that your study materials have not been covered well enough.
Put an end to such thoughts! Worries do not get you marks. Acknowledge the fact that you have done all that you can within the timeframe given and think of how carefree your life will be after the exams!
In the final hours before your exams, browse through your notes and run through the general concepts in your mind. Do not challenge your mind with new and difficult concepts. If you discover a chapter which you have left out and you think the content is very examinable, calmly gather only the important information within that short period of time. Panicking will not help. Speed-read through the chapter and look specifically for the most examinable points.
2. The Morning of the Exam
If you want to put a final polishing on your memory, rise early and go through the notes one more time. To cater for heavy traffic, do leave your house early after having a good breakfast. There is a strong correlation between concentration power and nutrition. Thinking very actively for consecutive hours is hard work and requires lots of energy. Do not skip your breakfast.
3. Arrive Early to Relax
It is always good to arrive half an hour earlier so that your mind can get relaxed. Arriving late is not an option, but arriving too early may not be beneficial too, especially if you have friends who like to bombard you with last minute questions, causing you to be anxious. If that happens, simply go into a quiet corner away from the crowd and relax.
4. Take your mind off the exam
Before the exam, try to chat with your friends about anything except the exam. If you chat about the exam, chances are you all will talk about something which you might have left out in your revision and it will only make you more tensed and confused. If you know your friends are talking about exam, try not to get engaged in collective group worrying. You have nothing to fear if you are well-prepared.
5. Empowering Thoughts
“I can do it.”
“Bring it on.”
“Piece of cake.”
You should think positive statements like these before the exam and not “I am dead”, “I am screwed”, or “I hope that does not come out.” Reassure yourself with positive thoughts.
6. Scan through the paper first
After receiving the paper, this should be the first thing you do. Scanning helps you to plan the order to answer the questions and to allocate how much time to which section. For instance, for mathematics, you should always leave graph drawing to the last question and tackle those computative ones first.
7. Plan your time wisely
You should always plan for extra time to check your work. This is to correct any careless mistakes you might have made.
8. Easy Enemies first, Tougher ones later
Many students spend too much precious time on tough questions, then they realise they do not have enough time to finish the paper. What a waste! Some examiners like to put harder questions in the first few questions. When you encounter such a situation, skip those difficult questions and tackle the easier ones first. Return to those questions after you are done with the easier ones.
9. Never Give up.
Difficult questions, especially if they are set at the beginning of the paper, often have a demoralising effect on you. You will then form a belief that it is a difficult paper that you cannot handle.
Skip the tough ones and tackle the easier ones to boost your confidence. When you come back and still cannot give an answer, do not leave it blank. This will guarantee a zero and the marker will be happy cause there is nothing for him or her to mark! Write something as long as it is something logical. A definition, a phrase you still can recall, or an example. Make a last ditch effort to score some marks.
10. Always read critically and give the right amount of information
Always read the question carefully and underline key words and information, like ‘maximum’ or ‘minimum’, ‘define’, ‘calculate’ or ‘explain with an example’. It just takes 1 word to change the meaning of the entire question. Be very cautious.
Next, take note of the marks allocated. Obviously when there are higher marks allocated, write more points! Likewise, do not give so much information for a 1 mark question.
11. Tackling MCQs
Read carefully, especially all the choices. MCQs are very tricky and students make the common mistake of shading the first logical answer they see. Sometimes, there will be an answer in the options which gives a better explanation.
Use the strategy of elimination to eliminate those choices that are obviously wrong. After you are left with the choices that you are not too sure of, make your best guess.
After your Exam
Accept that the moment the exam over, and it is now completely out of your control, even if you think you have not done well for the paper. Many students get so worried and anxious after their first paper that it affects their later papers.
Take a break! Forget about it! Treat yourself to something nice before you hit the books again to prepare for your next paper.
Finally, Intellicat Tuition School Wishes You all the BEST in your exams!
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