An exam preparation can be a very stressful thing for each and every one of us. How do students usually prepare for exams? They usually procrastinate and wait until the last minute. Then, they start cramming or even worse, they think about writing cribs. Some of them even go all the way and bring those cribs to exams and cheat. That’s not how you’re supposed to get through college!
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Procrastination is one of the worst enemies of a student. They are still young and don’t really have a schedule like older people do. Usually, they start studying the day before the exam. Doing everything last minute exposes them to stress, their mind gets alarmed and overwhelmed. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts when preparing for exams
The Dos of Exam Preparation
1. Begin early
Studying persistently throughout the year is much better than doing it before the exam week. Think of yourself as a long distance runner. Would you be able to finish a marathon if you’d practice only during the week before the exam? I guess you wouldn’t, would you? Even so, this method might not work for everyone, so planning 1-2 months of preparation before the exams week will certainly improve the final results.
2. Clarify the essential details
You should study the method of examination (test, open book exam, etc.). Also, you should know what sort of questions you should expect, where the exam will be held, etc.
3. Create a study schedule and a plan
If you plan your entire studying process you’ll have better results. You will be able to study your subjects thoroughly and you will be able to take some much-needed breaks, thus improve your efficiency.
4. Take good notes along the way
John McGregor, writing expert from Essays on Time explained “The best way to improve your note taking is by reading one chapter at a time and by writing the most important information. You should focus solely on one chapter when doing this because it’s more effective.”
5. Incorporate self-testing
Repeat the questions and themes within some time after you studied the material. This is a great way of checking yourself and the way you remember what you’ve learned so far.
6. Make it shorter, but smart
Some 15 to 20 minutes of focused studying is better than hours of nonproductive work. Those small breaks you take should improve the efficiency of your study.
7. Practice active reading
Read aloud, do markups in your outlines, pay attention to headings, they are a brief summary of the entire chapter. Key terms should be read a few times, those are the most important ones.
8. Try out different ways of studying
You should try mind maps, flashcards, diagrams, the visual memory is a very important aspect of the entire learning process. You can practice the things you’ve learned by teaching other peers, this is a good way of refreshing the information you’ve studied.
The Don’ts of Exam Preparation
1. Study in the wrong environment
You shouldn’t study while your sister is watching TV in the same room and you definitely shouldn’t study while laying in bed. You should find a peaceful and quiet environment for your studies, one that will improve your focus.
2. Study the entire night
Our bodies have natural cycles, they are used to be active during the day and recharge during the night. If you disrupt these natural cycles, your efficiency will drop drastically and you’ll need more time to study.
3. Count on the day and night before the exam
This is something you should avoid. Apart from the fact that you will be stressed due to the high amount of information you need to absorb, you will overload your brain. This will make you highly inefficient during your exam.
4. Don’t pass by the most difficult questions
Every subject has questions and chapters that are harder to understand. You might’ve missed the lecture or seminar which explained them, but there’s always a solution. Search more information regarding that certain topic. If you can’t find any, you can always contact the professor and ask for clarifications regarding the topic you don’t understand.
5. Don’t disregard you health
It’s vital to be 100% fit while studying. A flue can get you all messed up and you won’t be able to study effectively. During these periods you should focus on having enough sleep, food and you should drink water constantly. A good way to refresh and detach yourself from the study is to do sports. Jog for 30 minutes each day or play basketball, you’ll see the results will start improving.
Preparing for exams can be a very tricky business. When doing this, you should start early and make yourself a plan. You should stick to it and take notes along the way, these ones will help you remember the information easier. Many people tend to study at nights or in the last few hours before the exam. This is a very daunting task for your brain and your body, you put a lot of pressure on them by doing this. You should pay more attention to your health while studying. Also, the study environment should be a quiet and peaceful one, it will improve your efficiency drastically.