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20 Quick Tips for Successful Exam Preparation

1. STUDY SMALLER PORTIONS AT ONE GO

Study smaller quantities of syllabus every day instead of taking on huge portions. If you hurry with all the chapters you haven't yet covered, you will be able to memories very little of it for exam day.

2. DON'T STUDY MORE THAN 2 HOURS AT A STRETCH

The optimal period of continuous study is 2 hours. Each period of 2 hours can again be broken down into slots of 25 minutes of solid studying followed by 5 minutes of break.

If you need to continue studying, take longer breaks of around 20 minutes after every 2 hours.

3. GIVE YOUR MIND REGULAR BREAKS

Regular breaks are needed for the brain to regain its focus. It is not the best tactic to study long hours because long-term retention of knowledge is almost impossible. The most important part of studying is to develop a routine that fits your study style.

When you are on 'break', you should keep your mind free from any exam related thoughts or stress. If you use the break time to discuss the syllabus with friends or plan your next round of studying, then your mind is not on a break.

If your mind doesn't take a break, the next round of studying is not going to be as effective.

4. FOCUS MORE ON CORE MATERIAL

Study material in a syllabus can be divided into core material and elaborative material. While core material consists of important principles, theorems, formulae, important diagrams and graphs, elaborative material consists of examples, quotes, illustrations etc.

As much as 80 per cent of the questions asked in an exam are likely to come from the core material. So, if you are struggling with unfinished syllabus, concentrate on the core material of the different subjects.

Moreover, study the question patterns of the last few years and make sure you are not spending too much time on topics that are highly unlikely to be asked in the exam.

5. SHIFT BETWEEN SUBJECT CATEGORIES

Before you schedule your study list for the day, you need to take into account that the subjects we learn can be divided into three categories:

Memory dependant subjects like Biology, History and Geography, which contain a lot of material that need to be mugged up.

Problem-solving subjects such as Math’s and Physics.

Interpretation based subjects such as English Literature and literature papers from other languages.

For most effective studying, you should alternate between each category of subjects in long study periods.

6. LEARN AND WRITE

Read important points aloud and write them down after. This makes sure that you don't just SEE the points, but you HEAR them and WRITE them too.

7. USE PROVEN NOTE TAKING STRATEGIES

Proper note taking is very important for effectively completing the syllabus at the last minute. There are two scientifically proven methods of note-taking that work the best-SQ5R and Cornell Notes.

 SQ5R is short for Survey, Questions, Read, Record, Recite, Review and Reflect.

    Survey: Skim through the textbook and mark important areas. Don't take more than 7-10 minutes

    Question: In your textbook, turn the headings and subheadings into questions that could be asked in the exam. Jot down possible questions at the side of important portions of text

    Read, Record, Recite: Go through the text again and record important points in your own words separately. Put them in bullets or in boxes for better visual representation. Recite the points you noted to yourself

    Review: Ask yourself the questions you noted and see if you can answer them properly

    Reflect: Repeat the above steps and reflect on the topic you learned till it's completely memorized

8. USE VISULA CUES FOR EASY MEMORISATION

Stick a couple of chart papers on your wall and cupboards and write down dates, formulae, mnemonics and tit-bits of important information that are very difficult to learn.

Keeping these in front of your eyes all the time will help you learn them more easily than trying to mug them. Create flashcards for the difficult bits and carry them around. You can go through them while commuting, or standing in a queue somewhere.

9. REVISE WITHIN 24 HOURS

If you are studying untouched chapters or uncovered syllabus in the last few days before the exam, you need to know that the three Rs are very important.

Any new information you learn needs to be Recapped, Reviewed and Reinforced within 24 hours. If you fail to do so, you lose 80 per cent of the information you learned. Science says so.

 

 

10. SLEEP WELL TO BOOST MEMORY

Most students stay up late till night to finish revising before exams. You need to remember that it is proper sleep that turns your short-term memory -- what you just studied -- to long-term memory -- what you can recall sitting in the exam hall.

So, sleep 7-8 hours every night to make sure all of your day's studying is actually retained by your brain.

These 10 tips to effectively study for longer periods and finish your syllabus in the last few days will keep you crack your board exams.

11. DEAL WITH YOUR STRESS

Exam stress is perfectly normal – in fact, a little bit of stress can be a positive motivator.

However, too much of it can negatively affect your performance.

So take regular breaks, exercise daily, and spend time relaxing with friends. If you begin to feel frustrated or overwhelmed, step away from the books for a while.

12. ASK FOR HELP

Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers for help – they’ll be glad to assist.

If you need clarification on a topic you’re struggling with, then ask them to talk you through it. Don’t panic in silence when there’s a support network around you.

13. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP

Rest is good for your brain. Get a full eight hours sleep each night and avoid studying till the early hours.

Sleep is vital to exam success.

14. WHEN YOU’RE IN THE EXAM ROOM… TAKE YOUR TIME

When waiting outside the exam room, avoid the temptation to discuss what you’ve studied with your friends. You’ll probably all have studied slightly different things so don’t panic each other!

Just sit quietly outside the room, breathe deeply and avoid looking at your notes. Once inside, read the exam instructions very carefully. Allocate time for each question and keep an eye on the clock.

If you don’t know the answer to a question, skip it and return to it later. Never leave an exam early, use your time given to fully complete and revise your answers. And remember – you can only do your best.

15. EXPLAIN YOUR ANSWERS TO OTHERS

With the help of your family and friends, you could excel on your exam. Explain them your reasoning for why you have answered a certain question in a certain way.

16. ORGANIZE STUDY GROUPS WITH FRIENDS

Study groups can help you get the answers you need and finish tasks faster. Just make sure the group is focused on the subject and they are not easily distracted.

17. SNACKING ON HEALTHY FOOD IS GOOD FOR THE BRAIN

You should not eat unhealthy food while you are studying. Keep your body and brain fit by choosing natural, fresh and vitamins rich food that is good for you and would improve your concentration and memory.

18. PLAN THE DAY OF YOUR EXAMS

Check all the rules and requirements for the exam. Plan your route and the time it may take you to reach your destination – then add on some extra time. You do not want to arrive late and deal with even more anxiety.

19. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

While studying for exams and even during an exam, it is advisable to drink water. Remaining hydrated is vital and adds to your overall positive mood.

20. PRACTICE ON OLD EXAMS

One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice with an old version of previous exams. Also, an old test will help you see the format and formulation of the questions and it will be good for you to know what to expect but also as a worthy practice for measuring the time you need for the actual test.

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