There is no doubt that the exam-period is a gruelling time for students. It’s a time where the exams are many and the space
between them is short. With so many exams in different subjects coupled with lots of material to cover, many students gets easily overwhelmed.
If the exam period is all about stress and panic it means we are doing something wrong. Almost every problem on this earth has its solution. I believe if we just change the way we think about it in the first place we could make the whole experience a whole lot easier.
First of all getting respectable results from exams is all about preparations. Nothing else! How you prepare decides how well you do. Simple as that! If you don’t prepare, don’t expect any good news when you get your results.
Many students have the false impression that the exam-period starts when the exam is approaching. This is a real bad thinking and the root of all the frustrations. The exam-period starts the very first day you start school. That’s the reality! Obviously it’s up to you to decide when you should start to think about exams, but teachers and professors are preparing students for exam when the first lecture are presented.
At university the course material is often big in size. It’s very difficult to digest everything and have a comprehensive knowledge of what you are expected to know in the space of a few weeks. Therefore avoid procrastination but rather learn a little every day. Little but often is much better than big but rare. In the long term it will be enough and just what you need for the exam.
Make a plan the first few days of the semester. Look at your subjects – look at their difficulty level, evaluate how much work each subject requires and then make a plan where you spread out the material between the first few weeks of schools till just a week or so before exam.
Don’t make a big deal out of the plan — just use a simple word-table and put in date, week, chapters and so on. Then you should plan how much time you will need to spend on each subject each day. Time spent on each subject should be proportional with its difficulty-level. Give the hard stuff more time over the easy ones. I have subjects I never spend time on and just attend exams. I also have subjects that takes time from me every day. When you are done with the planning – just follow it.
Don’t think you will use all your time on study. I believe no matter subject, two or three hours each day is enough, but only if you are consistent and effective. You are not working more than other students, just smarter. If you use two hours of your time on homework each day you will still have plenty of free time. If you want you will even have time for a part-time job (something which I encourage you to have).
When you are studying you should always have an A in mind. No matter how difficult the course is, be ambitious and go for an A. Let the top grade be your usual target and do not settle for anything else. Look at each course-material and consider what it will take to get an A. Then go for it and try your utmost. The first A is always the most difficult but once you get it you will know what it takes and after a few A’s it will actually become a normality. Have you ever wondered how easily the A students get their A’s. Well it’s because they’re used to it. They don’t work more than others. They have just learnt what it takes and do that each time. That’s why you see them getting straight A’s all the time. It’s all about experience. Once you experience the first few A’s it will be much easier to get them in the long run.
I recently wrote an article called 10 amazing tips for students. In that article I mentioned that you should learn the material the first time they are presented to you. I really like to emphasize this point again and again. Make your best effort to learn as much as possible from each class lesson. Obviously you can’t learn and remember everything while at class, but do your best. In the end you will be saving yourself a lot of time. Remember money saved is money earned.
If you make a good plan over a semester and follow it consistently coupled with a good understanding while at class you will be more than ready for any exam. You won’t need to start working hard when exam is approaching because you have been working well for a whole semester. You will surely see other stressed students that suddenly realize there is only three weeks left for exams. For your part there will be no stress in the final weeks as you should be relaxed and full of confidence way before exam. You will only need simple look over of the materials but in your mind you’re ready. The exam should be just a formality that you are attending.
The whole idea of stressing and panicking just before exams are wrong in the first place. We are using a wrong philosophy and needs to change the way of thinking. Unfortunately the environment we live in seems to have grasped this “wrong” thinking, but hey — who said you should follow the masses.
Instead of stressing with exam nerves we can spend time with friends and family, do some part-time job or other useful activities we appreciate.
Start your exam-period from the first day you attend school and you will have an easier time when other students start “fighting” before the exams. You will have a better learning curve, you will remember more because the material have matured in your brain, you will have a better chance of getting a comprehensive understanding of the subjects and you will have a richer and more pleasant experience overall. All this will serve you perfectly on the exam day, and hence you have the ideal exam candidate!
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