Exams are a way of assessing what a student has learned during the academic year. Apart from this, it is also a method through which the student's learning and grasping abilities are evaluated and graded by the teacher. This makes it very important for students to learn well, and achieve good scores in the exam. However, for most students, exams bring with it lot of tension,stress and anxiety. The main reason for this is because of increased pressure that they receive from their parents and teachers to perform well in the exams. Although a little bit of exam fear and anxiousness is important to study and learn before the exams, too much tension can hamper the student's ability to do well. Many times, due to exam fear, students tend to forget what they have learned, thus scoring less than they could have. Hence, it is extremely crucial for students to learn about how to reduce exam fear, so that they can give their examination confidently, subsequently earning good grades.
How to Overcome Exam Fear
Students who are suffering from exam fear are likely to experience problems like difficulty in concentrating while studying, confusion, feeling tensed while looking at difficult questions, feeling blank, dizziness, sweating, sleeplessness, etc. All these factors can cause the student to feel more anxious which can affect his performance during the exam. Hence, students should know how to avoid exam fear and do well during the examinations. Prepare Well in Advance
One of the most common reasons for the student to feel exam fear is lack of preparation. There are many students who take studies lightly, thus leaving everything to be studied at the last minute. This will surely cause anxiety as the student does not know where to start, and what to study. Hence, the easiest way of overcoming exam fear is to start studying much before the exam. Studying regularly, what is taught in the class will save you lot of time to revise before the exams. Also, as you have studied everything already, you will not feel tense that you have not prepared an important topic or subject.
Learn, Do Not Mug Up
One of the mistakes that many students make is that they mug up without understanding what they are studying. Students must understand that this is not the correct way of studying. Moreover, the chances of forgetting is more, when one has memorized without understanding. Hence, it is very important to first understand the concept that one is studying and then, memorizing it. In this way, you will never forget any important point. Also, you will be able to present the points in your own words, even if you do not remember the answer word to word. Understanding the concept, before memorizing will actually lead to effective learning.
Make Time to Relax
Examination time does not mean that you have to sit with your books the entire day. This actually should be avoided, and one should take regular breaks to relax and refresh one's mind. Indulge in some kind of exercises like walking, jogging or playing your favorite sport during the break. Apart from this, listening to music, talking to friends and family, will also help you in relaxing during your exam time. However, it would be better to avoid watching television or browsing the Internet during this time. This is because, many students are addicted to television and Internet and one is likely to waste time on it, more than what was intended.
The last few weeks before the examination should be spent by revising each subject. Plan out a timetable in such a way that you get equal time to revise every topic. During this time, you can make some small notes which will make it easier for you to remember points and revise them quickly. If you are concerned about your writing speed, practicing solving a question paper of a previous year would give you more confidence. It will also help you in knowing what you should take care while writing your exam paper.
Additional Tips to Overcome Exam Fear
One very important thing that students should remember, is to avoid studying anything new just before the exam. This will cause more anxiety and you may forget what you have already learned.
It is also important to avoid having conversations with your friends about what they have studied, how much they have studied. This will make you more tense and nervous.
If you are feeling very tense and anxious, just before entering the examination venue, take a few deep breaths which will help you to relax.
During the exam, if you get tensed or blank after seeing difficult questions, skip them for the time being and attempt questions which you find easier. Once you have completed them, go back to the difficult ones. In this way, you will surely be able to answer them confidently.
I hope these tips on overcoming exam fear has been helpful for students. However, along with the students, even parents have the responsibility to make sure that their children do not go through any kind of tension or stress during exams. Many times, children experience exam fear because of the pressure that parents put on them. Although this is important, they must see to it that they do not go overboard and pressurize their children so much, that they are not able to study anything. Parents must understand that each student has certain capabilities and encouraging them to study, rather than causing them stress, can help them in giving their exams confidently.
Some people have an inherent ability to remember what they study almost instantly. If you happen to be one of those people, you can probably read through your entire study material once and remember it accurately. But most others do not have this ability. But if you can make a structured study plan and then stick to it, you can ease your mind of a lot of worry and nervousness. Here are some simple preparation tips for exams that you can follow.
Gather the Material
Before you get started, it is imperative that you have all the possible study material at your disposal. It would be highly distracting and unsettling if you constantly find that you do not have all the study material with you while studying. Running in search of study material would break your rhythm and concentration and force you to take more breaks than necessary. All the other exam preparation tips would be useless if you have not gathered all your study material first.
Mnemonics are perfect tools for memorizing long and complicated formulas and definitions. They help you remember things that you may not be able to recall otherwise, and almost everyone uses mnemonics to some extent, to aid in their exam preparation. Mnemonics is a technique wherein you take the first letter of each significant word and make a word out of them that is very easy to recall. Very long formulas and definitions are ideally memorized this way.
This is one of the exam preparation tips that work for some people, and simultaneously do not work for others. Studying in a group helps if all the people involved are studying for the same examination. They can help each other out if any doubts crop up, and they can keep each other motivated as well. Studying alone often gives rise to anxiety and paranoia, and this is a condition that can easily be avoided by studying in a group. Ensure that it is not a very large group though, as too many people can just be a hindrance to problem solving.
Get Enough Sleep
Out of all the preparation tips for exams, this one is often overlooked. Many people feel that by studying long hours and by sacrificing sleep in favor of studying will benefit them greatly. Lack of sleep can cause a serious drop in concentration levels and can also build up great amount of anxiety as well. The trick here is to sleep in spurts for short periods of time. If you feel drowsy then you should not try to fight it. Instead, take it as a sign of fatigue from your body and take a small nap for some time.
Stick to Your Schedule
Before you get started with your preparation, you must make a proper schedule, or a time table, and plan out your studies methodically. Set short term goals for yourself, and reward yourself as and when you keep achieving these goals. Also keep in mind that you must not set unrealistic goals for yourself. All the other preparation tips for exams take a back seat as far as this step is concerned. Decide beforehand how many hours you'll study on a particular day, and stick to this plan no matter what happens.
Examinations are stressful events, but they do not have to be. With ideal preparation and timely training you can learn to make the most out of whatever time you have to prepare. Do not panic and have faith in yourself. Keeping a positive and healthy attitude can only benefit you. Take care of your body as well and do not ignore it. At the end of the day it's all about preparation, and following these simple exam preparation tips will help you greatly. Good luck!
Every person has his own way of studying to achieve success in exams. Some like studying in the early morning, some like to do late nights, some like studying all through the year while some believe that last minute study is effective. Whatever your method is it is always better to be thoroughly prepared for your exams and there should not be a last minute rush.
Read through all the materials and all the chapters, including class notes, text chapters and any handouts the professor has distributed. Read carefully, paying special attention to any underlined sections you may have marked. Do not leave any chapter because probably the question carrying the maximum marks may come from that chapter.
Evaluate the test questions of previous years and the question paper sets. Mark and write down the most repeated questions and the marks they contain. This will give you a general idea of the most important areas that you have to cover. This will also help you come to know the mind frame of the paper setter and will help you give importance to some chapters which requires more consideration rather wasting time on unnecessary topics. But that doesn't mean that you can leave other topics. Try to cover the most chapters as far as possible.
Now that you have the materials in front of you start preparing your own notes. This will be most helpful because it will make you aware of the particular topic and if the notes are made by you, you will always remember it and memorizing it will not be a problem. Generate questions to focus studying. Write down their answers. Exam questions don't just ask you to recite back information you have learned. They often ask you to think about that topic in several ways and you have to be prepared for all possible questions in all possible forms.
The next step is reciting and recalling. This is the most important part of studying. You want to memorize as much relevant information as you can. Then close the book or cover your notes and summarize the main points. Practice recalling important concepts and definitions. Keep doing this everyday so that you don't forget what you have read. At the end of the day sit in your room, close your eyes and then try to summarize what you have studied the whole day.
The last step is going back and reviewing all the materials again, all the topics and all-important sections. This helps to fix the information in your long-term memory. Now, you should be able to answer all the questions you posed to yourself. If you can't, review again. Make sure you understand the concepts, don't just memorize names and details. Try to understand the logic behind it and I am sure you will not face any difficulties anymore.
Apart form these important steps here are a few general tips that will help you in your study strategy:
Get all relevant info
Get all the information you can about the test before you study. Be it your class tests or competitive test or any other tests you are planning to appear in. You should also know how specific the test would be. Thus be prepared and know what to expect.
It's a good idea to review your class notes right after you've written them and then again, just before the next class. Make sure you understand the concepts you've illustrated. This way you will be ready with the topic and if you have any difficulty you can approach the professor right on.
Start studying for the exam early. Don't do that last minute study because then you are bound to miss out on many topics and though you might pass but you will not be able to secure the percentage that will be helpful in getting admission for higher studies in reputed colleges. If you have a large amount of material to cover, try dividing it into smaller chunks and start studying the most difficult sections first. Go over that material just before the test, so it's fresh in your mind. To fix it in your memory, practice recalling the information aloud or try explaining it to someone else or discuss the topic with your friends.
Take proper rest
Generally, it's not advisable to stay up all night. Learning diminishes with fatigue and you'll think more clearly if you're rested properly. If you do stay up late, give yourself frequent breaks to keep your mind alert. Study but don't kill yourself.
Don't exert yourself too much. Just relax and keep your cool. Excessive anxiety will reduce your ability to think clearly. Get to your class early and use those minutes to unwind. Chances are, if you have given yourself adequate preparation, you'll feel better about the test before you take it.