It gives me great pleasure to write articles on topics which helps students in better performance in exams. Out of my experience, both in professional practice and as a trainer for professional course, I feel that there is a wide gap between students appearing for professional courses and the institute especially in terms of selection. Majority of students who has put lot of efforts in preparation fail to convince the examiner. The simple reason for this is that the students are not able to express the thoughts in to words. Only those students who have proper synchronization of thoughts and expression along with time management will be successful in professional exams.
Trust me, what I want to say now is not something which is difficult to do or practice, it requires only planned way of doing right things at right time. Your hard efforts of preparation which will run in to months and hours will be tested in 3 hours, so it is this crucial 3 hours which decides your career and ambitions. If your are attentive and put in a good efforts in this 3 hours then there is nothing to worry on the result front. Being part of many examination committee and examiner myself for various courses, I find that majority of students who have prepared for exams seriously have miserably failed to present good answers. I could easily make out from majority of students answer scripts that the preparation was too good but the way of presentation was too poor which resulted in scoring less marks. So, I would like to list out below some important points which students should practice in order to be successful in professional exams.
1. Solve question paper one week before the exams:
RTPs, Question papers, Scanners etc will be useful only 1 week before exams. Correct way of using scanners, question paper etc is to use it for mock test one week before the exams after thorough preparation. What I say is really difficult for many students to implement but, try to do it you will feel the difference. Set alarm for 3 hours and take out previous question paper and try to solve it as if you are writing the exams (with not disturbances) and try to evaluate yourself read your own answers, you will come to know where you are going wrong – is it time management, or poor presentation or expression of thoughts etc.
2. Establishing connection between thoughts and expressions:
This is most common problem with many students, they know the subject and also they can tell answers after examination but, not able to express known answers in exams. This is because of reasons like diverting concentration, active subconscious mind, overconfidence, wrong interpretation of questions, nervousness etc. One way to come out of all this problem is that face the exams as professionals and it is not an end by all the way. Be confident, relax and understand what is asked for, take few minutes time and collect thought in mind and slowly try to build good sentences while writing. Remember one thing, Examiner expects quality and not quantity answers. Whatever you want to express say it in few sentences, spend time in recollecting good points. Don’t rely on your subconscious mind for answers, it is consciousness and thoughts which needs to be evoked. For god sake, don’t yield your thoughts to any other thing and you should only focus on time and answers.
3. Do not yield ears for factors which do not concern you:
Most of the students have expressed that their attention gets diverted when ever someone asks for answer sheet, or someone talks outside examination hall etc.These are something which you need to be very careful of and you should not lend your ears to any things which are not important for you. Sometimes many of you might have experienced that if any one request for additional sheet, then suddenly you think that you have not written anything and already many of them are requesting for sheets and this will result in diverting your attention and missing link between thoughts and presentation. Remember always, keeping your mind focused for 3 hours on the subject is important and don’t let your concentration diverted for such factors which is not important to you.
4. Read and understand the questions properly:
It is important that you read and understand the question properly. This is a very important skill and you should practice this as it will be very useful in your professional life also. Questions in professional exams will be little bit ticklish and you need to understand what is asked for give answers to the point asked for. You can find lot of ticklish questions in subjects like Taxation, Financial Reporting and Capital Markets. This skills need to be practiced at time of preparation itself, you need to pose lot of questions to yourself and understand words, phrases and also context. Most of students lack this skill and this is one reason why success rate is low in professional exams. Many of students for example, don’t know what is difference between terms like GDR and ADR, Allocation, apportionment, absorption etc. Improve your reading and understanding skills by making your own notes, referring books, translating the sentences in your own readable formats, discuss with your friends and make the things very clear to your mind. You should not store in mind more alternative answers for one question. Be crystal clear in understand the concepts and for any matter don’t store those thing which you have not understood properly or where still there is confusion and not comfortable with.
5. Practice your own way of preparation:
I have come across lot of instances where students try to copy or imitate their friends in preparation. This is not advisable, god has given every one brain and reasoning skills and it should be made use. Way of looking things differs from one individual to another and so the expressions too. So, it is advisable that every student should make their own efforts in preparing for the exams. Don’t every try to compare yourself with others in what ever way it may be. Based on your strengths, prepare for the exams don’t worry about how your friends prepare what materials they refer etc. As everyone knows their limitations, they need to prepare keeping it in mind. Don’t worry how much time your friends spends on preparation or where he goes for tuitions or what all book he refers etc. Your preparation and your approach is what it matters and be little bit selfish when it comes to question of your preparation.
6. Interact with professionals and attend seminars, conferences etc:
Best way to get knowledge is interaction with professionals and for this you can attend seminars, conferences etc organized at regional centers and chapters. Those who are in remote areas can use webinars or live webcasts available on various finance websites. This will help in understanding subject, expressing thoughts and views and also get updated with latest changes in subject. It is easy to remember when we hear and see something rather than we ourselves try to understand by referring books.
Hope, you understand what I have expressed. As exams are near, make use of this attempt in proper way and try to focus more on the 3 hours which is turning point of your life. Your hard efforts will yield fruits only if it is used in proper way for which you should be self centered, focused and confident during your examination dates. Exams will come and go, but AGE and TIME is something which is precious and if lost will not come back again. All the best for your exams and love to see you as full fledge professionals.
MA,MPhil,MBA,PG Tax Law,ACMA,(PhD)