Achieving Success in your exams
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.
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