If you find yourself dreading exams, it might help to know that many of your peers do as well.
Much of this dread comes from a fear of failure, not even the exam itself.
And this is indeed an understandable fear, given that your college exams are just about the last obstacle to overcome before setting into a long, lustrous career.
It helps to know that many others have successfully gone through this process and performed well. So can you.
Here, read about a few simple tricks you can use to ensure you pass well, graduate, and begin your career.
Table of Contents
1. Find Courses you are Interested In
There are some general foundation courses you will be required to take and pass to graduate. You will, however, have some flexibility with others as what you choose to major in.
With some research, you can identify courses you will enjoy that fit your chosen field of study.
You will find that it becomes much easier to study a course you love. This flows over into your performance. If you have a few of this every semester and perform superbly, these grades can pull up your lower grades when averaged.
2. Be on Time and Pay Attention
Strive to attend all your classes, even those you do not like much. However, attending classes is not enough; attend and pay attention.
Often, there are many tips, and side notes and tips course instructors make in class that do not reach handouts or other students’ notes. By being punctual and paying attention, you can immensely benefit from these habits, which can help you come exam time.
3. Complete all Your Homework
Homework often covers concepts tackled in class. Doing your homework is useful in two ways.
The first is that it highlights areas where you end further study to increase your understanding.
The second is that some of the tack home assignments are aggregated into your final grades.
While these are apart from your exams, getting good scores here can again boost your exam scores.
4. Identify an Ideal Study Spot
It’s often said that you study in a secluded, quiet place such as a library. While this might work for some, it’s not for everyone.
Different people and absorb information in different environments. Do not feel the pressure to conform.
Find out where you study best and study for your CATS and exams from there.
One thing about learning is that your brain also makes connections of learned concepts to where you study them at. Looking at a place where you are comfortable and can focus optimally can help you with memory and recall during your exams.
5. Understand, Don’t Memorize
The best way to learn and retain information is to understand concepts, make relations between learned principles, and find real-life applications.
Without this, what you learn becomes abstract, meaning you learn by memorization, not understanding.
Unfortunately, this not only disadvantages you during your exams, but it will also disadvantage you in the workplace.
Instead, understand the how and why behind your course topics. When you sit your exams, you will be thinking logically instead of trying to regurgitate memorized information.
6. Clear Your Schedule Around Exam Time
The time around your exams should be a stress-free time. This is not the time to allow yourself to be overwhelmed by assignments and other school matters.
These only serve to cause distractions and take attention away from your exams. One thing you can do is attend to your assignments and term papers are soon as they are issued.
By doing this, you can be assured that by exam time, all you have to worry about is studying for your exams and being mentally and physically prepared to give them your best.
Granted, students do get caught flat-footed every so often. If you find yourself having to sit for your exams with numerous assignments hanging above your head, there is no shame in seeking help.
A Homeworkdoer can come in handy by taking some of your assignments off your hands as you focus on performing well in your exams.
7. Join or Form Study Groups
Forming an influential study group or becoming a member of one can be very important when studying for exams.
Study groups are beneficial in many ways. Some of these include:
- Accountability: with individual study, you are only accountable to yourself. If you become part of a study group, your study members also expect you to show up for group sessions; this makes it much harder to skip these sessions.
- Motivation: the second advantage of group study is that you have an inbuilt motivational team in your shoes. These people will understand your challenges and share your goals and help keep you motivated when you feel overwhelmed.
- Study support: finally, studying in a group gives you an avenue to participate in discussions; this helps you engage more deeply with course content. Whenever you find yourself explaining things to other members of the group, you are also deepening your knowledge.
All these – from being an active participant to being a motivated participant – helps you familiarize yourself more with your course work; this is a central ingredient in passing exams.
8. Eliminate Exam Anxiety
According to estimates, as many as 20% of students have severe exam anxiety. Another 18% have moderate exam anxiety.
While there are many reasons why this happens, there are some tips you can use to minimize or eliminate exam anxiety.
Here are a few:
- Learn to study efficiently, so you become more confident in your capabilities.
- Find a consistent pretest routine that gives you some level of control.
- Learn relaxation techniques
- Get enough sleep the night before an exam.
- If it’s allowed, arrive at the exam hall early. Find a comfortable place to sit and acclimatize with the surrounding.
The more prepared and comfortable you feel in your abilities, the less pressure you will feel before an exam. If you minimize the stress, your anxiety levels will lessen as well.