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Exams – Overcome Your Horrors

Heading off to college is undoubtedly an exhilarating experience. However, final exams are definitely not! It is common to feel anxious about your exams – after all, we’ve all spent more time hanging out with friends rather than sitting in the library studying! So when exam season looms into view, they are more terrible than they initially looked at the beginning of the term!

Anxiety is the biggest foe of concentration. So when you are feeling all tensed, you are least likely to make positive choices. Examination is not just a test of your knowledge; it is a test of your stress management capabilities as well. Here are a few tips to get you through your examination horrors without losing your nerves.

Prepare Well When You Have the Time

This seems to be the most obvious yet most ignored solution to all exam problems. You need a study plan put in place well before your examinations. This helps you learn your course and practice it bit by bit periodically so you do not need to cram it all in the night before the exam. When you have the time, make the most of it! Leaving it all to the very last moment will have you picking and choosing topics you think will come in the paper – if they do, you are in luck; if not, there’s always next term!

Try to practice as many questions as possible from your course materials and time your answers. This will help you in budgeting your time appropriately during the actual examination session.

Do Not Over-stuff Information before the Exam

Moments before the examination, it is best not to open your study notes. You may realize just then that you probably forgot something and in a frenzy to practice it, you may put your learning in chaos. Prepare well beforehand so you do not need your study notes on the exam day. Also, maintain your composure and do not fall for these nerve traps. It is better not to know a part of a question rather than not knowing all of it!

Sleep Well the Night before Your Exam

This is a common mistake done by most students during examination season. Most students like to stay up late at night learning and revising the course material – even if their brains are sleeping. This is a sure recipe for disaster. If you do not feel fresh during your exam, your concentration and contemplation capabilities tend to get diminished. Get a good night’s sleep before your examination – you need it more than preparation.

The Peace Motto

Feeling afraid? Counter your negative emotions with positive self-talk. You need to push the negative feelings out of yourself in order to have space for the examination. It is not a matter of life or death, and definitely isn’t the end of the world. Your examination paper was not made from alien resources. So be confident you would know how to go about it!

Read Carefully

Skim through the whole examination paper once to get an idea of what all it contains. Apportion your time accordingly so you have some left for a final go-through. Also, make sure you read the questions carefully and understand them in their context. Your examiner will be pleased to see an answer to the question that was asked rather than what you wanted to answer!

Eat and Drink Well

Refresh your energy reserves before heading into the examination hall. Never go in on an empty stomach or your stress and acidity will not allow you to display your true potential. Also, do not try out stimulants just before the exam – energy drinks can make you feel jittery and uncomfortable, making it difficult to concentrate on your work! Be comfortable before and during the examination.

Avoid Announcements

Tempted to announce to the world that you are headed off to the examination hall? Well, nip it in the bud. You do not want to go through anxiety associated with others’ expectations with you on top of the examination fears themselves. There is always time for announcement once you’ve cleared it with flying colors!

Relax! It’s Not the End of the World!

Still feeling too stressed out? Well, just remember; it isn’t the end of the world. And when this isn’t the case, there is nothing to be “so” stressed out about! Just give it your best shot and hope for the best!

Overcoming exam fear

Exam fear is caused by one of following reasons:

  • Pressure from parents to score high
  • Fear of failing or scoring less in comparison to friends
  • Not being well-prepared

It is crucial for a student or his/her parents to identify the reason and help overcome exam fear. It has many adverse effects on the student’s performance, such as:

  • Scoring less marks than could’ve been scored
  • Forgetfulness during exam
  • Feeling of failure

Follow these steps to overcome exam fear and improve performance in exams:

Study Regularly

Students try to cram all the study in the last few days or hours. This prevents them from retaining everything consequently making them fearful of the exam. Ensure that you study a little everyday or go through what you did in class after coming home. Studying an hour each day also helps in remembering things when you eventually start preparing.

Prepare Well

When you sit down to prepare for exams, make it a point to make notes which will help in revisions. Having well-prepared notes will ensure that you do not have to go through the entire material again. Be sure not to leave out anything while preparing. Students usually tend to leave out things which don’t seem important. Remember, an exam is to test your learning and memory, the examiner can ask anything.

Take Breaks

While studying, don’t think you can do everything in one go. Take small study breaks in between to relax your mind and retain what you have gone through. When you resume studying, remove any distractions and focus on the material alone. Be sure to study in a quiet, calm environment. Don’t choose a place where other people in the family hang out. It will cause disruptions in your studying.

Sleep Properly

Have a proper sleep the night before exam. Don’t stay awake the night before; learning, reading, memorizing, or revising. Complete your revision and study, before time. Students usually make the mistake of staying late and studying, but understand this: relaxing your mind before exam will not make you forget anything, but rather help you in retaining and extracting it better when the exam paper comes in front.

Learn, Not Memorize

The mistake many students make is, they memorize things. What you as a student must understand is that memorizing will not help you in any way. If it gets you through the exam, it will definitely not get you through life. Understanding what you are reading is the proper learning; it will stay with you throughout life and help you in further learning.

Relax Yourself

If you start feeling stressed in between the exam or before, relax yourself. Take deep breaths and contract and stretch your muscles. This really helps some students in relaxing and won’t take more than a minute or two. It will help alleviate your fear and clear doubts from your mind. Also, think positive always. Convince yourself that you can do it and you will not fail or lag behind. You are just as smart as everyone else.

Thoroughly Read the Paper

Before you start attempting the paper, read it once thoroughly and completely. Mark the questions you know the best and attempt those first. Organize your thoughts and points for each question and then start writing it down. Take into account the marks allotted to each question and maintain your answer length accordingly. This will help you manage your time well and ensure that you don’t leave any question out due to time shortage.

Always remember, preparation is the way to overcoming half your fear. Any remaining stress will automatically alleviate once you realize that you know all or maximum parts of the question paper. Understand that exams are part of life and you can never avoid them. So it’s best to overcome your fear and face it. As parents, support you child in overcoming any fear. Don’t underestimate or pressurize them in doing more than they already are. Make it a point to let them know you are there to help them and provide positive encouragement.

6 Way to Prepare for Your Next Exam

Acing (or even just passing!) your exams, requires planning ahead with a clear focus more on the preparation stage than just studying the night before the big day. There are some proven methods used by successful students to ensure that you are well-prepared, focused and can deliver the best of your knowledge without stressing yourself out. The below guide will give you the three most successful exam preparation methods.

1. Use of Flow Charts

If your course consists of subjects heavy in theories and postulates, there is a good chance your memory has failed you on a few occasions – resulting in – exam grades that you would rather not write home about. The best way to overcome this difficulty is to create a pictorial representation of the relationships between concepts, theories, practice. Irrespective of how complicated the course material is and how many theories you covered: a flowchart will always help you understand the genesis and evolution of ideas and concepts. This method is also highly effective when revising history studies with loads of dates and events.

2. Watch Videos and Presentations

You, as a college or university student are likely to be a visual learner. If you have problems with understanding some of the content you need to study, videos will help you a lot, you would be surprised that there are tons of videos and tutorials available on almost every topic under the sun. Thankfully, there are many presentations available on college sites and sites like slideshare.net. You can read PowerPoint presentations available online on the topic, and this will help you better grasp and remember the most important points of every topics.

3. Create a Power Point Presentation for yourself

If you cannot find supporting presentations or videos that help you understand the topic better, you can always create one on your own. It is not hard, and you will certainly not spend more than an hour on developing the summary in Power Point. You would be surprised as to the enormous impact it has on your learning and grades.  Not only will it help you create a quick reference for last minute revision, you will start to understand the topic better during the process of creating the presentation, and you can revisit the content over and over again, so you keep it fresh in your head, without having to read the books from start to finish.

4. Mock Tests / Presentations

You would be surprised to discover the total impact of a number of minor factors that contribute to your grades, these may range for budgeting your time to using a different pen that allows you to write with less effort.

If you know the likely exam format, you should solve of sample test papers or practice your presentation with a room-mate or in front of the mirror. This helps you iron out any minor kinks in your preparation and approach.  It also builds up your confidence, and pre-phrase key words and phrases that you will need to readily express yourself at the critical instant without suffering from information block due to anxiety. Rehearsal should be a key part of your exam preparation, whether it is a a verbal or written test you have to get ready for.

5. Collaborate

If you feel like the subjects, books and ideas to be covered are simply overwhelming, you should not panic. Other people in the same course will certainly feel the same way. Get together with your friends from the class and distribute the topics, subjects and theories that need to be studied for the exam. Assign each member of the study group with the task of creating a presentation, speech or summary of their selected topic, once everybody is done with their material, have a group presentation with each person sharing their summary material, this saves you time since you do not have to dig through all the books and references, and all members can develop a basic knowledge of all the topics, while saving time on your exam preparation.

6. Set Deadlines

Last but not the least – nothing gets done without a deadline so set timelines and deadlines for your preparation.