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How to Be Prepared for an Exam

Exams are always part of a student’s life. No matter what school you go to, what subjects you take or who your teachers are, you, as a student, will always need to take an exam. Exams are used to measure the student’s knowledge on a particular subject. Exams are also one of the factors teachers and professors use to grade their students. That is why students tend to be anxious and get nervous when examination time comes. However, that anxiousness can be eliminated if you are well prepared to take the exam.

Being prepared means that you have studied well for the test and you are confident enough that you can answer all the questions in the exam. Each student has his or her own studying technique to prepare for a quiz or a major exam. Your technique may not work for another as each student has different learning styles and abilities. However, there are general tips that students can follow to better improve their chances in acing the exam. Here is a guide to help you better in preparing for that quiz or major exam. 1. Know the scope of the exam.

This is the first thing you have to do once you know that there will be an exam to take. Ask your professor about the subject areas that will be covered in the exam; ask for the chapters included, reading materials and other references that your professor might suggest. If something in the lecture confuses you, make sure that you ask your professor for clarification. You can also ask your fellow classmates or a tutor to explain further what you do not fully understand. 2. Organize your schedule. Plan the time that you will be spending to study for this particular exam.

It is better to stick with this plan to avoid rushing a few days before the exam. When you plan your study hours, try to allot 5 to 10 minute break every hour to lessen mental and physical fatigue (“How to Be Prepared for Tests”). 3. Do not cram! Make it a habit to review the lessons at least once a week. Rereading the text assignments and notes, or trying to solve problems regularly will give you a better chance of recall once the examination time comes. Cramming will only make you less productive when studying.

There is also a possibility of missing some notes or important points due to lack of time. 4. Take down notes and important points on a clean sheet of paper or index card. On the course of studying for your exam, it is better to list down important points, keywords, facts, or formula that you encounter as you go along. You can use this as a reviewer to refresh your memory a few days before the exam. It is also best to use an index card for this so you can easily carry it anywhere. 5. Review the quizzes, tests, and papers that you took before the exam.

Make sure that you have the correct answers for those questions you got wrong. Studying the returned schoolwork will help you learn from your mistakes. This will also give you an idea how your professor makes a test or an exam. If he is the type that gives more objective questions, then you can devote most of your time studying and memorizing facts, keywords and formula. If he likes to give analytical questions and essay type exams, then you can focus more on understanding the concept or the idea behind the reading material instead of memorizing. 6. Practice, practice, practice!

If you are preparing for an exam in subjects like mathematics, physics, and other subjects that mostly deal with numbers and formula, practice and memorization of the formula are your best defense. You have to ask your professor if you will be allowed a “cheat sheet” for the formula that will be used in the exam. If not, then you have to memorize them. Practice solving problems about the topic included in the exam. You can also reread your notes and study how the problems were solved, and then try to look for similar questions in your text book and answer them.

Try to practice solving a problem every day, with progressing difficulty each day, to improve your chances of getting a high score in the exam. 7. Study with a classmate or a group. You can always study by yourself if you choose to, but having a group or a friend to study with is also helpful. You can definitely benefit from it especially if there is at least one person in the group who excels in the subject. You can easily approach that person in case you do not understand a certain topic.

Having a group to study with will also lessen the possibilities of procrastination because you are working with other people. When studying with a friend or a group, you can also test each other and help each other out. 8. Last but not the least, get enough sleep! Getting enough sleep the night before the exam will help you recall much better on the things that you have studied for the past days or weeks. You will also be able think more logically if your mind is well-rested.

Cramming and studying all night will just make you tired for the exam and there is a possibility of “mental block,” which means forgetting the things that you just studied the night before. Research results also show that having a minimum of four hours of sleep and a protein meal gives best results in the exam (“How to Be Prepared for Tests”). These are some helpful tips to help you effectively study for an exam. There is really no hard and fast rule in studying and passing an exam. As mentioned, each student has his or her own learning capabilities.

You can jut use these tips as guide when you study for your next exam. The most important key is proper planning and time management. Other things will follow once you have properly set a study schedule that you will stick with. Close your eyes, take a deep breath of fresh air right before answering the first question. This will help you clear your mind of stress or any anxieties. Good luck!

Work Cited

“How to Be Prepared for Tests: 15 Steps to Success. ” SBC Academic Resource Center. Sweet Briar College. 12 Mar. 2006 <http://www. arc. sbc. edu/testpreparation. html>.

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