Some people tend to think, that university is just a careless existence. You do not have to pay attention to the adult problems because you are still young, and do not have to feel sorry for the undone homework because you are no longer at school! However, no one knows, that you are not even student still. There is the tradition of inaugurating freshmen in the heavy rows of the students after their first challenge – winter examination session. This is the time, when all of your inner demons appear. You show your strength and weaknesses, you fail or win. Examination session differentiates successful and ordinary students. This is the opportunity to highlight your knowledge and to get on the higher rank of the top students. Session is always unexpected, and here the marathon for the last man standing begins. Only the most ruthless and diligent will survive in conditions of lack of sleep, malnutrition and exhausting studying process. I have already taken more than 60 exams, and I know that it is possible to pass all of them, if you are ready to do unbelievable things and change your usual mode of thinking. Here we have decided to write all the possible pieces of advice, taken from the survey of the tutors, students and “half-students”, that will be the first step on your way of getting excellent results! Here we go!
The Essence of The Exam
There is nothing special about the exam, because it is an ordinary assessment of your knowledge, but in the more formal way than simple class test. It may be oral or written, and sometimes in the form of test or essay. There are such kind of teachers, whom you will not pass the exam, even if you have prepared for it in the most serious way. They inquire and ask the tiniest details. And you sit down and think sadly that they should probably work for the FBI, instead of tormenting those unfortunate students. However, it is possible to write your paper on the straight A, even with such a monster. Everything is useless, if you do not have basic skills of communication psychology and you cannot master your own. It is important to feel free and have at least general idea of what is going on.
You cannot blame teachers and professors for the great amount of studying material, difficult topics and totally unnecessary subjects. These all is done according to the officially established programs and documents. They just perform the willing of the authorities. However, all tutors are guides, they are here to lead you and help anyway. That is why, now we provide some tips they considered the most effective, while preparing for the exam.
Study During the Semester
If you are preparing for each seminar and lecture, then you will have a system of knowledge. And even if you do not have enough time to prepare for a particular exam or pass/fail exam, then the knowledge that was perceived earlier will work for you, you just have to write it down on the paper and organize in the correct way. Pick up only the most relevant information or structure the whole data.
Have A Sound Sleep
Use all the possible moments to sleep. Firstly, in order to actively prepare for the next day, you need to have a rest. Secondly, during your sleep your brain performs a very important job – it absorbs and processes the information received during the day. It means that all data is turning from the short-term to the long-term memory and is “stored on the shelves of the brain.”
Set Up for Success
Believe in your luck and success. This gives you strength and encouragement in situations, when you can give up. Well, nobody has yet canceled the rule that success comes to those, who believe in it and is longing to achieve it. However, remember that teachers are human too, and you should count on yourself only if you see the examiner is annoyed or tired.
Straight A’s Will Help You!
If you think, that God has created nerds only as the tool for the lazy students to rewrite all the lectures and home tasks – you are in total trouble. Wonk can save your life one day, especially if there is a great test in the nearest future. They know everything, literally they are the walking Wikipedia. It is good to be in good terms with the straight A’s, because they may help you to get ready for any exam.
Get Ready on Your Own
During the collective training, your productivity as an individual decrease sharply. It will save your time, if all exam question will be shared between your colleagues, however, you cannot be sure that they found the right answers. This is the right way to write the wrong variant and get unsatisfactory mark. You can trust your friends in everything, except the studying process!
Make A Plan
This will allow you to allocate your time correctly. It is better to study all questions one by one, paying attentions to the key points, then deepen the knowledge. Do not plan to learn anything on the last day, because your brain will be exhausted and will reject to comprehend the information. Also, include time for the rest in your schedule.
Take two or three textbooks from the course and briefly skim and scan them, take a look at the list of questions given by the teacher and try to write down the most relevant details, you have read from the manuals. The information you have read once will last in your memory for at least 9 days, that is why you have to be very careful what you have to learn firstly, and what in the last days.
Couch Potato Secrets
It is not an easy task to be a nerd, but it is twice harder to be a lazy ignoramus, who is trying to pass all the exams knowing literally nothing. We all have those people in our groups and always neglect and despise such students, not taking into account that they do many efforts to write somehow those damning test papers. Let us read, what secrets they use during the examination session.
Borrow the Notebooks
Find the person who knows the subject perfectly or probably even has already passed the exam well and borrow his/her notebook. Lecture notes is the brief account of the whole course, written in the structured way, and supported with charts, graphs and tables. It will contain only bullet points of each topic and reveal all the hidden implicatures, so you do not have to read the entire textbook.
Retelling Saves Time
Identify some of the group members who has already prepared for the exam and ask them to briefly tell you a few simple facts on each question. If you absolutely know nothing, it’s a good way to understand at least what is being asked to know and learn through the course. However, it may be a little bit exhausting and non-efficient, so you have to write down some points, at least to be able to reread them before the exam one more time.
Never Give Up!
If you do not know the answer for the question during the exam, you can ask the teacher to explain what you should exactly do in this task. This can clarify the situation or lead you to some kind of thoughts. Moreover, if the teacher is kind and encouraging, he/she will hint you by giving some key words or even half of the correct answer. Always hope for the best, but do not be too impudent, as it was your task to get ready for the test!
Distribute Your Tasks
Analyze your schedule: which exam is more difficult and which one is easier. Try to fill in the missing parts of the lectures, by rewriting them from your groupmates’ notebooks. Always repeat the most complicated topics that you have not understood during the semester. In addition, it is important to consider, that everyone has his or her biological rhythm. Never study if you are tired, disturbed, in a bad mood or feel sick. This will not be beneficial, but only torturous.
Mechanically crammed information has the ability to irrevocably evaporate from the memory the night before exam. To avoid this phenomenon, you have to systematize your knowledge. Try to remember the most important points. This information will serve as a kind of lighthouse in the future. If you memorize the key fact, formula or date, then something else will definitely cross your mind, and you will need only to logically combined these parts. Write flashcard while preparing for the exam. It is useful because they help to systematize the studied material.
Rest and Relax
Go to the theater, cinema, visit the cafe with friends or at least take a stroll in the open air. Do not be afraid that you will waste time and will be in a hurry later. On the contrary, your efficiency will increase after several hours of rest.
Set Up the Menu
The food should be nutritious and balanced. You cannot refuse dinner supposedly because you have to study. Hunger does not help to master the material. Forget about the diet for a while and start eating healthy food – fish, nuts, chocolate, cheese, milk, chicken meat and carrots. Specialists strongly recommend excluding energy drinks from the menu. Their effectiveness may be high, but short-living. They provoke the decline of forces, which is difficult to handle.
Get Involved into Sports
During the examination session, students follow the sedentary lifestyle. However, doing the morning exercise or going out, for example, to the pool does not interfere the studying process. On the one hand, it will relieve stress, and on the other – the level of physical activity directly affects the state of mind. If your body is in active condition, then your brain works faster too.
Never Work Yourself Up!
Try not to ask all the details of the exam those students, who have already passed it, because you are going to start worrying about it even more. Enter the class confidently. Show all your knowledge, even if you are not competent in some questions. Do not be afraid of the tutors and feel free to speak your mind!
Organize Your Answer
Psychologists recommend to start answering easy questions at first. Just form the scheme of the future answer and move to more complex task. Then come back and complete the previous answer. Write only reliable information, taken from the textbooks or lectures, because professors happen to know everything in their field and may catch you on the suspicious fact.
Be the First to Answer
If you know the subject perfectly, are in good terms with a teacher and are confident in your knowledge, then answer among the first five students. However, if you are doubting it will be better to be last man standing or answer after the weaker student.
Do Not Argue!
Even if you are sent on the retake, never trouble tutors with dubious suggestions like “Let me tell something else, I know a lot of information on another question”! I can assure you, teacher invites you to meet him again not out of the great desire to talk to you again. He can scan your level of preparation and tell what grade you are going to have from the first words. Never try to suppose, that professor put the mark unfairly, but take into account all the comments and have another chance to write an exam.
There is one simpler piece of advice on how to reduce the psychological tension during the examination session. Do not live with the exams only, look forward to what will happen after this stressful period – holidays! Have an ordinary life, and never limit yourself to any kind of entertainment! It is better to get F but save your health and youth!