To prepare for an exam, you as a student have to start early. If you have been
keeping up on a daily and weekly basis, you must be in good shape. It is easier
when it comes to getting serious about preparing for an exam.
As to how to go
about it, the first thing you need is a plan. Start with the day one week before
the exam. That is the first day to start studying in
earnest. Plan out how many hours you will spend each day studying
until the exam. Make a schedule and stick to it. Be sure to leave time for group
study or review sessions.
The second thing is to outline the material you need to study. This helps to
develop a big picture overview of the material. Start with big topics and leave
room for subtopics. Fill in the information as best as you can. Get another
sheet of paper and start over if necessary. Once you see all the units of
information in front of you, it will be easier to organise your studying.
It helps to break up the material into parts and cover a little each day.
Only once you understand each one, should you move on to the next topic. Do this
part alone in your quiet study place. If you need to, memorise the information
as much as you can.
Later, if you prefer, work with others, go to review sessions or see a tutor.
At this point, it is important to make sure that everything is clearly
understood. If this step is skipped, you are left with trying to memorise
hundreds of useless factoids. It will never mean anything to you later. Having
done that, it is time to put the information into your brain for
retrieval. If you have been working all
along, you will already remember, much of it. Make sure that nothing is left
To find out if you understand what you have been studying, try working with
someone else who will ask you questions about the material. If you can answer
and explain concepts without too much effort then you are prepared.. Usually by
doing this it will expose areas that require more attention and study.
If you planned well and kept up with the work there should be little anxiety
the night before an exam. If you started late or waited to get questions
answered, then you will be busy the night before. This will add extra stress and
you are likely to make stupid errors in the exam.
On the night before the exam, make sure you get eight hours of sleep. Though
some believe pulling an all-nighter to cram
information is a good idea, it really is not at all.
On the morning of the exam, wake up about thirty minutes earlier so that you
can do a quick refresher of some of the main points from your exam review. These
last thirty minutes keep the information fresh in your mind without wearing you
out. Eat a full breakfast of healthy food. You need to be healthy and alert to
do your exam well. Make sure you arrive early so that you are not rushing around
right before the exam starts.
By following these guidelines, you are better prepared for an exam. You will
feel more confident and in control When you feel as such, you are more likely to
do better in the exam.