- 14/04/2020 9:13 AM
- 18/01/2020 12:41 PM
- 25/07/2020 2:00 PM
As students, we are constantly tested for our knowledge. We are required to take many exams, from the minor ones such as quizzes and midterm exams to those major ones that determine our fate, like entrance exams and final exams. Failing exams is never a pleasant thing to encounter, and we all want to avoid that.
However, not everyone knows how to better prepare themselves for those exams. This article suggests some essential tips students can use to successfully get through exams.
First, it is important to start the revision process as early as possible in order to sufficiently prepare ourselves for upcoming exams. We should note down how many exams we will have and what lessons we need to revise, and then we can respectively start organizing our study schedule (Humanitas University, 2017). Early revision can be very beneficial for effective exam preparation.
We would have enough time to go through notes and other crucial study materials diligently without having to feel rushed, and the amount of stress we face is also less (Rogers, 2020). Leaving everything until the last minute is never a promising approach for exam preparation as it would do more harm than good and make things even messier to manage (Humanitas University, 2017).
Second, setting a clear and timely study routine for ourselves as well as organizing our study space can enhance our comprehension and absorption of knowledge needed for exams (Humanitas University, 2017). It would be great to keep our study space tidy and spacious and stay away from anything that can distract or sidetrack our focus, such as phones and loud music (Busch, 2016). Also, making ourselves comfortable in our study space can help us concentrate better on revising (Humanitas University, 2017). Having good time management of our study schedule can contribute to productive study outcomes as well. According to Kearns and Gardiner (2007), successful study habits and strategies are attributed to sufficient time management. From my personal experience, sticking to scheduled study patterns with particular goals for each review session plus keeping myself motivited during the revision could help me learn more effectively.There are different ways t
Third, taking a regular break during the revision could help our brain to maintain the ability to focus (Humanitas University, 2017). Studying for long hours without a break is not the way to go since our memory would deteriorate from trying to memorize and understand too much information at once. A study by Ariga and Lleras (2011) showed that short breaks from a task could drastically increase one's ability to concentrate on that task for much longer. In the study, participants were asked to perform a 50-minute task. As a result, for many of those who worked on the task nonstop, their performance dramatically dropped over time. On the other hand, those who were allowed to have two short breaks from the task showed no decline in their performance.
Fourth, organizing study groups can be useful in helping us prepare for exams (Humanitas University, 2017). Group studies are great for exchanging knowledge and helping each other learn. According to Chiriac (2014), 97% of students from a study acknowledged that working in groups promoted learning, either in collaborative abilities, academic knowledge, or both.
They also stated that they could learn various things when working in groups than working individually. Similarly, Petress (2004) claimed that group studies could enhance students’ intellectual abilities when conducted efficiently as it could inspire interest and raise confidence.
For me, studying in groups was beneficial when I was preparing for exams in high school and at university. One of the benefits was that I could ask someone to explain the points I did not understand and share what I understood with others, which helped me remember better.
Lastly, it is a good idea to find and practice past exams if possible (Humanitas University, 2017). This method has been used by many Cambodian teachers to prepare their students for major exams, especially grade 9 and 12 national examinations. Students are given exams from previous years to practice, which could help them understand the general format of the exams and figure out what to focus during the revision. From my own experiences, this method did help me in several ways.
I was able to familiarize myself with the exam format and learn how to divide time for each section based on the level of difficulty and scores given. Jain (2013) explained that many examiners do not usually come up with different question types every year, so once you have completed several past papers, there are possibilities that some questions appearing on the exam papers would seem familiar.
To sum up, the tips mentioned above could turn out to be useful for those who are preparing for upcoming exams. Nonetheless, it would be even better to figure out what methods and study patterns work best for each individual. Preparing for exams could be a time-consuming and exhausting process, but if we try our best to study with proper and effective methods, the outcome would be worth every effort. It is also necessary to take care of our health and ensure that it is in good condition so that we could perform to the fullest of our potential and abilities during the exams.
Socheata Ly is an intern at Cambodia Education Forum. She has recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Department of International Studies, the Institute of Foreign Languages, Royal University of Phnom Penh.
This article was originally published by Cambodian Education Forum on January 30, 2021.