I have exams almost all the time, be it first terms, weekly cycle tests, class tests, finals, preboards and the list is never ending. I’m no smart person to advise anyone about studies but because of the ordeal of giving ISC boards next year, I feel like I have (hopefully!) gained some wisdom..
Every student should figure out their method of productive learning- work around your method- find an audiobook for a story you have, play concentration helping music; There are tons of youtube videos out there that are so helpful (Crashcourse for instance)..
- Mindmaps, mindmaps, mindmaps!
I cannot stress the importance of these. A misconception about mind maps most have is that if you stare at one, you will recall it immediately.The best way I have found to study is to learn the text and then make a mindmaps solely by memory of what you have studied. This will help clear your thoughts, help you remember better; moreover, you will find out how much you know, and how much you need to revisit. Usually, (not saying this is a good thing) I make all my mindmaps on A3 sheets 2-3 days before an exam.For organic chemistry, this is the best way to move ahead. 1 billion similar reactions become a ton easier using mindmaps. Hell I’ve even studied Shakespeare using these!
- Make notes.
I have seen most people have the nicest notes yet not score the best of marks. Note making doesn’t need to be beautiful, the point of it is to make you remember stuff. Once you write it down, you are going to remember it for a very long time.
Also, do not start making notes, a couple of days before an exam. Focus on memorising things rather than wasting time summarising chapters and later studying them.
Make acronyms. Eg. Some People Have: Sine=perpendicular/hypotenuse Curly black hair: Cos= base/hypotenuse through proper brushing: tan=perpendicular/base
Highlight the key words.
Please don’t paint the pages of your textbook in the neon colour of your highlighter. What I mean to say is- if you have say 6 points to remember for a six marker in economics, after learning the subheading, underline/highlight the key word that you HAVE to write in your answer. Even though let’s be honest, everything needs to be there, you need to focus on understanding and memorising.
This tip is for 1-5 days before an exam.
Make a list. The pressure is building up The syllabus is also pretty large. There is an 80% chance that you are going to postpone looking at stuff to 1 or 2 days before the actual exam.
Mark the pages, make the worlds longest list if you have to if it makes you revisit the important stuff. This list of mine consists of most likely questions that can come, stuff I didn’t understand and just have to wrote-learn before the exam, important values(constants and stuff)
Previous years papers
Looking at the typical question and understanding where and how you are going to be tested will fetch you most of your marks if you implement it in your studies.
In my economics paper, I had no hope of finishing my syllabus before my first term exam, so I sat down and went through the questions of 5-6 papers that had come before.
The important thing people miss out while looking at old papers is that they don’t look at the answers. Even if it is a familiar question, read the answer, you will know the main focus and style in which the answers are written. Also, there are plenty of resources provided by the education councils- including suggested answers, common mistakes of the students.
Go to school before the exam.
Most people would have taken a study leave, so approach your teacher for a last revision of some topic you are unsure of. She may give you tips, an extra worksheet, more practice is after all what makes one perfect right?
Using weird logic to remember stuff.
It doesn’t matter how you remember stuff as long as you remember it correctly(in the case of hopeless students like me!) I associate a lot of things with people, I try to relate economics with current global issues, with food relatives, anything that I can connect with it.
Stare at the pages long enough till you remember them.I’m not great at memorising things quickly so my study involves staring at pages for hours- trying to remember the placement of the points and hopefully the points itself eventually. Also, I have developed a tiny photographic due to this habit of mine!
But hey these are my methods of preparing for an exam, not saying they are the correct methods. I think the important thing to remember an exam is to calm down and breathe, whatever you have studied will almost always pop into your head if you keep a calm mind.
The last thing I want to say is that, don’t sweat it; there are innumerable exams coming at you(spoiler alert XD) whether it’s at school or otherwise so if not this time, pick yourself up!
This is more like procratination 101 for me..