For most of us, an exam can be a daunting project. We burn the midnight oil an entire week before an exam or a test, only to receive a Score Sheet which is disheartening. Parents and teachers are disappointed and confidence takes a hit! You wonder what went wrong and how you can perk up those grades.
Here are a few simple tips that will put you on the right track with little or no stress.
1. Prepare in advance: This is most important. A worried student of mine asked me ‘I have an exam coming up in three months, and there are books of 200 pages to learn in all 6 of my subjects. It’s impossible!’ I suggested that she needs to study just two pages a day (which takes about 10 minutes!) on weekdays and six pages on holidays and weekends. Using this, she was able to complete 1200 pages within 2 months and had time to revise thereafter! All that it took was an hour a day and 3 hours on holidays and weekends.
2. Make summaries or notes: Outstanding students highlight important sections in their text-books & make notes of topics taught at school. Hence, they can focus on the most important points to revise right before an exam.
3. Communicate with a tutor or a subject expert: Most teachers appreciate when their students approach them for clarifications. This conveys that the student is making a sincere effort to learn. Other than clarifications, teachers may also help you with notes, important points, and handy tips. Meeting an online tutor helps save time and energy on travel. Moreover, you can connect with the tutor at your convenient date and time.
4. Spend time with a student who is good at academics: Even a 30 minute one on one interaction with a student who scores well could help a great deal. Invite them home or go out for a meal. They may simplify a difficult concept or even share some winning strategies with you. Their attitude towards their work that makes them outstanding is probably that you may need to adopt!
5. Use technology: It’s been scientifically proven that students learn best through visual aids. A good YouTube video on a topic, a pictorial presentation or an infographic could trigger a visual recall that will help you immensely as you revise. Bear in mind that technology is best used sparingly.
6. Have a steady schedule: Having a fixed daily study routine lets family and friends know that you are occupied during those hours. This could be just one hour a day after your homework. It reinforces the topics taught on that day or during the week. Phones and other distractions are a total no-no during study time!
7. Memorize some basics: Math students should memorize some basic formulae especially squares of numbers up to 25, trigonometric identities, algebraic expansions and other useful tactics. These will help answer questions on an exam quickly. Practicing plenty of problems is a great way to remember these formulae and increase your speed.
Remember that these high school years are a time to hang out with friends and have some good clean fun. Practice these study tips to get your grades and confidence up. Bear in mind that good grades are a springboard to getting admission in your dream college and concomitant to great success thereafter. Good luck!