Examination periods are often considered a stessful time. Better study habits and effective study skills can reduce the strain connected to academic work and the exam periods and prevent stress and test anxiety. Exam preperation can be divided into two parts : firstly, covering the reading material and using effective study skills and secondly personal preparation.
The study material and study skills
Prioritizing: It is important to prioritize time and tasks. Consider what is important and/or necessary to do during the exam period and what tasks can be put aside. You often need to make temporary changes in priorities becouse the period of examination is demanding.
Brainstorming and organizing the study material: You May want to start your exam-preperation by allowing your mind to wander for a few minutes and think about what are the main points of this subject. You can the then make a check list or group the topics guided by the syllabus, notes or textbooks. This will break the study material down into smaller units and make it more manageable.
Long term schedules: It is important to make a long-term plan for the entire exam period to gain perspective. Determine when to study for each test and for how long a time. You need to make the most of the time if exams are dated closely together.
Daily schedules: Plan each day based on your long term schedule. This is a more detailed schedule. You need to consider such things as: "what subject will I study", "where to study", "at what time", and "for how long?"
Work-periods: Allocate suitable length of time for each reading session taking into account the weigh of each subject. It is necessary to take regular short breaks and change the study method or even the topic you're currently studying if you start loosing concentration. Make note of when your "prime time" to study is and preferably work then on the more demanding subjects.
Review: Repetition is an effictive learning method. The best way to remember something is by repeating it and it is therefore a vital part of revewing. It is important to include systematic reviewing in the same time schedule; at the each component, end of each day and a weekly review as well. In addition there are various memory techniques that can facilitate learning. They aim mainly at arranging, structuring and organizing information, givint it different meaning.
Learning environment: Find a stimulationg learning environment, where there is little disturbance.
Positive self talk: is important to avoid disruptive thoughts and negative self talk. It is helpful to adopt positive self talk as we focus on our performance an ability to find solutions to projects and answers to exams.
Physical activity : is good way to icrease stamina and relieve stress. Try to find activities that suit you, such as walking, swimming or cycling.
Relaxation: reduces stess, which often accompanies exam preparetion. YOu can learn different relaxation techniques but there are also many persalalized ways to relax, such as through movement, music, reading etc.
Sleep/Rest: sleep and rest is essential to rejuvenate one's mind and body. Insufficient sleep may affect one's daily performance.
Diet: Eating habits relate to energy and concentration. During the exam period it is necessary to pay careful attention to your diet and eat healty and nutritous food. It is best to try to avoid fast food, sweets, soft drinks and coffee.
- Arrive in time for exams.
- Avoid engaging in stressful discussion about the exam before you walk in the examination room.
- At the beginning of the exam, give yourself time to get comfortable and prepare mentally.
- Write down things such as formulas, key terms, and anything else that is at the top of yoru head.
- Remember to read the questions and/or instructions very carefully.
- Read the entire exam and then start to answer what you are most confident with.
- Use time in proportion to the importance or percentage of each question and its significance.
- It is good to organixe a response to to an essay question beforehand by making að short abstract or write down key words and organize them accordingly.
- If you can not answer an exam question, put it aside and come back to it later.
- Focus on the exam and don't spend time on keeping up with fellow students or think about what you should have done, or might have done prior to the exam.