How to prepare for an exam
Sunday, September 28, 2014 | 8:30 PM | 9 comments
My grades were always pretty good when I was in Primary school, but when I moved on to Secondary school, that was when everything started fluctuating. I hated school, my teachers and studying. I was so distracted with boys and friendship problems just like most teenagers would - That continued for quite awhile...
For some reason, my last relationship was like a wakeup call to my entire life. I'm in year 2, taking my diploma now and all I want is not only to do well in my studies, but do freaking well. I've been working really hard throughout the last 1.5 years and I've never worked any harder my entire life. Simply because I believe to be the best, one should never settle for less. What differentiates a student who scores "B" and another that scores "A" is the extra mile he/she is willing to take.
I've 3 goals in mind:
- To get into a good University.
- To prove to myself and people that I can do what I love (blogging and making videos) but still be able to stay focus in school.
- To prove my haters wrong by being successful.
We make the wrong choices sometimes, but as long as we are willing to face the problem and not run away from it, I believe it's never too late to change for the better. Education may not be everything, but it is important. I could easily give up studying now and rely on blogging and making videos to earn for a living, but to me, these are ephemeral and secondary. Besides, I enjoy the process of learning new things in school. I may not end up doing what I choose to major in now, but it's always good to acquire more knowledge, right?
So after all that grandmother-long story, here's how I usually prepare for an exam.
1) Stop Procrastinating
This is perhaps the simplest yet most difficult thing to do. When studying, suddenly clicking your pen seems way more interesting than reading through your notes. However, procrastination has to go.
Before you know it, your exams are tomorrow, you haven't started on anything, you start panicking, you stay up late, walk into the exam hall with eye bags nearly sagging to the ground, and you'd wish you did your revision way earlier.
Personally, I'd rather be "kiasu" and start a month in advance than to get in a fluster a week before my papers. Get it over and done with. When you start earlier and if you have things you're uncertain about, you'd still have time to clear your doubts and correct your mistakes.
2) Avoid all distractions
If it takes ditching a whole episode of my fav drama, or to sacrifice a gathering with my friends, I would still do so. Missing out on your social life may be tough as hell, but it's indeed about learning to prioritise.
Chuck your phone aside, stay away from the computer, and in fact, you shouldn't be reading my blog right now if you haven't started studying haha.
Remember what you need to get done, all else shouldn't matter as long as they hinder you from reaching your goal.
3) Time Management
You know yourself best, if you can't retain everything you've learnt in a day, take a week. Spread it out. It's better to study one chapter a day than to force yourself to remember 10 chapters on the last day.
If you're a little more conscientious and if this helps, write a schedule so that you can keep track of your plans of that day and stick as close to it as possible. You don't wanna be over ambitious though, don't aim to finish everything within that day itself. Breaks are necessary to sorta refresh your mind every now and then.
Practice makes perfect. That's why I advised previously in point (1) to start studying earlier, because you'd need time to run through everything again so that you could get the hang of it, and be familiarised with your materials.
This helps to prevent yourself from forgetting what you've previously touched on as well, pretty much like a quick recap to stimulate your memory.
You'd like to start testing yourself or get someone else to do it, so that you'd have an idea of what are the things you should work on and what you're already good at.
I know a million people may have already reiterated the importance of sleep to you, but I'm also aware that most people wouldn't give a shit about it. I make sure that I have at least 8 hours of sleep everyday, and even if my work isn't completed, I'd still go to bed. Firstly, I know that any lesser amount of sleep, I'd lose focus the following day and I'd have the tendency of taking a nap which would waste unnecessary time. Secondly, our brain can only take up so much information, you don't wanna over exhaust it cos you might just end up forgetting everything you've learnt.
Having adequate amount of sleep and sleeping at the right timing is extremely vital. Many people love staying up late to revise right before the examination day, but that could really affect your focus level.
It's good to review all your notes right before bedtime so that it helps consolidate all the information in your memory, but it shouldn't take up the entire night.
Of course, all these may not work for every single one of you cos "studying-methods" vary from person to person, but these are just some generic ways I've been using to overcome my exams.
I feel that I don't belong to the extremely intellectual category where I could ace everything without studying, hence I take such precautions, but if you're a born genius then... Why are you even reading this in the first place? *Rolls eyes*
I know this post may sound pretty lame, but I genuinely wish it could help, even if it's only reassurance I give.
Good luck with your exams sweethearts.
To lighten up your mood a little, you can watch Jianhao's new video below! (Please don't learn from him hahaha though.)