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5 Simple Steps To Prepare For Exams

5 Simple Steps To Prepare For Exams, Even if You’re Studying At The Last Minute 

5 Simple Steps To Ace Your Exam

Studying for an exam is totally different from studying to learn. Preparing for exams, you need to be strategic. Because it’s all about getting the best grade possible in one shot. So whether you’re cramming for an exam tomorrow or studying for one that is happening in a few months’ time, follow this ‘5 simple steps to prepare for exams’ strategy for your best chance of success. 


Step 1: Being Clear About What’s On The Exam

The first step to hacking your exam preparation is being clear about what’s on the exam. This might be obvious, but doing this really well, will help you be laser-focused on the next 5 steps. If you possible, confirm these three things: 

(i) What topics and areas you might be tested on, 

(ii) What types of questions there will be,

(iii) And how much each section of the exam is worth. 

You won’t always know this information, but try to get as many details as possible from your teacher or mentor. Check the course outline or objectives. But never forget to attend the final classes or lectures before an exam because that’s often where they share more details or tips and tricks for the upcoming exams. 


Step 2: Preparing According To The Type  Of The Exam

There are three standard types of exams and you put them together in a different way for each of them. if you don’t get this right, you’ll crash and burn for sure. The three types mentioned are, memorisation type; understanding concepts type; and problem-solving type. In case you’re short on time, you might be tempted to put together a problem-solving examination by memorising the content. That could be a mistake. Subjects that normally want a variety of memorization encompass history, languages, and some science subjects like biology and anatomy. Memorization is nothing but building connections. The usage of most effective repetition to try to remember things doesn’t create connections and that’s why it doesn’t work very well. 


Social science subjects and a lot of others have checks based in particular on understanding concepts. It’s crucial to have a big image attitude and recognize how all the smaller pieces of the puzzle are in shape together. Take the records from your lectures, textbook, and further reading cloth, and organise them in keeping with the major themes and concepts. It’s more effective when you do it visually, so use mind-maps, Go with the flow charts, and diagrams to create an overall perspective, and display the links between information, concepts, and the whole theme. Common exam questions ask you to evaluate or to apply the concepts, Hence practise doing that and try to use concrete examples to provide an explanation for the solutions. 


The third sort of examination is problem-solving, that’s common for engineering, accounts, and science subjects. The important thing about these tests is doing a variety of issues. But attempt to do a problem first before analysing the theory at the back of it. Understand, you’ll get more examination marks for doing problem type questions, Hence prioritise your study plan accordingly. Instead of analysing a chapter in detail and then attempting the troubles, flip it around. Give a quick skim on chapters, but begin with problem questions, and only return to study the theory in case you hit a roadblock. So that, you’ll get the problem completed and cover the theory too..


Step 3: Understanding The Type  Of The Questions

You also need to understand the type of questions in your exam, because you’ll prepare differently for each of them. The most common question types are multiple-choice, solution type problems, short answers and essay types. Which of those will be included in your exam? 


There are different types of multiple-choice questions. They can test your direct recall of facts, your comprehension of how facts relate to concepts, or how you may apply your knowledge and understanding. You may waste time and effort by preparing for the wrong type of multiple choice questions. 


Then, considering essay questions, look at the major topics and themes in your course. Take note on which topics or parts were given emphasis or repeated multiple times? Make your own list of potential questions and practice answering them. Create detailed outlines for each answer, and then if you have enough time, you can practice writing out the complete long answer as well.


The third type of question is solution type problems, and my recommendation is to do as many practice problems as you can. It’s really important to understand what the question requires you to do, so try and translate the problem into your own words, or draw an illustration or diagram to help you picturize the problem in your head. Develop a system to approach these types of questions, and record all the formulas you use too, because you’ll need to know them for the exam.


The final type of question is short answer questions, and you might need to give anything from a sentence to a paragraph answer.


Step 4: Memorising Important Terms And Definitions

Learn to memorise important terms and definitions, and if possible, you can use mind maps to relate each term back to the overall concepts of the subject, and connect any supporting materials. The first three steps were really prepared for this one because it’s the most powerful of all. You would have heard of the 80:20 rule or Pareto’s Principle, it’s all about prioritising your actions. Generally speaking, the 80:20 rule states that 80 percent of your results come from your 20 percent of efforts. If you analyse any of your past assignments, you probably would have done 80% of that assignment in 20% of the time you spent working on the whole of it. 


So how is it going to apply to studying for your exam? 80% of your exam results will come from your 20% of study efforts. Never get hung up on the numbers, usually they won’t all the time hold exactly true, but it’s mostly about the concept. Try to identify what is going to give you the biggest reward for your efforts. Ask these questions yourself: What topics have more emphasis in the exam compared to others? Which section of the exam is more worthwhile? Is there any type of question that also helps you prepare for another type of question as well without much extra effort? 


If you can find such hot spots that cover all three, that’s your starting point. This may be helpful for those who are cramming the night before the exam, but if you have a little more time, you can focus on more topics and areas. This is just for an example, but hope you got the idea. Be prepared and focused as early as possible on what’s going to give you the highest grade possible. Once you have made your plan, it’s time for action. 

Memorize, How To Study For Exams

Step 5: Practice with Model Tests

Now it’s rehearsal time. The absolute best way to do well at answering questions in your exam is to practise answering exam questions now. Try to practise questions from prescribed textbooks, examples from assignments or class-works and to the best part, work-out as many sample papers and old exam papers as you can. Then, only in case you get stuck, refer back to your textbook or class materials. Doing it this way reviews everything you know, and highlights areas where you need to improve, and you’ll probably learn as you go as well. Remember, if you study by only re-reading your notes and textbook, that will only make you better at reading. But unfortunately, you’re going to be examined on how well you answer questions. So that is what you need to practise by doing. 


Now you have these 5 simple steps to prepare for exams at your disposal. I know, exams are stressful, no doubt, and that does crazy things to your head. The knowledge you thought you had is going to disappear like a magic trick. Sometimes what you could recall on the day before might not be as safe in your mind as you thought. The best solution to it is overlearning or learning beyond the point of being able to recall what you learned. Overlearning can strengthen your learning and improve how fast and easily you’re able to recall information. Most likely that’s what you look for in your exam! Overlearning not only increases your confidence in what you can recall when needed, but also helps you to be more confident and less anxious.


If you’re cramming for an exam, first use the 80:20 rule to confirm the absolutely most important areas to study. Then focus on overlearning them. There might be only three or four primary concepts of the subject for the types of questions that have the greatest weightage in the exam. Once you feel you have mastered it, and if you still have some more time available, then you can look at other topics or types of questions as well. That’s called planning. 


If you’d like more step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for different types of exam questions, or how to memorise more effectively, or any other queries regarding exam preparation, you can always connect with us through our ‘contact us’ page.

5 Simple Steps To Ace Your Exam, All the best.

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