Below are some very useful techniques to help you during your exam preparation:
From the core to filling in the gaps
It is always easier to continue with the study module if you already know some of the information. So you have to start from something. It’s okay not to know everything, just build a starting point and work your way out from that point.
Start from learning the most important parts of the study material first. As your body of knowledge grows, continue filling in the gaps. In other words, continue to cover material which is still not clear to you.
One great method to use is possible if you have access to past exam papers. In such cases, start by studying each part that was tested in prior years. As you do that, you will cover most of the critical aspects. Than, cover the gaps in your knowledge.
For too many students exam preparation is an unstructured process. Start by focusing on the main idea first and build your knowledge from there.
Channel your mind chatter
We all have a mind chatter. We are constantly thinking about various things. The majority of such thoughts are useless. During exam preparation it is important to control your mind chatter and to channel it into thinking about your subjects and linking the dots in your study material. Every time your mind chatter resumes, it is taking precious time away from your exam preparation.
Find the ways to channel your mind chatter in a way that is beneficial to your exam preparation. For example, when you doing something that keeps your mind unoccupied and useless mind chatter resumes, start thinking about your material.
Ask yourself which parts of the material are the most important and why. Than ask yourself questions about how different parts of material are connected. Ask yourself what do you understand clearly and what are the biggest gaps in your knowledge. You need to make subjects that you are working on the focus of your mind chatter. This way you take a lemon and make a lemonade out of it.
Give 100% of your effort
When you study, give it 100% of your effort. Read attentively, be focused and use every second you have to do something to improve your knowledge about the subject.
When you study, focus 100% on the task at hand. Be an active learner and not a passive learner. Do something with the material. Be creative. For example, write information down or explain it to yourself in your own words.
Do not allow yourself to become lazy and simply read the material without paying much attention to what you are reading. In this way you are just cheating yourself, no one else. It is your time, your life. As Steve Jobs once said, “you could be doing anything else with your life right now but you have chosen to do this, so give it 100% of your effort… Life is brief and then you die, so you have to be damn good.”
At all times, and especially during exam preparation, you need to be strict with yourself. Demand from yourself to be efficient with the time you have. Do not allow yourself to give in to laziness and weaknesses.
The more you do it – the harder it is to fight giving in. The less you allow yourself to be ineffective and lazy – the easier it is to fight it. As Zig Ziglar likes to say, “If you are hard on yourself, then life will be infinitely easier on you”.
Motivate yourself to absorb and internalize information from each subject you study. It must become part of who you are and what you care about, almost to the point of short-term obsession.
You need to sink into it and build a relationship with it. You need to know it to the point that you can confidently teach someone the knowledge covered in the study material. Only then are you be really prepared.
These points are not a complete list of everything you could do in your exam preparation, but it will put you on the right track to success. Remember, the marks you get will stay on your record for the rest of your life and will likely significantly influence your career journey.
You are at “war”
If you want your exam preparation to result in A or A + results, you have to take drastic measures. The only exception to this advice applies to people with out of the ordinary intelligence who can gain such results without doing significant amount of work.
To get really high marks, you need to disconnect yourself from all the distraction during exam preparation. Work, work and work, day and night. Your exam material needs to be what you think about when you wake up and when you go to sleep, when you eat and when you taking a shower. And the closer it is to the examination date – the more you need to operate in this manner. Exam preparation must engulf your life.
If you are a straight A student, it sets you apart from other students who are less diligent and driven. When all of you will be applying for the same jobs, who do you think will have a huge advantage over whom? Of course you! Therefore, the first step you need to take to help ensure that you have a great career is to finish your degree as best as you possibly can.
It you already have a degree with average results then consider continuing your education part-time and finish the next level exceptionally well. Academic excellence will always set you apart. It is really hard, especially while working full-time, but it definitely worth it if you want to have a great future.
Good luck with your exam preparation. Give it your 100% and, as Zig Ziglar likes to say, he “will see you at the top”.