How to Prepare Students for Exams – A Step By Step Guide
Exams can be quite stressful for many students. This is especially true for students who are in school. Many children fear that they'll disappoint their parents and teachers if they perform poorly in exams. The fear of failure can create unnecessary pressure on students and make their life stressful. Too much stress and anxiety affects a student's performance during an exam. Therefore, it’s important to help children by giving them an insight into how to prepare for the exams much in advance in an organized manner.
One of the most important exam preparation tips is to give yourself enough time to study. It's best to begin preparing long before the day of any examination. It is important to identify
- What to revise?
- How to allocate the time?
- Which learning strategies to use?
A good planning can make the whole revision process less stressful. Also, the more you practice planning and organizing your revision the better you will get at it.
Create a calendar showing all your exams and prioritize each one based on when it is and how much revision it needs.
Organize the content to revise
- List all topics and identify ‘core topics’ emphasized by your teachers, assignments and reading lists
- Identify what you know and what you do not know as this will help you to work out what you need to understand and revise first
- Divide what you need to revise into manageable sections and add these details to your revision plan
- What kinds of questions there will be in the exam?
- How long you have to work on each question?
- Whether you have a choice of questions?
Once you have all of this information you are a good way towards working out what topics to revise and in what depth. The next step is to look at how much time you have available.
Prepare a time table
A good timetable will help you in better preparation. As you get your time table well in advance from your school, create a revision time table with breaks and time-off.
Have Daily and Weekly Objectives in Place
To make sure you accomplish things systematically, you might need to identify your daily and weekly goals. Breaking larger tasks into smaller ones help you to accomplish what you wanted to.
Choose the right environment
The ideal environment would be a noise free private room with no interruptions. Make sure you have enough space on your desk to spread your textbooks and notes. Ensuring the room is sufficiently bright and your chair restful enough to study.
Revising actively implies making a real effort to understand what you are learning, rather than simply memorizing by rote. Follow some effective revision strategies which will help you to retain the concepts
First letter method/Mnemonics
Mnemonics can be a helpful way to memories facts. Use the first letter of a series of words to create a phrase that is easy to remember. It is an effective strategy as initial letters are helpful retrieval cues and anyone can remember by mentally running through the alphabets
Creating mind maps
Mind maps can be a great way to identify connections between ideas. It allows you to visually structure your ideas to help with analysis and recall.
Drawing visual pairs can be used to remember synonyms.
Use key words and facts- rather than writing out whole sentences. Include images to make the poster more memorable.
Creating a diagram or chart to represent a topic
Drawing branches and twigs out from the center for key themes will help you to condense the points to be remembered for any concept.
Looking for similarities or differences
Identify the key points to show relationship and difference between the concepts.
Flash cards help you to practice summarizing information. You can use them in a variety of different ways:
- Condense notes about a specific topic on to a card
- Write a term on one side and a definition the other
- Write a question on one side and answer on the other
- Use flashcards to write formulae of mathematics
Index cards (questions on one side and answers on the reverse)
Adapt different learning styles as diversifying your study techniques and using a mix of multiple different study methods will help you learn and store your information better.
Practicing different study methods and combining different techniques will help you to prevent mental fatigue and keep your brain engaged.
Ask for help
If you do not understand a concept, talk to your teachers who can help in clarifying and make you feel more confident about your exams.
Check your progress
Here are some ways you can check your progress and develop better exam technique:
- Keep an eye on your time plan, so that you don’t spend too long on some topics.
- Test yourself as you are going along. Put your notes aside and write down what you can remember from what you have studied.
- Refer some question bank and try to sketch out rough answers to exam questions. This can give you a sense of what to cover and how much depth to go into.
- Practicing examples is particularly important for exams that involve calculations.
- Spend 10-15 minutes before going off to sleep to quickly recap all that you learned throughout the day
Healthy mind and healthy body
- It is very important to look after our physical and mental health during the exam period. Stress and anxiety during the exam period is completely natural. To reduce it, some breathing exercises, focusing on peaceful thoughts and yoga will help you to overcome the anxiety and fear.
- Eating healthy and nutritious food and avoiding all junks which give energy for that time need to be avoided.
- Sleep deprivation can lead to ill health and poor concentration. So having the recommended 8 hours of sleep is very important to keep the body healthy.
- Doing physical activities like walking, playing sports in between your revision, taking a power nap for 10-20 mins. will help you to keep your mind and body active.
- Ensure to drink water to keep your mind focused on what you learn.
The last and the important aspects in any examination are self-confidence and motivation. These are the powerful tools that make you believe in yourself and your preparation. Motivation to achieve your goal is the key to success. It is important to keep yourself motivated and have a strong desire to do well in your examination.
Most students are stressed out before examinations due to their lack of confidence to perform well in the exams. Help children with exam preparation. Encourage them to make a study schedule and prepare for the exams accordingly. When students are well prepared in advance, they do not need to stress out with last-minute studying and uncertainties regarding exam preparation.