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Excel in your exams

November 24, 2018

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Illustration by Sophia Khan
Illustration by Sophia Khan

Examinations are always a cause of anxiety for students. However, with planning and preparation, you can ace your exams with flying colours. Where studying and revising your class lectures on a daily basis are imperative to achieve good grades, you need to create the mindset of a champion student to excel in your studies.

This article looks at the different ways you can get good grades in all your subjects.

These tips are those that most of you may be already following, however, reinforcing their importance when your mid-term exam are around the corner is vital.

Be attentive in class

There is nothing second to being attentive in class. If you miss out on the class lecture, no one can repeat the same words to you.

your mid-term exam are around the corner is vital.

Be attentive in class

There is nothing second to being attentive in class. If you miss out on the class lecture, no one can repeat the same words to you.

Therefore, sit in the first two or three rows of the class and give your complete attention to what the teacher is saying. Jot down all the important points of the lecture and focus on the topics the teacher has covered in the class.

Participate in class discussions when the lecture is in an interactive mode, it will enable the teacher to know what and how much you have understood. He can then sort out any confusion that remains. Also ask questions when the teacher has finished speaking and allows you to speak. Always remember that no question is a stupid question, so don’t feel that you will appear silly and stupid if you ask something that everyone else probably knows.

Homework is important

At times students ignore the importance of homework and think it to be a waste of time. Students also copy their classmate’s homework rather than doing it themselves, and submitting it to the teacher.

This must not be the case. Homework allows you to revise the topic you studied in class so it can remain in your mind. It is also a way for the teacher to check your understanding of what was taught. If you haven’t understood something and you just copy someone else’s work, your teacher will never know your problem and will never get to help you.

Prepare notes

Prepare notes for yourself at home. This includes rewriting in detail in your notebook the points your teacher discussed in the class. You should also refer to your textbook to include any relevant point that you may have forgotten or missed in class.

This will help you in two ways. Firstly, you will get to revise the topic discussed in the class. Secondly, you will have all the notes of each subject together in one place, helping you to study and revise during the days leading to your exam.

Discuss with classmates

One of the best study methods is to discuss important and difficult topics with friends. If you have difficulty comprehending mathematics and your friend finds science a challenge, you can teach him science and he will help you in mathematics.

Studying with friends also allows the discussion of topics that initially seem difficult when taught in class. This is also a good way to learn all that you may have missed when you were absent.

You can even test each other by giving questions, either in written and verbal form. This is an excellent way to revise and reinforce any subject.

Illustration by Sophia Khan
Illustration by Sophia Khan

Do weekly revision

Once you develop a habit of revising lectures on daily basis, you will find it easy to revise the lectures of all subjects on a weekly basis. On the weekend, you should allocate two hours to revise whatever you have covered in class. This will help you remain updated with the class lectures, keep the information in your mind and help you prepare in advance for your exams. This weekly revision will include carefully and slowly reading of class lectures and practicing mathematics and algebra.

Practice is the key

Science courses include diagrams that you are required to draw in your exams. Similarly, mathematics, physics and chemistry have equation and numerical-based questions that you should know. To be able to draw effectively and to know your equations, you must practice them regularly.

The same goes for graphs and maps. And the best time to practice these is when you are not in a mood to do serious reading or studying, as these can be break-time activities.

Don’t leave anything to chance

When studying, do not ignore any topic. What if the topic you left comes in a quiz, a test or in your exam? If it has been taught in the class, it is important, unless the teacher tells you that it will not be coming in the exams.

You can pass a test or exam by selective study, which is to study only selected topics or chapters that are important and often asked in exams. But if you want to obtain good grades, you need to cover the entire course.

Try asking questions to clear your doubts during the class lecture and discuss points with your teacher after your class or in between classes when your teacher is free. When revising at home, if you are stuck at a question, ask your elder siblings or parents for assistance.

Learning is everything

While grades are important, you must focus on learning through your subjects. Your goal should not be to just earn grades but to learn and understand what you study in class. This will become the base for your next class as very often what is taught in one class is something that you will need to recall and be aware of in future in higher classes.

At that time if you can’t remember it or you don’t know it because you didn’t learn it in junior classes, don’t expect your teacher to teach it to you because you are expected to know it.

Learning things well will also help you when you choose professional studies following the completion of your Intermediate or A Level education.

Manage your time

During most of the academic term, students normally focus more on playing cricket in the neighbourhood or playing video games at home and seldom give time to studies. They wait for the announcement of a test, assignment or exams to start studying and learning things.

But this can be too late if you want to be a top grader. You can do whatever you want at home and still have ample time to study if you manage time properly. Your first priority, however, should be your studies. After returning home, freshen up, have lunch and take a nap. You should then complete your homework, revise your lectures and then give time to yourself to play, read or relax.

There is still time in your mid-term exams so if you start working on the tips we have shared here, you can get good grades by staying focused from now.

Published in Dawn, Young World, November 24th, 2018

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