How to prepare well for your exams?

By Captain Unni Krishnan,

When exams are around the corner, most students slip into studies and start cramming before the day of the exam. Some find it uneasy to follow a time table, some cannot concentrate, some have difficulties in remembering and others feel less confident. To help you cope with all your anxieties. Here are few useful tips that will help you to prepare well for your exams and be confident.

  • Make a revision timetable - Prepare a revision timetable. Try not to be too accurate and plan every minute of the day. This can be stifling and become boring quickly. Instead, make a list of subjects to be revised for that day, and how much time they need.

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  • Do lots of past exam papers - You need to be familiar with what the structure of exam will be, and what sort of questions will be asked. Time your solving of papers.
  • Take breaks – But not too many. One fifteen minute break for every hour of revision is fine, though if you’re younger and using this guide for other exams you’ll probably want shorter breaks more often – ten minute breaks for every half hour.
  • Drink enough water – But put it away from your notes in case you spill it! Refill it at breaks, and don’t drink too much or you’ll need the loo too often.
  • Eat well (Healthy food) – There are foods that boost brainpower – like peanuts, strawberries, banana, milk, dry fruits and fish. Avoid fast food – like pizzas and burgers and pastries that contain trans fats – a big ‘no’ to the brain and memory function.
  • Make time for exercise – It could be swimming or playing basketball or even yoga – coupled with mediation- has been proved to improve concentration.
  • Prioritize your subjects and their various topics to know which ones need the most work.
  • Get proper sleep, because then everything you revised will stay in your mind. Try not to stay up too long.
  • Have a daily routine -   For the basics of every day (this is easier if you have school, but during your leave follow this example-  ’Get up at 7:30, breakfast 7:45, lunch at 1:00, dinner at 6:00, bed at 9:00.’ It will get your body into a good routine for revising and stop you getting tired.
  • Study in a well organized, brightly lit room. Try changing your place of study – like the terrace, balcony, and the like instead of getting locked up only in your room.
  • Own schedule and not group schedule - It’s OK to do collective/group work to help each other, but do not do what they do, if you have English as a priority, and they have Math, do your English.
  • Get help from elders or your seniors who have done the same board exams before.
  • Be positive and confident about your exams.
  • Always be cheerful and learn to enjoy your study time. You don’t have a choice – you have to write your exams – might as well learn to enjoy study time.
  • Don’t be over confident, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Create your own flash cards/ reference notes and refer them everyday. Five minutes with flashcards every day over a long period will be better than six hours cramming of science without breaks or rewards. You could also sum up what you have studied on post it stickers and glue them on your notice boards. When you revise again you just go through only that.
  • Set achievable and small targets- helps motivate you. Never target huge portions – when you don’t finish it, it will make you feel miserable.
  • Record things on to a phone or MP3 and listen to it overnight. That way, you will remember better. Record things you aren’t sure about.
  • Remember to be modest - if you brag about doing a lot of work and end up failing, it will be quite embarrassing.
  • Study everyday!

After Exam tips – Very crucial

  • Don’t create a panic. The work is done now wait for the result.
  • Don’t compare answers with those of other students – this can create negative feelings
  • Don’t rush to your textbooks to check your answers – there is no point at this stage
  • Focus on the next exam and how you might improve your exam technique
  • Have a quick look at your revision plan. See if you need to adjust it?
  • Think positive!

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

About Learnhive: 

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