How to Outsmart Exams: Exam Preparation Tips

The most difficult exams can be made very easy by applying the following exam preparation tips:

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Exam Preparation Tip #1- Flash cards: Theoretical subjects demanding memorization can be simplified by scribbling a question on one side of a card and its answer on the other side. A series of such cards covering major definitions or even diagrams of the course and revising daily a week before the exam can help retain the bulk of the course without stressing the mind.

Exam Preparation Tip #2-Holistic learning or mind maps: Holistic or global learners are those who can relate varied subjects as being interconnected. They view the topic as a whole with defined outlines and interweave related concepts pertaining to that topic to their existing knowledge. This helps them to avoid memorization which is often stressful to retrieve when the information is needed.

Exam Preparation Tip #3- Condense: This is a limited memorization technique. Create detailed notes of the topic then condense it onto a single page of a couple of paragraphs by gradually omitting superfluous details but retaining the keywords. Thus memorization of several pages is restricted to a single page which can then be elaborated as required.

Other learning tips:

1. Never cram the night before an exam

2. Sleep well and eat well during exam time

3. Keep your mind relaxed before the exam

Tips during the exam:

1. Glance at each question on the exam

2. Read instructions very carefully

3. Prioritize answering sequence

4. Set pace for each answer

5. Read and re-read any question to understand what is asked before answering

6. Mind your writing. Shabby work will hinder you from reviewing later, over and above irritating the examiner

7. Review calculations by double checking

8. Keep track of steps or sequence while answering

9. Some questions may be too demanding. Leave them incomplete, proceed to the rest of the questions and then return to incomplete ones at the end

10. Recheck your answer book before submitting to the instructor

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