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Exam preparation 101: mission absolutely possible

Updated: May 26, 2022

Exams are already happening and they might seem like an enormously high wall between you and the summer. Perhaps, you have already taken one or two exams - or you got an offered grade during the semester and you can only enjoy the suffering of your peers from the Balaton shore now, with a "meggy" in your hand. Nevertheless, for those burning in the hell pit of the exam period, this article might be just the right thing to look into.

1. The basics - know the general information about the course and the exam

How do I study for a subject that I don’t even understand? How much effort should I put into a certain course? How long should I study?

If you don’t want to shower yourself with those questions every single day until the pressure of the upcoming exam crushes you, you should consider several things.

  • Check out the syllabus/course main topics. Knowing the outline and the matter you will have to dive into is essential for the basic understanding of the course. That way you can organize your study sessions by relevant topics.

  • Know the worth of your exam – if that exam is 100% of your grade you must start studying as soon as possible!

  • Be aware of the time you have. Don’t procrastinate until the moment you have no time to actually study sufficiently.

2. Prepare your space and your materials for the study sessions

  • Quiet, orderly, comfortable – find the spot at your home that meets those requirements. This is the place where you will study for the next days or weeks.

  • Get rid of all distractions – your phone, the TV, your siblings, anything that might disturb you while studying.

  • Notes, diagrams, texts, educational videos – have everything you need close-by - you don’t want to start your study session realizing that your most important materials are missing.

  • Don’t have notes? Make them now! They will help you memorize the study matter and support your revision process, flashcards are also a great option.

3. The learning process

  • Set goals to measure your preparedness and create a checklist.

  • Try to estimate the time you need for every topic. This way you will have a realistic view of the tempo you’re studying with and you will know if you need to cover the materials slower or faster.

  • Did the teacher give you many home assignments or tests? Perhaps parts of the exam will be based on them. It is not a bad idea to revise them, see what was difficult for you some time ago and try understanding it now.

  • Try revising the new topics you’ve covered once every several days or perhaps once a week.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help. If you know someone who is knowledgeable about the topic you’re currently struggling with, don’t hesitate to ask questions.

Exams are never easy, no matter the subject. However, with enough time and dedication, you can manage getting the desirable mark. Make a schedule, set goals, and don’t let stress and procrastination obscure your future success!

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  - Emily Brontë


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