Schooling can be quite hard and it goes without saying that most people would have quit early in life had it not been for the heavy societal expectations, harsh parents or lack of a better thing to do.
While schooling is hard doing exams and passing is even harder. Unless you employ some underhand tactics to pass your exams, getting that coveted A requires hard work and dedication.
There is no shortcut in this, there has to be adequate preparation. While you may wonder why some of your colleagues are performing better than you yet you seem to study harder than them, the secret sometimes lies not only in studying hard but also in studying wisely.
The following tips will be quite useful and can help improve that grade and even guarantee you an A in the process.
1. Do not miss classes EVER, OK?
Some of the instructors might sound boring and what they teach might sound incomprehensible to you but it is important to attend all the classes if you want to improve that grade. Some classes are fun and others are not but this does not mean that they are not relevant unless you are aiming for a fail. Attending all classes, although it is no guarantee for success, gives you a hint of what the topic is all about and is a good launching pad to your own revisions. Although it might seem incomprehensible, by attending the class you have made the first stride as you are bound to get a thing or two about the topic being taught. If you are the type of the student that relies on other people’s notes and hence misses classes deliberately, it is crucial to know that not everything that is taught in class makes its way into the notes. Some of the highly examinable concepts may only be mentioned in passing and only those who are in class will have the privilege of understanding them.
2. Be attentive
It pays to attend classes but it pays more if you are attentive. Being inattentive is a sign of a bad attitude and that will not take you far. Do not fall victim to the various distractions that characterize most classes, instead always lend your ears to the instructor for he clearly knows more than you. Instructors will lay more emphasis on areas that are important and examinable and you cannot have a grasp of this without paying adequate attention. You will also be in a better position to understand complicated topics when you are going through your notes later.
3. Learn to take own notes – Record Lectures if needed (I did it
It is always important to learn to take notes in class. No matter how big your brain is it can only accommodate a certain limit of information. Writing notes is like storing food for future use; you will refer back to your notes when revising. While you may rely on other students notes for your revision, this might be detrimental as every student has his own understanding and you might be referring to wrongly written notes.
4. Pay attention to the questions at the end of the topic
It is essential that you test your level of understanding by attempting the various tutorials that come usually at the end of every topic. This way you can gauge your memory and find out whether there is a need to revisit the topic or seek further clarification from the instructor. Do not be discouraged if you fail the questions but you should use this as the basis for searching for more information about the topic.
5. Revisit your past exams
This is a tip that will come in handy when exams are nigh. You can revisit your previous exams but most importantly you can take a look at other past exams. By revisiting previous tests you are able to find out why probably you failed and how better you can answer future tests. A look at past exams enables you to get a grasp of how exams are set, the most questionable areas and the most appropriate answers to give. To benefit more from this it is crucial to engage a few friends to share ideas with. More difficulty questions can be handled with the help of your instructor.
6. Final touches
During the exams and regardless of how adequately you may have studied prior to the exam, the last minutes can give you more. It is important to study relentlessly but when approaching the exam period it is important to change tact and pay more attention to areas that have remained bothersome. At this time, it is not advisable to revise from end to end learning new concepts but rather you should just pick on a few topics you need to refresh your mind on.
7. Be punctual during the exam
A relaxed mind is quite powerful and it is important not to panic. There are those prone to panic attacks during exams but most of these attacks are as a result of being ill prepared. If you are relaxed in an exam room you have a better chance of remembering what you have learnt and also answer your questions appropriately and with ease. Punctuality ensures you have ample time before the exam commences and can indeed cross check to ensure you have everything you need to avoid rude surprises during the exam.
8. When handling the questions
This is the most important period and will determine whether you will crown your preparation with a smile or a frown. How you answer the questions determines what grade you will get. Sometimes it is important to peruse through all the questions first ticking the ones you can handle without much effort. Allocate time to each question so that you are able to complete within the stipulated time. By working on the easier questions first you reduce the risk of failing to complete what you could have comfortably handled. Again, by starting with the easier questions you have enough time at the end to pay undivided attention to the hard ones that require intense concentration. However, no matter how easy a question may sound, it is important to read carefully to avoid misinterpretation. This is one of the leading mistakes during exams.
Passing exams is not a matter of guesswork or by fluke but rather is through a strenuous process of studying and revising. To improve on your score you must read widely and adequately, revise appropriately and always be attentive in class. This way you are guaranteed of an easy time during the exam time.