Simple Strategies to Help You Improve Your Exam Scores
Exams have become an annual terror to students, but that need not be the case. Your exam score does not define you and does not have to be a cause for anxiety. These are some simple tips and tricks recommended by Residential School Experts to improve your exam scores and get rid of the needless anxiety that comes with it:
Pay attention in class!
This sounds obvious, but this is often where students falter. If you pay attention in class and focus on the topic, it will cut your study time in half! This way, you don’t have to read the topic by yourself for the first time the day before the exam and panic. If you find it difficult to concentrate in class, there may be another problem that you need to address – Are you unable to see the board or hear the teacher? Are you constantly distracted by your friend’s chatter? Ask your parents or your teacher for any help you may need to concentrate better.
Focus on “understanding” and not on “memorizing”
Memorizing might work for class tests where a single topic is being tested, but won’t work for Exams where the syllabus is vast. Try to break up each topic into its key ideas (your textbook is probably already organized this way) and focus on really understanding them. It is important that the key ideas are clear so you can just revise details the day before the exam, not re-learn something totally new.
Take notes by hand
Writing things by hand is always great because it helps you remember better. Make your notes as detailed as you can – color-code them, write smaller notes in the margins that will help you remember the context, underline and highlight keywords, and most importantly, make your notes neat, legible and attractive for you to look at so you can revise by reading through your notes instead of the textbook.
Be strategic while you study
Keep a record of all your previous test papers, and analyze where you went wrong. Identify which topics you haven’t yet understood and spend more time on those while revising. Maybe you understand theory really well, but have a tough time applying it in practical problems –get help from a friend who is good at practical problems. It also helps to set a time schedule while you study to ensure you have time to cover all topics; You don’t want to study one topic really well and leave out 5 others. This strategy really works for the students who are in boarding schools and they always follow group study
Identify your learning style
Everyone has a different way in which they absorb and retain knowledge. The key to learning anything fast is to identify the best way to teach it to yourself. Maybe you are a visual learner, in which case colorful notes and images will stay in your mind. If you’re an auditory learner, discussions, and studying with a group of peers (who keep you focused and don’t distract you!) could work well for you. If you’re a hands-on learner, try to do experiments and demonstrations to understand the concept (as it is being taught in school, not the day before the exam) and record it through photos or videos and use those to revise. Try mnemonics, making funny songs out of keywords, anything that will make it fun and help you remember
Check out Previous Years’ Exam Papers
This is a really important step to cracking the exam because it will help you familiarise yourself with the kind of questions asked.
Students sometimes panic and forget everything they’ve studied in the stressful exam environment. It is important to stay calm. Many students find that yoga and mindfulness meditation is helpful. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the exam; don’t stay up all night cramming, you won’t remember a thing if your brain is sleep-deprived. Once you look at the questions, focus on the ones you know, and skip the ones you don’t know; you can come back to them in the end. Manage your time during the exam – don’t spend half an hour on an answer worth 2 marks!
Remember that your score does not define you
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Always keep in mind that this score is an indication of your performance on that specific day and is not a judgment on your worth as a person. It’s not worth the anxiety and heartache and self-rejection you put yourself through. A year from now, no one will even care what score you got. Focus on quality learning and adding to your wealth of knowledge, you will likely enjoy your studies more