Pace yourselves. Exam time is here! Now that you’ve got some tips from my last post on how to succeed and achieve the things you want in life (click here to read it now if you already haven’t); let’s get to some time management strategies that will help you perform your best during your exam.
Many students who appeared for the board exams last year as well as in previous years shared that they could not complete their test on time due to poor planning or the nature of the questions asked or just mere panic in the exam room. Examiners usually set tight time limits on exams to see if the student has learned the course and can apply it systematically. Writing under pressures demands you to know the content very well and forces you to think quickly and precisely. Companies always look for employers who are extremely agile and accurate. Although you may feel now, that the timed tests give unnecessary stress to students; it is these skills that will be practically useful later in life. And that’s why I’ve put together a list of things aspirants should keep in mind while giving the exams so that they are able to perform better.
Step up and aim higher.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO (Before exams)-
- Know the exam schedule- The most important advice (parents please note) is to pin the exam timetable to your study table or any place at home which will attract your attention quickly. Set reminders for each paper you have to take, so that in the stress of the whole exam period, you stay watchful and know when do you have to reach the exam centre.
- Set up a study timetable- Know what works best for you while making a timetable. Your schedule should include your daily routine, meal time and recreation, along with studies. Do not make extreme alterations only to realize it is difficult to manage.
- Set smart goals- Don’t kill yourself to finish by the deadline. It will only get you demoralized. Set feasible and attainable goals. My advice- set smaller goals for the first week and keep steadily increasing by the end of the month. Keep an eye on the time required to understand those subjects which are tough.
- Set Priorities- Give more time to those subjects that eat up more time to memorize. Maybe you’re outstanding at numerical ability, but average in conceptual theories. Setting priority will help you to utilize your time evenly to all the questions.
- Practice last year papers- You can look for the past year papers online or you can easily get it from the library (Yeah, finally time to go that place buddy). 😆 Try to finish the entire paper within the time limit. Then you can evaluate yourself how you will perform in the actual test under pressure.
- Carry out a weekly analysis- There are some topics which require a minimum of 1 week to be through with, while some will be memorized in a day. Keep a track of your progress and adjust your schedule appropriately.
- Take a break- Exam stress can very often result in anxiety or loss of concentration. Set a timer to finish a chapter or any topic and then take a 5 mins break. In these 5 mins, get engaged in yoga, meditation or any favorite sports activity. Cut off from your routine sometimes and revive your energy so that you can put your best foot forward.
You may be fed up, but you have to keep your head up.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO (in exam hall)-
- Read the entire paper- Go through the full paper in the first few seconds to make sure you’re familiar with all sections of the paper. Go for the easy ones first. Then decide how to reach till the end of the paper in the allotted time.
- Come up with a plan for attempting each section- Have a clear strategy for the entire exam duration. Set a cut off time for each section. If you’re not able to guess answer of any particular question for a minute, leave it and move on to the next. What you write on the paper is more important than what you know.
- Pay attention to the minimum marks questions- These questions are usually very easy and only take a minute or so to answer. Remember- each mark counts. Besides you will be definitely sure to score from these questions.
- Use a smarter way to solve multiple choice questions (MCQs)- If you’re quick enough, you can first eliminate the wrong answers, and then go for solving from the remaining options. At times, make a guess and move on so that you have sufficient time to answer the remaining easier questions.
And last but definitely not the least; please do not forget to check the question paper twice.
What you should NOT do-
- Messy study table- Always keep your study desk as neat as a pin. Make sure to have enough space for all of your books. Ensure to have proper light. Pick a comfortable chair. Focus hard and clear out all disturbances.
- Glued to the phone- Don’t give the excuse of 5 min study break and check updates on your social networks. Because these 5 mins easily turn into 30 mins of timepass (and you know that very well!). 😉 Switch off your mobile data, Wifi or the phone itself if you feel you’re still getting distracted.
- Consume unhealthy food- Eating unhealthy food makes you feel lazy and drowsy. I know it’s tempting but try to cut off excess junk food. Also, follow a regular eating pattern, just enough to feel full.
- Procrastinate: Make a prior plan of all the topics you’re supposed to finish within a specific time. Keep checking your progress regularly.
Hope this helps and you don’t fret during your exams. I can only give you mindful advice. It’s YOU who has to work hard. Be confident and believe that you can do anything you put your mind to. All the best! Give it your best shot.
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
How do you prepare for your exams? What’s your strategy in the exam room? I want you to share your exam experiences here. Please share your short stories in the comments. Come back soon to read my next article or subscribe to get it delivered directly in your inbox. Bookmark this page to save time in searching again. Have a nice day ahead.