Effective Exam Strategy

November 9, 2012   

**Exams ** are a regular part of the school, college and university life, which is considered to be a flexible form of learning and teaching process that aims at investigation of a student’s knowledge of a particular subject.

However, nothing makes students gloomier than the prospect of exams. Even the word examination itself makes students shudder.
There are no doubts that for the majority of students, examinations are something like death, which has the unpleasant inevitability to be faced sooner rather than later.
Exam inevitability often creates a great deal of tension, and can become a cause of procrastination, work block, anxiety, and panic attacks, especially when students feel overloaded by the amount of work they are required to accomplish.

A constant struggle, a ceaseless battle to bring success so that Winning is not a sometime thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing – Vince Lombardi
There are countless hours of preparing and sitting for examinations that is accompanied by cramming, sleepless nights, and it very often turns out to be very distressing and debilitating ordeal. Indeed, different people deal with exams in different ways. Some people may seem to be able to handle the pressure; others get agitated, anxious, bad-tempered, and can even become seriously ill and depressed.

However, despite all this, one thing holds really true: examination period is challenge-able.
Remember that you should be responsible for your own learning. Hence, your examination success is in your hands, and in many respects it depends on your ability to focus on active learning, to schedule your time sensibly, and to organize your working place properly.

So don’t take exams lightly, putting off revision to the very last day, and entrusting your examination grades on lucky chance is not right. Therefore, exams is not an appropriate time to check how lucky you are.
Whilst you don’t want to be caught off guard and confused on the spur of the moment, as leaving revision too late is an excellent recipe for stress and anxiety.

Be sure to stick to these simple and effective examination techniques, which will help you pass your examinations with flying colours. Remember that with careful planning and preparation, exams can become nothing more than a question and answer session.

Elaborate your revision program as early as possible

Organize your time wisely. Be sure to allocate time for revision, relaxing and enjoying yourself sensibly. Be realistic about time that you can spend revising. Bear in mind that you need a balance between your revision time and the rest of your life. You need rest, and variety. So try to break your workload down into manageable chunks, combining working periods with rest.
And what is more important is to begin studying early, with an hour or two per day, increasing this time as exams approach.

Plan how you will use your time during your revision period

Your plan should include ** what, when and how you are going to prepare for your examination. ** Try to produce a day-by-day revision timetable.

Fail to plan, You plan to fail. List all the topics you’re going to cover during your revision process, make up your mind what order to learn them in, and how much time you can manage on each topic. Be realistic about your time, and always remember about your deadlines.
A good revision strategy is to set priorities. Evaluate the importance of each block of information that you’re going to revise, think it over what topics are compulsory for you to revise, and what subjects you already know.

Involve in active learning

Reading is a passive way of learning, while writing is an active studying technique, which is considered to be highly productive.
Plunge into the text you’re reading, and ask yourself: “What is the most important to remember from this section?” Make notes while you read and underline the key concepts in the text.
Mix easy and difficult topics, interesting and dull while you revise.
Try to work in a comfortable environment, to remove any distractions, and to find out where you work best. Don’t forget to interrupt your study time with planned study breaks.

Make your revision process effective

Don’t learn parrot fashion. Researches have shown that a person recalls meaningful information better and easier. That’s why you should:
1) Associate newly learnt concepts with what you already know. As you are reading try to link what you are studying with what you already know, with something that is meaningful to you.
2) Elaborate upon new information with your own examples.
3) Revise material in small chunks; don’t try to cover all the information in one sitting.
4) Information is memorized better when it is represented in an organized framework. Group information into categories; write an outline or a summary.
5) Use as many visual aids as possible; make a practical use of drawings, tables, graphs extensively in your revision process.
6) People are more likely to remember things that go in some certain sequence, so that one thing triggers another element.

Organize your working place sensibly

Many students are fully versed in importance of time management in the process of preparation for their exams; however, quite a few is acquainted with the importance of organising their working places wisely.
Be sure to divide your room into two areas: your working space that can be near your desk or table with papers, books, photocopies on it, all in all, everything you need for studying, and a place for relaxation, where you can look aside from studying, taking a nap, watching TV, or listening to music.
Get used to indulge in work only in your working area, and to switch off in your relaxation zone.
Physical separation of your working place from your relaxation area will make it easier for you to do it mentally.
Bear in mind that doing well in exams not only depends on your knowledge, but also on how good you are at revising and handling the actual exam.


One may argue that an exam can be a lottery, where a large proportion of success depends on your lucky chance. It’s worth noting that luck can let us down in the most unsuitable moment. So, I don’t propose you to count on it. The most reliable way to pass an exam is a thorough and profound preparation.
Remember that exams aren’t the be all end all, and the means will always justify the ends.

blog comments powered by Disqus