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10 Quick Tips for Successful Exam Preparation

“Each student must take responsibility for their own learning. It is only through taking ownership and personal accountability for your learning that you will succeed.” Thank you to our Guidance Counsellor, Mrs Paddy Kew-Simpson, for sharing these tips with us. To learn more about Academics at Cannons Creek, please click here.

1. Give yourself enough time to study

VERY IMPORTANT FIRST STEP! Make a study schedule that fits your way of studying and do not leave anything for the last minute. While some students do seem to thrive on last-minute studying, often this way of partial studying is not the best approach for exam preparation. Write down how many exams you have, how many pages you have to learn, and the days you have left. Afterwards, organize your study habits accordingly. This will also allow you time to speak to a teacher if you come across a section with which you need help. The night before an exam is too late to realise you need extra help. 

2. Make sure your study space is organised 

Make sure you have enough space on your desk to spread your textbooks and notes. Ensuring that the room is sufficiently bright and your chair restful enough are also points to consider. Pay attention to details that can distract you and remove them from your study space. Make sure that you feel comfortable in your study space and that you are able to focus. For some individuals, this may mean complete silence, while for others listening to music helps. Some of us need complete order to focus, while others like to study in a more cluttered environment. Make sure your study space is friendly and pleasant so that you can fully concentrate. LEAVE YOUR PHONE OUTSIDE THE STUDY SPACE. 

3. Use flow charts and diagrams

 Visual aids can be especially helpful when revising study material. At the start of a topic, write down everything you already know about the subject. Closer to the exam, transform your revision notes in a diagram. In that manner the visual remembrance can aid your readiness considerably when taking the exam. 

4. Practice on old exams 

One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice with an old version of previous exams or class tests. Also, an old test will help you see the format and formulation of the questions and it will be good for you to know what to expect but also as a worthy practice for measuring the time you need for the actual test. 

5. Explain your answers to others 

With the help of your family and friends, you could excel on your exam. Teach someone the work you are studying. Doing this will help you consolidate your learning- if nobody is home to ‘teach’- find an object to teach… or a pot plant. Any ‘study buddy’ will do. 

6. Organise study groups with friends 

Study groups can also help to consolidate understanding. Teaching each other sections and asking questions allows you ( and the friends) to put the work into their own words. This is really helpful when being faced with exam questions and also boosts your confidence to answer in your own words. Just make sure the group is focused on the subject and they are not easily distracted. 

7. Take regular breaks 

Regular breaks are needed for the brain to regain its focus. It is not the best tactic to study long hours because long-term retention of knowledge is almost impossible. The most important part of studying is to develop a routine that fits your study style. 

8. Snacking on healthy food is good for the brain 

You should not eat unhealthy food while you are studying. Keep your body and brain fit by choosing natural, fresh and vitamins rich food that is good for you and would improve your concentration and memory. 

9. Plan the day of your exams 

Check all the rules and requirements for the exam. Plan your  morning– then add on some extra time. You do not want to arrive late and deal with even more anxiety. 

10. Drink plenty of water 

While studying for exams and even during an exam, it is advisable to drink water. Remaining hydrated is vital and adds to your overall positive mood.