University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Preparing For and Taking Exam
One of the most fundamental things that students are supposed to always have in mind is that preparation for exams must start early. It is very recommendable that preparation for the next exam should start immediately after one is through with a prior one. If one keeps up in regard to studies, then the process will be a smooth sailing. Before embarking on the process, it is very advisable to plan and this mostly entails asking oneself some questions. Such questions may include; what is my schedule during exam? How much work do I need to review?
How much time do I need and have to prepare for exams? All these questions will enable one to plan time well. After planning is over, it is time to get down working; preparation for exams (Study Skills for College). So what does preparation for and taking exam entail? This is what this essay seeks to find out. Developing a balanced lifestyle prior to testing your skills Enough rest prior to exams guarantees good performance, since rest and good performance go together. Preparation for exams can be compared to preparing for a race as one need to be fit for the race.
An individual’s well being is very crucial for one to be successful and thus a student needs to treat oneself with respect, as mental and physical well being is the number one factor to consider if one is to perform well (Moira, nd). To have good rest prior to exams entails having a good sleep. If one does not have enough sleep, he or she will always feel tired and this will definitely impede concentration and focus and thus studies will be negatively affected leading to poor performance. “Good Sleep equals a functioning student” (Queens University, 2008). A good diet is also essential when preparing for exams.
Good nutrition will always work well in fuelling the brain and this can be achieved by mostly eating energy giving foods (Briffa, 2010). Eating process should be a regular activity at this time. If it is possible, fresh fruits for breakfast are recommendable as well as drinking a lot of water and consuming a lot of vegetables. A lot of sugar and coffee is not recommended at this time and fast foods are not healthy for a student who is preparing for exams (Moira, nd). As the saying goes, ‘you are what you eat, ’a healthy meal will translate into a healthy brain.
In addition, a complete diet for a student includes ‘brains foods’ (Queens University, 2008). Moreover, a student should always have time for meditation. This process entails directing concentration to one thing and focusing on one object. This improves the breathing system and since one is attentive to only one thing, a student will find his or her thoughts taken away from anxious thoughts. This rejuvenates one and improves his or her focus. This process also goes along way to reduce stress and anger. This is very good before engaging in a challenging task (Zinger, 2008). Polishing quiz and study habits
One should always come up with ways that would help in remembering what one has learnt. However, before embarking on the process, the first thing that one needs to do at this stage is to write on a blank piece of paper what one wants to cover and remember. It is also good at this point to work with others so that they can clarify what one does not understand. Cramming has never been recommended when studying and thus one should try as much as possible to read and understand, and if one does not understand, it is advisable to involve other people who may be good at the subject or even the tutors.
A student is also advised to employ flash cards when revising since they assist to memorize facts. Discussion groups also come in handy at this point (Study Skills for College, nd). Another thing is that one should read while making some summaries of the main points and supporting information. If it is possible, one should come up with his or her questions and at the same time answer them. Other strategies to be employed include; cue cards, reciting loudly, do some practice problems and if possible go through some old exam questions in order to find answers to the questions one failed (Queens University, 2008).
This does not mean that one should strain oneself while doing all this. It is good for one to enjoy studying and not viewing it as a punishment. This is possible if only one rewards oneself. This can be achieved by having breaks while reading. Five to ten minutes are good enough. During those breaks, one should not engage in any academic activities. The recommended activities include listening to music and watching television. This is also the best time to engage in some meditation. A student may also decide to go out for fresh air. In other words, it is the best time to engage in an activity that one likes doing most (Moira, nd).
How looking back on the last exam can prepare you for the next one It is very important while preparing for exams to analyze past exam papers or questions. This is very instrumental in trying to find out what went wrong and that led to an individual getting the scores that one got. It also helps one to analyze the pattern the errors took in order to avoid them in future or in the next exam. There are different errors which may come about while doing exams. These include error related to questions, answers, and subject test-making procedures. While looking at past exam papers, it helps in ‘celebrating’ the mistakes one did.
Mistakes should never be taken negatively since they offer valuable feedback (Queens University, 2008). In this regard, it is good to look at the experience that one went through while doing the exam. This entails asking some questions such as: Did I go blank the other time or did I have difficulties in breathing? How did I feel while doing the exam? These questions will help one find answers to the problems one encountered then and thus it may be possible to avoid them in future (Queens University, 2008). How to let go of exam anxiety while preparing for and taking exams
Good performance in any challenging task also requires the body to be calm. For the body to be calm, it calls for good breathing and having enough air in the body. A student should take time to concentrate on breathing, specifically on the air that gets in and out of the system. Moments of longer and deeper breathing are advisable at this time. Time should also be taken to scan the whole body in order to relax the tensed muscles. This calls for one to sit properly when reading. Exercise also helps in relaxing the body and reducing anxiety. This is because it helps in pumping blood all over the body (Queens University, 2008).
Exercises that one may engage in may include playing football, tennis, cycling, among others and this should continue even during exam time. This does not mean that one should spend all the time excising but a little time for some physical activities will do (Moira, nd). In conclusion, preparing for exams is very important just like taking the exam itself. Good preparation will mean success in the exam and thus time should be taken for the process. One’s well being is very crucial in passing exams and thus good preparation will go a long way to ensure that. References
Briffa, J. (May, 2010). Food for thought’- nutritional advice for those preparing for and taking exams. Retrieved from http://www. drbriffa. com/2010/05/28/%E2%80%98food-for-thought%E2%80%99-%E2%80%93-nutritional-advice-for-those-preparing-for-and-taking-exams/ Dr. Moira, P. (nd). Developing a balanced outlook about exams. SLDC. Retrieved 0 from http://www. google. co. ke/#hl=en&q=developing+a+balanced+lifestyle+while+preparing+for+and+taking+exams&aq=&aqi=&aql=&oq=developing+a+balanced+lifestyle+while+preparing+for+and+taking+exams&gs_rfai=&fp=545d1e31c800a3f3
Queens University. Learning strategies and development: Preparing for and taking exams at university. Retrieved from http://www. bewell-dowell. org/sos/pdf_files/Preparing%20for%20Tests/Exam%20Module%20DEC%202009. pdf Study Skills for College. (nd). How to prepare for exams. Retrieved from http://www. bmb. psu. edu/courses/psu16/troyan/studyskills/examprep. htm Zinger, L. (April, 2008). ”Educating for tolerance and compassion: Is there a place for meditation in a college classroom? ” College Teaching Methods and Styles Journal, 4 (4), pp. 25-28