How To Ace Your Next Exam: Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

How To Ace Your Next Exam, Pass Exam, Test Anxiety, Student Stress

Exam Stress Got You Down?

The best way to achieve mastery is to practice, but you need to practice within the right context and environment.

Spending 1 to 2 hours on a problem the week before an exam that only allows you 20 to 30 minutes to solve it won’t help your exam related stress – in fact it will most probably INCREASE IT!

I know it’s hard to do, but you need to START your preparation much sooner than you think. What I suggest is that within a week of starting a course, you determine the exam content. I’m totally serious.

With the full content of the final exam (you can ask for copies of previous exams – usually available at the library or online), you will know what you know and what you need to learn.

One thing is for sure – you’ll be a lot less stressed if you do this than if you don’t.

Exam stress is mostly due to uncertainty – the “not knowing” what’s going to be on the exam rather than the difficulty associated with the questions.

Once you’ve figured that out, you can easily deal with it.

Otherwise you’ll continue to be best friends with DREAD and that’s no fun is it?

2 Responses to “How To Ace Your Next Exam: Perfect Practice Makes Perfect”

  • I just wanted to ask you how can I review when I have 4 exams on 4 consecutive days. I don’t know which exam to review and am getting a headache.

    Each time I read my notes for one subject I feel the need to stop reading it and switch to reading notes of other subject either because that subject is harder or that exam is first.

    I am really starting to get a headache and I need your advice ASAP as my exams are just after two weeks.

    With many thanks.

    • Hi Fatima,

      In my study book, I explain in detail how to prioritise your study time. You need to do it based on your goals and how prepared you are for each. If you have 4 exams, you won’t NEED to prepare equally for each. Determine the TOTAL time you have for all 4 and assign the time you have to each one. Let’s say you have 40 hours available and you’re confident about 2 of the exams. You might allocate 5 hours for each of those (total 10 hours) and allocate the remaining 30 hours to the remaining 2 exams. If one of those is particularly challenging, you might allocate 20 hours to it and 10 to the other.

      Exam 1: 5 hours
      Exam 1: 5 hours
      Exam 1: 20 hours
      Exam 1: 10 hours
      Total: 40 hours

      Once this is done, you need to STICK to your schedule and FOCUS on that. As you develop this exam study technique, you will get better at determining the time allocation requirements you have.

      I hope that helps and good luck in your exams!

      Oh, one more thing – once you achieved the outcome you want – STOP studying that and move on to something else – study based on OUTCOME – NOT TIME. You only allocate time to make sure you MAKE the time to do what’s necessary, but if you finish 1 subject early, that’s good – go on to the next one and USE that time productively. Don’t waste it going over and over the same things that you think you know just because you allocated time to it.

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