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Average student biggest dilemma is the examination. Some of them even feel depressed whenever the exam is around the corner. Their lives suddenly become miserable and disturbed by fear, wondering are they going to fail or succeed. They have no confidence to sit for the exam. This kind of student will revise blindly without even care on how to do it in proper way.
There's a lot of ways to revise for the exam effectively. Every student has to know it even before every semester starts. Good students will always prepare themselves. Every people should know how to do the revisions effectively. How well you did in exam will determine your grades as well as you future. Revising subjects blindly will be pointless. You see, every war needs a good tactical plan or otherwise you lose, or killed. You have to understand your enemy, prepare yourself with good weapons and fighting skills then you'll win the war. The same concept applies to scoring in examinations. You need to know how to do the revisions properly. You need to be familiar with exam questions. You have to do a lot of practices then you deserve to get high grades.
Therefore, I would like to share with you on how to revise for exams effectively. These tips will help you to prepare yourself before you sit for the exam. Stop being miserable and afraid whenever "the war" is around the corner and become a "warrior" instead. It's time to change!
First of all, retrieve and understand the examination schedule arranged and published by the administration of your institute. Usually, the administration has already notified the students about when will the examination be before or right after the semester started in the annual academic calendar. For the actual schedule of the examination, normally it will be prepared and published three or two weeks before the exam starts. Make sure you know every single thing about the papers that you are going to sit for; the dates, days, times and the venues. Put this information in your diary, personal file, or anywhere else that will make you to not forget those important things.
Furthermore, try to rank the subjects by their level of difficulties based on personal experience, subjects' past results, or other party's opinion such as your friends, seniors, or the lecturers. This is important to help you to have a systematic style of study. By saying a systematic style of study, it means that you are going to focus more on the tough subjects but still, by not ignoring other subjects which you might feel pretty easy. Try to balance the time you spend to study those subjects. If you do this, you are already one step towards a good way of doing the revision.
Secondly, prepare yourself at least two weeks before the exam actually starts. Preparing yourself doesn't mean by reading books, doing assessments, or forming a study group but your mental conditions. Many average students failed to prepare themselves in this context. They usually just got into "exam mood" and proceeded to do the studies and stuff. This is partially wrong. What I am going to say is you need a little bit of motivation before you start to get yourself into the "exam mood". Set your goal, put a minimum grades for every subject, chase your ambition, think about your future if you fail in the test, or make a promise with your loved ones to score in the exam. These things sound troublesome but a little bit of motivation could trigger or boost you to achieve great success. You'll be on fire throughout the examination! Leave your time-wasting routines for a moment. No video games and no watching movies. Get your head in "the mood".
Next, stay away from last-minute attitude. Procrastination is your silent but yet obvious enemy. As I mentioned before, prepare everything at least two weeks before the exam starts. Lazy students will always think that they will do it later, or tonight, or tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. They keep thinking like that until they realized that there are couple days left before the exam starts and then everything becomes messed up. "I wish I could turn back the time," "Oh my God, what have I done this whole time?" "They didn't give us enough time to study!" Silly student is silly. Stop with those nonsense excuses. Manage your time well. That is why we have been provided with the study week two or three weeks before the exam.
Well, you see, everything is so much better when it's being done with no hurry. It will be completely relaxing, well-done and stress-free. One scenario that is so common among students which are last minute revision. It is completely fine if you do have fully understand the subject at first then the last minute style is just to refresh everything back. Glances at the reference books would do the trick. But the thing is when you are actually just have around 40% knowledge of the subject, then you expect to fully understand it in one night? The subject that actually took you to complete the syllabus for several months? You won't be kidding me, right? You will get nothing but stress. Stress all the way.
The next tip is you need to gather all notes for all subjects. Surely you have written down some notes while listening to the lectures, right? If you are a good student, then without any hesitation the answer would be 'yes'. Gather as many notes as you can. If you don't think yours wouldn't be enough then go meet your friends and lectures. If theirs are more interesting and understandable, make a copy of the one that you seem necessary. Those notes might be your lifesaver, something that you forgot to jot down while in class. Make sure you have enough 'weapons' in your head before you go for the 'war'.
Gather all notes for every subject, every topic, every subchapter. Every single freaking note. Yes, you might think that would be loads of papers on your desk. This tip is just suitable for some students that have this paranoia of knowing nothing about the subject. They are too scared that the things that would be asked in the test will be the things that they have never found in their notes while revising. That's why you need to start to gather the notes as early as you can.
After you have gathered all the important notes, it's time to sort them all properly. Arrange all those notes based on their chapters. This is crucial for you to have a very well organized style of study. Sort them from the very first chapter to the last one. Staple or attach them together and put them in files labelled with each subjects so you won't waste your time finding notes for the subject that you want to revise. If you like to be a little bit more creative and you have some free time, make them into booklets. Some people find it to be more interesting to study with booklets since it becomes some sort of handy. It's up to you how you want to sort them. As long as you are comfortable with your own way then just go for it. What's important is the notes are well-organized and easier to understand.
We go to the next tip; treating all subjects fairly. Alright, let me do the talk, well, or write. If you go back to my second tip on ranking the subjects, you'll find about spending more time on tough subjects. You only can do this when you are very sure that you have already mastered the so called 'easy' subjects. But if you're not really sure, treat them with the same way. You can't just pay more attention to tougher subjects unless your target is just to pass all of papers. No, we are not just going to pass but we are going to pass with good grades as well. This is why my third tip on preparing your mental is important. Go for the greatest, not just slightly crossing the passing marks. Segregate your time on revising all the subjects fairly. Easy or tough, they share the same priority.
The next tip is going to sound some sort of risky but yet still rational and effective. Start to revise for the last paper that you will be sitting for first, then the paper before the last one until you get back to the first paper that you have to take. Pretty weird, isn't it? This method has been proven to be effective by several students in a private university of Malaysia. This is a unique way to study for the exam. I repeat, this method is just suitable to do revisions only for the exam. It won't be suitable if you practice it while doing your daily revision. Some say this way of study isn't practical but the others say, "Yeah, this method makes sense." Do you wonder why?
So, here's the thing. Average students will first revise for the very first paper to be sit for, then followed by the next papers, am I right? For this method, we do in parallel way. As I mentioned before, you need to revise for the last paper first then get back to the previous ones. Let say, you have 10 days left before you sit for five papers; paper A, B, C, D, and E. Allocate 2 days per paper to do your revisions. Now, the first two days, do your revision on paper E first. Then, the next two days, go for your paper D and apply the same concept to the rest. The last two days, you'll be studying for paper A, isn't it? Paper A is the first paper that you are going to take. The last two days are only for paper A which means you'll be sitting for on the next day. By that time, your memory about all the revisions for paper A is going to be fresh because you just revised for that paper the day before. The memory is more reliable than if you actually spent the first two days for that paper. The chances of scoring for the first paper will be higher. The eight days gap might make you forget the things that you have actually revised. Now, do you get my point?
For the next papers, just revise like usual. Refresh back the things that you have learnt, memorize back the formula and do some exercises. Now, people might think that this method only makes small difference than the way that average students have done for years. But at least try something different. Well, as I mentioned before, this method is just suitable for students who study only for exams then after they have finished, their "brain reset button" will be automatically activates. Yes, this method very suitable for this kind of people.
Next will be a cliché tip yet very significance. Don't try to understand something when you're actually didn't really understand it. My point is go meet and ask your teachers or lecturers for every unanswered question, doubtful understanding, and any kind of hesitations regarding on the subjects. There's a famous saying from Malay tradition; don't be an arrogant fool. You know that you actually don't really understand about something but yet you act like mister know-it-all. Don't lie to yourself. There's nothing wrong about asking. You afraid that people will know your weakness? So you rather act like you know everything than go and find the answer? You are a shame. You just betray yourself. If you really want to be success, stop being lazy and consult about any hesitations with your teachers. Remember, this is for the sake of your future.
Let's move to our next tip. If you're not a loner, don't do the revisions alone by yourself. Don't you be introvert when exams are just around the corner but be extrovert instead. Join other people to revise all your subjects. Form a study group with your friends. A group of minimum two persons or maximum five persons is just enough. But make sure your group is consists of dedicated and committed members. Don't ask people randomly to join your study group or you are going to have a bad time with your revision. In the other hand, you yourself must be committed to your group, too. If not, there's no point why you even form the group.
In your group, delegate tasks evenly among the members. Revise chapters by chapters and do some tutorials together. Make sure every member get the same understanding. No one is left at the back. Discuss and appoint someone savvy for each subject and ask them any hesitations on any parts of the subjects that they are appointed with. This is why dedicated and committed members are important. When you received the subject you have to responsible for, try as hard as you can to understand every part of it. Make sure that you have mastered the subject very well. The group members are depending on you to help them with the subject. Try your best to be a good teacher. Well actually, your memory about the subject will be even stronger when you teach them with their doubts. Study group is actually an alternative of going to meet and ask your lecturers.
Doesn't matter if you are revising alone or with your friends, take a break for a while. The recommended break is 10 to 15 minutes every two hours of revising. Your brain needs a rest. You can't push everything inside your head in straight hours of study. Close your books, stand up and do some stretching will be muchly helpful after two hours of sitting on the chair. Crack some joints would give you instant relieve to your body. Drink or eat something sweet will restore a bit of your energy. Go outside of the building or at the end of the balcony and have some fresh air. All these things will give a good effect to your brain after receiving lots of information in a time. Moreover, sitting on the chair for too long will give you back pain and it will be hard for you to keep focusing on the revision. Have a quick rest. You're a human, not a freaking robot. Or are you?
Do a lot of exercises. Sharpen your understanding about the subjects. Familiarize yourself with the questions. Ask your lecturers for past exam questions if possible. If you have time, create your own questions. Let say, make five questions of every chapter on your own. Ask your lecturers about the structure of the questions. Gather back all the quizzes that you had in the class. If you are lucky, the same question might come up in the test. If it does, you'll be smiling like a maniac while answering the question. Don't lose this chance. It's time to gamble.
And for the last tip, always practise a healthy life. Watch your diet. Consume nothing but only healthy foods before and during the examination. You don't want to get sick before or during the examination, don't you? Just imagine, there's so much to revise but you are lying down on the bed, having a bad fever plus hangover after last night heavy consumption of alcohol. Leave all those bad diet for a moment, or forever. Sleep early. You need energy to continue your revisions on the next day. An athletic student or not, spend at least 20 minutes in a day to do some physical exercises to keep you fit. Have your meal on time. Empty stomach will not let you to focus on books but neither when it's full. Just eat adequately. Full stomach makes your eyes heavy. You'll be sleepy.
Some people might disagree with some of the tips but it depends. The tips may apply to some people and might not to the others. We always hear people saying "study smart, not study hard" but it still depends on how you define smart hard. Read a lot of books seem hard but it is a smart way to do revisions. Do difficult question is obviously hard but it's the only way to be smarter. Sometimes, to study smart, you need to study hard. It is just the way you study. Reading a lot of books without understanding the contents is useless. Highlight the points or put them in your notes. Difficult questions will force you to understand the real concept of the subject. Thus, you'll get a clearer picture of what you have actually learnt in class.
In conclusion, there's a lot of ways to revise for examinations. You just need to be creative and know what ways suit you best. The most important part is always plan your revision earlier. Last minute plan will make you feel depressed and despair.