Hey there, Gamers and Game Makers!
Since I've been back in college, I've had my fair share of exams and still have quite a few big ones left to go. So, I thought now would be a good time to share some of the things I do in order to prepare for an exam
1: Don't Cram!
While cramming the night before might work for some people, those people number a very rare amount. In practice, cramming the night before an exam does not end well. So, give yourself plenty of time to study. For the most part, your lecturers will give you plenty of notice of an exam.
What I tend to do when I know there's an exam coming up is compartmentalise the work I need to revise. Don't try to revise everything that'll be on the exam in one sitting but, rather break it down into sections and tackle a section in each sitting.
2: Have a Good Study Space
Where you study is very important. If you try to study somewhere that is full of distractions, odds are you're going to loose focus and not have a very productive study session. Find someplace quite and free of distractions. Put your phone away for the duration of time you plan to study for. Having a study space that is tidy is also key. Trying to study in a messy environment can be frustrating and counterproductive.
3: Look at Past Exams
Most colleges give students access to past exam papers. If this is the case, take the time to look at these past exam papers and practice them. You can often identify what questions come up a lot on exams. Remember, there's only so many questions that can be asked and repetition is bound to occur. If you can determine what questions are likely to be on an exam, the better prepared you can be.
4: Take Regular Breaks
This one might not seem as obvious. You might view taking regular breaks from a study session as procrastinating. While say studying for ten minutes and taking a two hour break is most definitely procrastinating, there are ways of studying with regular breaks that can be most effective. I recommend looking at the Pomodoro Technique as a way of better managing your study time.
This one is easier said than done. Exams can be very stressful. We've all been in that situation where we've studied for the exam and we know the information inside and out but, as soon as the exam paper is put in front of you, you draw a blank and forget everything.
The most important thing to do once this happens is to try and relax. Don't let the panic set in. You haven't forgotten that information. It's still there. Take a breath and pause for a minute. Look over the paper carefully, reading each question slowly. While there is a time limit on your exam, don't focus on that. You have time to read over your paper and settle yourself. We often confuse excitement with fear and panic. If you've ever seen athletes talking after a big event, they often mention the excitement in the run up to the event. The same can be said of an exam. If you think of the panic you have more so as excitement, you'll get a better grasp on how you tackle the exam.
Until next time!