Top tips for exam preparation
Throughout my experience of working as a private tutor (which is about 6 years), teaching Maths, Chemistry and Biology, I have tutored students from various different backgrounds and abilities. Each student is unique and requires a different learning style to ensure that they are having their needs met. However, there are some fundamental points that I advise each student in preparation for their exams, which are detailed below.
Compile organised notes: Having organised notes is so important. Your course notes should be filed and organised into sections and subsections. There are a lot of students that struggle to do this. On the lead up to exams you should be aiming to summarise the course into manageable sections/notes which can then be easily referred back to when revising, rather than sifting through the course notebook. Your notes should contain all the most relevant and important parts of the course, along with some exam type questions. Using techniques such as highlighting text, sticky notes etc can also help emphasise the important points within courses.
Take Breaks: Taking breaks during studying is crucial because it not only allows you to reflect on what you have revised, but also gives you a chance to reflect on what you are working towards (whether it be writing an assessment or preparing for an exam). When you take a break, do something that you enjoy which could be anything from walking the dog to phoning a friend or social media (don’t spend too long on it though!).
Organisation: Being organised is key, and allows you to schedule and prioritise which subjects to study and when to study them during the exam period. Study period doesn’t last long in a university, college or school. Therefore, having a study plan is crucial to ensure that you are able to effectively manage your schedule. You can organise your study schedule in the form of a Gantt chart or timetable, or just put aside certain days of the week for certain subjects etc.
Ask your teacher/tutor for help: Just because you are on study leave, it doesn’t mean that your teacher or tutor can’t help and answer any questions that you may have out with class time. Last minute revision and going through certain topics within the course with your teacher/tutor can be extremely beneficial as it gives you confidence in the areas your struggling with.
Repetition of techniques: How do you remember certain aspects of the course you are studying? Repeating examples of a particular problem within a course over and over again helps consolidate complicated topics. For example, there are many different topics within maths and science courses both at school and university that involves learning new techniques which require you to tackle them in a particular way. The only way to get better and improve is to practise different examples. The more different examples you try yourself the more confident you will become. As the old saying goes – practice makes perfect.
Mental preparation: Students put themselves under tremendous pressure to do well in exams and in some cases, to the point where it becomes detrimental to their health. Exams are very important and are an integral part of our learning system in the UK. However, failing or not doing so well in a particular exam, does not mean that we can’t achieve our final goal. The important point is to try your best and if the final result is not what you expected, then there are alternative routes. The benefits of yoga and meditation are well known for people of all ages. Applying these techniques could be very useful to help with relaxation and mental preparation.
Written by: Jamie (Stirlingshire)
View Jamie’s profile: https://central-tutors.com/jamie/