What to do before exams

Whichever exam a student gives during school or college, there is always an anxiety before it. How so ever one prepares for the examination, one always gets goosebumps before the ‘Judgement Day’. So it is very important to plan beforehand the schedule before exams and prepare accordingly.

The answer to ‘what to do before exams’ starts from the very beginning of the preparation for the exam. The planning for what to do before exams can be done in 3 stages: a month prior to the exam, a week before the exam and a day before the exam.

A month before exam:

One should always have a habit of preparing notes while studying. It is impossible to read all the books of all subjects just before exams. Concise notes are of great help to revise a vast syllabus in a very short time. Thus, a month before exam one should stop reading new material on any subject and start revising the topics already read and studied. One can prepare a timetable for revising different subjects.

Every student has one’s own style of studying. But reading 2 to 3 different subjects in a day is considered good for understanding various concepts and also it increases the efficiency of your memory. Most importantly, it avoids the monotony of a particular subject and thereby increases the interest in studies. There might be more revision sessions of difficult topics/subjects and easier ones can be glanced over. But, in any case, avoid over-confidence which makes you lose where you are sure of scoring.

Also, one needs to solve more and more Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) in last month. A student can solve them when one gets tired of revising or also a fixed schedule for time bound solving of sample question papers can be planned out. Solving such MCQs increases one’s confidence and also increases the speed of solving questions. Such time bound solving of papers helps a lot in the examination hall as there won’t be many surprises regarding time management in the hall.

A week before:

During the revision sessions as discussed above, one might again jot down important formulae, definitions (only titles and not entire definition), highlight key facts, important chemical reactions, etc in the margins of your notes or separately. And during the week before exams, it will be of great help to glance over these formulae etc. It shall boost your confidence and also help you memorise the difficult theories, definitions, facts, etc. Mostly avoid studying difficult concepts during this last week as it might overburden your stimulated brain and you might forget other very simple topics. Complete studying all conceptual part beforehand itself. Also gradually lessen solving MCQs and concentrate more on revising.

A day before the exam:

Though the anxiety at this point is always at its peak, this is the most important day before the examination. It can lift you up with all the hard work you have done or it may bring all down if you lose your temperament. Never think of what questions will be asked tomorrow. Whether I will be able to answer those or not. If I don’t get it right what will my parents think? What will be my future? etc.

You have done everything right till that day and you shall perform well in the exam as well. Try to be in present; don’t think of future or past. Don’t read anything new on this day, just revise as you have planned. Do take a final glance at the index of all subjects. It gives you confidence and you feel comfortable that you have studied all those topics well.

On the ‘Judgment Day’:

Eat light and fresh food. It doesn’t matter if you don’t revise a chapter but have a sound sleep for at least 8 hours. Don’t try anything ‘new’ related to studies or even related to your daily routine. Reach the examination centre a bit early so as to settle down mentally as well as physically. Don’t read anything on the day of examination. It will linger in your head during solving paper also and will affect your memory and performance. Don’t discuss anything regarding studies or even any other topic with your friends at the examination centre. It may affect your mood or concentration.

Just keep the spirits high and let the anxiety convert into energy and enthusiasm to excel in the examination.

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