Posts tagged exams
Posts tagged exams
Procrastination is a problem for most people – and for some individuals it becomes a way of life. We tend to put things off until we’re backed into a corner, and we’re staring at a deadline, and feeling super stressed. So what are the reasons for procrastinating?
1. Poor work habits. There are some who procrastinate on everything. They are always way behind and never schedule anything. They say they work well under pressure – but they are bad organizers who wait to the last minute before starting on a task. For them it’s only important when it’s due RIGHT NOW.
2. Feeling overwhelmed. When we don’t know where to start, and we don’t know what to do, it’s tempting to do nothing – as that’s so much easier! Also, sometimes work piles up, and we feel it’s all too much. So procrastinating here is a quick form of relief.
3. Aiming for perfection. There are some individuals who are sticklers for details. They can’t miss a thing and all their work has to be perfect. They’re under so much pressure to achieve an ideal standard that it takes them forever to complete a simple task.
4. Wanting to do something else instead. We all have projects that we just don’t want to do. It may be writing a report, or filing in a “stupid” form. We’re avoiding what’s unpleasant as it’s really not much fun. But delaying getting started won’t make it disappear.
Some advice for those who tend to be procrastinators …
• Acknowledge what you are doing; don’t pretend it’s not a problem
• Tell yourself that you don’t have to do it all at once. Make a start on something – that will help to change your feelings.
• Make your focus “getting started”, instead of finishing.
• Break those large assignments down and make a start on something small.
• Don’t beat yourself up. It’s a very common problem. You’re not the only one, and you can change your behaviour!
Approach your studies with a positive attitude
Arrange your schedule to eliminate distractions
Select a reasonable chunk of material to study
Survey the headings, graphics, pre- and post questions to get an overview
Scan the text for keywords and vocabulary: mark what you don’t understand
P: Piece together the parts:
Put aside your books and notes
Piece together what you’ve studied,either alone, with a study pal or group:
summarize what you understand.
Investigate alternative sources of information you can refer to:
other text books, websites, experts, tutors, etc.
Inquire from support professionals (academic support, librarians, tutors, teachers, experts,) and other resources for assistance
Inspect what you did not understand.
Reexamine the content | Reflect on the material | Relay understanding
Reexamine: What questions are there yet to ask? Is there something I am missing?
Reflect: How can I apply this to my project? Is there a new application for it?
Relay: Can I explain this to my fellow students? Will they understand it better if I do?
Evaluate your grades on tests and tasks: look for a pattern
Examine your progress: toward achieving your goals
Explore options: with a teacher, support professional, tutor, parent if you are not satisfied.
1. Make the most of those little slots of time – a free fifteen minutes here and there. You can accomplish a lot in those extra lost minutes.
2. Make your work place comfortable and inviting. For example, have an inspiring bookshelf, light a scented candle, put up a few crazy, fun photographs.
3. Make every effort to enjoy the journey – and remind yourself of the arrival fallacy (arriving at your goal is usually a letdown, and doesn’t bring the joy we thought it would bring.)
4. Don’t be afraid of criticism as it can help you to learn and grow. Dreading it too much creates anxiety which them prevents you from producing your best.
5. Recognise that we rarely feel happy when we’re working as we’re bound to struggle with incompetence, failure, frustration and feeling that we don’t know what to do. However, they are only a part of the total picture, and completing a project leads to pride and confidence.
Although it’s normal to feel some anxiety when you’re preparing for, or taking, a test - too much can hamper you from doing well. Below are some tips to help you to cope with this:
1. Learn and apply proven studying techniques so you feel you really know the test material. This should help to improve your confidence and reduce excessive anxiety.
2. Work on staying positive while you’re studying. Think about doing really well, not always struggling, or even failing.
3. Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before a test.
4. Don’t forget to eat right before a test either. You need protein to have enough energy to concentrate fully for the length of the test. Avoid junk food as that tends to lead to a high and then a low.
5. Try to calm and relax yourself as you enter the test room. Take a few slow, deep breaths. In your head repeat positive self-statements like “I am well prepared. I’m going to do a good job on this test.”
6. Don’t start to panic if the questions seem too hard. Just skip over the ones you can’t do, and keep reading until you find something you CAN do.
7. Ignore the fact that other students seem to be finishing before you. Take all the time you need and focus on doing your best.
8. Once the test is over, try and forget about it. There’s nothing you can do until your mark is returned to you … and maybe you’ve aced it, or done really well!
Students who manage best in exams:
- Maintain positive relationships with family and friends
- Continue to allow some time for exercise and leisure
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat sensibly
- Have planned time for study
- Are organised
- Learn and practice simple techniques for relaxation (see the school counsellor for ideas)
Warning signs that stress may be exceeding a helpful level include:
- Poor concentration
- Poor short term memory
- Recurring worrying thoughts
- Lack of tolerance for others (you may not detect that in yourself)
- Anxious about little things
- Prone to bursts of anger and tears
- Indications of feeling ‘down’, alone or misunderstood
- Disturbed sleep
- Indigestion, poor appetite.
No one sign necessarily is cause for worry and these signs need to be considered in the context of your life. However, it is better to seek help than to struggle with worries by yourself. Signs of depression or anxiety in particular should not be ignored.
1. Be honest with yourself and admit that you’re putting off stuff that really needs to be done.
2. Try and figure out why you’re procrastinating. Is it because you don’t like it, it creates anxiety, you don’t understand it, it feels overwhelming, you’re disorganised …?
3. Decide to break the habit of procrastination by deliberately rewarding yourself for doing something you’d rather not do.
4. Make a pact with a friend –where you deliberately and regularly encourage each other, and hold each other accountable.
5. Sit down and think – in detail – about all the likely consequences of not doing what needs to be done. Be brutally honest, and try and picture what you’re life is going to look like 6 months, a year and five years from now ( if you continue to procrastinate).
6. Decide to break large tasks down into smaller, more achievable tasks, and then tackle these smaller tasks one at a time.
7. Recognise your progress, and affirm and praise yourself for making these changes – and doing things differently, even though it’s hard.
1. Create a daily ‘to do’ list.
2. List goals and set priorities.
3. Do ‘A’s’ first (Most important things).
4. Do them now.
5. Ask yourself “What is the best use of my time right now?”
6. Be realistic: New habits take time to develop.
7. Reward yourself for small steps of progress towards your goals each week.
1. Remind yourself that worrying doesn’t stop things happening. Things will happen – or not happen –anyway.
2. Recognise that “What ifs” don’t usually help with problem solving. It’s better to use logic, and brain storm for solutions. Take control of your emotions by using rational thinking.
3. Motivate yourself by something other than worrying. Take a break and do something fun, and then go back to your work again. That positive approach will reap more benefits.
4. Face your fears – and do the things that you worry about. The thought is often much worse than the actual thing you fear.
5. Ask yourself “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Then, “What are the chances that it will happen? Then “Will you survive it, if it happens, in the end?” Usually, that helps to move us from an extreme and irrational way of thinking to a more realistic, and reasonable way if thinking.
6. Teach yourself a range of relaxation strategies – and then concentrate on them instead of on your different fears. Or, adopt a mindful approach – and keep your focus on “right now”.
1. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best. In reality, few of our worries actually become a reality. However, if you prepare in advance for things going wrong, you’ll have strategies available to cope and survive.
2. Write a list of everything you think you need to do, and then tick them off as you work through the list. That will help you feel more organised, and much more in control.
3. Do something to distract yourself – so your anxious thoughts don’t grow bigger in your mind.
4. Share your feelings with someone who understands and cares. They’ll offer you support – and you’ll gain perspective, too.
5. Confront the problem head often. It’s often the uncertainty that worries us the most – so face up to your worries – and take the steps you can.
6. Choose to do something that help you to calm you – like listening to your ipod or chilling with a friend.
7. Choose to be thankful. There are so many things to be grateful for. Compose a list of those, and you’ll find your worries fade.
1. Cut out the noise. Noise is a distraction and interrupts our thinking. It makes it harder for us to focus, to process, retrieve and then use information.
2. Structure your environment. Try and set aside a specific place to study - somewhere that is quiet, and free from normal, everyday distractions.
3. Know what you’re aiming for. You won’t achieve much without clear objectives. You need to have a concrete and specific goal. That is, something you can measure and can work towards.
4. Plan your studying for the day. Tick off your achievements as you work through your list. That will help to keep you focused, so you’re less inclined to daydream - or to waste time doing futile, pointless things.
5. Know what the guidelines and the standards are. Then, adhere closely to those when doing you’re doing practice tests, or writing an assignment, or thinking through your answers.
6. Expect to meet roadblocks. That way, obstacles won’t throw you off your course. You’ll get up and work around them – so they don’t destroy your plans.
7. Become a hermit and isolate yourself. It’s just for a short time, and it’s worth it in the end.
8. Be patient, and hang in there, when you feel unmotivated. If you can just push through this, you will find that you learn something.
If you find yourself doing the following, then the chances are that you’re procrastinating:
1. You fill your time with low priority tasks. That way it feels like you’re doing something – just not the most important stuff.
2. You keep checking tumblr, facebook, your email messages … basically, anything that serves as a distraction from getting down to work.
3. When you sit down to work, you get up almost immediately to get a coffee, a snack, to look for something you need, or to do something you’ve just remembered or thought about.
4. You leave important stuff on your “to do list” for long periods of time – so you get into the habit of just ignoring it.
5. You’re always waiting for the “right mood” so that you can really get started on those important tasks!
1. Your grades are not a measure of your value and worth.
2. A low or failing grade doesn’t make you worthless.
3. You are valuable because you are you.
4. You don’t have to prove anything to anybody.
5. You are unique, special, and have lots to give and offer.
6. You have people in your life who love and care for you.
7. When one door closes another always opens.
8. Life is full of opportunities, of second chances, and different paths and roads.
1. Prepare as well as you can.
2. Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam.
3. Eat a healthy protein breakfast on the morning of the exam. Avoid drink too much coffee or tea as caffeine is a diuretic.
3. Pack all your essentials the night before the exam (pen,pencil, ruler, calculator, student ID etc.)
4. Walk at least part of the way to school, or the place where you will be sitting the exam (as exercise helps to release endorphins).
5. Plan to arrive early. That allows you time to accommodate any unexpected problems or delays.
6. Take a few deep breaths – inhale and exhale slowly – before you start the exam. Again, that will help to calm your nerves.
7. Remind yourself that it is only a test – and even if things go badly wrong you can usually take the test again. Truly, your life does not depend upon this!
8. Act like you’re the only person in the room. Don’t spend time looking around to see what other people are doing.
1. Set realistic and achievable goals. These should be something that appeal to you as it’s hard to go after another person’s goals.
2. Think of meaningful ways to reward your progress.
3. Expect to have set-backs and to encounter obstacles. When that happens, focus your mind and renew your determination. Refuse to give up.
4. Decide to be a positive thinker. Refuse to stop believing in yourself. When you feel discouraged, decide that you’ll fight on.
5. Share your goals with others, and seek encouragement when you’re finding it hard to keep going on your own.
6. Practice saying no to other options and distractions that may seem appealing – but distract you from achieving your goal.
7. Post inspirational quotes in places you can see to encourage you to work to achieve your goal.
8. Practice self care so you don’t burn out. You need to pace yourself if you are going to reach your goal.