Posts tagged exams
Posts tagged exams
1. If you’re procrastinating because you’re feeling stuck (eg, if you don’t really understand a school assignment, or you don’t know what’s expected, or you don’t know where to start) then pluck up the courage to ask for some help. When you know what you’re doing, it’s easier to work.
2. Remind yourself that most decisions aren’t major. If you get it wrong, you can start over again … or change your direction … or have another try.
3. If the task seems overwhelming, just take a baby step. That, at least, will get you moving – so the next step’s easier.
4. Tell yourself that you can suffer for up to twenty minutes – and then you’ll return to doing things you want to do. You’ll be surprised to discover that “suffering’s” not that bad.
5. Decide to do the task as soon as you get up – as the more you put it off, the worse it’s going to seem!
6. Don’t pretend that other work counts just as much as what you’re leaving. Simply acting like you’re busy won’t make it go away. Be honest with yourself … and do what’s most important first.
1. Start today. Even if it’s weeks until the exam, write down the date, and how many days you have. Don’t live in denial – that date will come around!
2. Just do it. The hardest part is always getting started on revision. So don’t give in to delay tactics. If you don’t know what to study, just start at the beginning, or start with the work that you find the easiest. That will help motivate you to do the harder work.
3. Get ready to take notes. Grab your books and binders, and any other notes, and open them up at the first unit you did. Then work through this material, section by section, noticing the headings and any key words. These are crucial for knowing the concepts you must cover – as they’re very likely to appear on the exam. When you’ve finished unit one, move on to unit two, then unit three, then unit four ….
4. Work on you time management skills. Make a study schedule that’s realistic, and consciously check off the work you do each day. Leave extra chunks of time for work that’s hard to understand, and block off some days to just have fun, chill and relax. Then make the decision that you’ll stick to your schedule – and reward yourself for staying with your study plan.
5. Pace yourself. Cramming doesn’t work. It’s too much to remember. It also multiplies your stress which makes it much harder to study. So resist the urge to put things off, and do them later. Keep working on small chunks – that way, you’ll cover everything.
1. Other peoples’ expectations of you. At the end of the day, it’s your life not their life - so just be yourself and set,and go for, your own goals.
2. What other people say and do. It’s not up to us to control other people, or to change how they act, or to make their decisions.
3. Expecting perfection. It’s unrealistic to aim for perfection. You’ll just be disappointed and discouraged all the time.
4. Getting it wrong. We all make mistakes in our journey through this life. That’s simply part of learning, and being normal and human.
6. Fitting in. Although social skills matter, and it’s good to think of others, you also need to be yourself - a special, unique individual. Beware - conformity can kill individuality.
7. Being right. This is highly over-rated and can cause a lot of stress. If you’re confident and real you don’t need to prove you’re right!
8. Life being out of control. At the end of the day, there’s not much we can control – except our own reactions and our attitudes to problems. So change what you can – and then relax and enjoy life.
1. Admit that multitasking makes you less effective – and don’t do it if the work is important.
2. Know when you work best – and schedule studying, assignments and projects for that part of the day.
3. Do the most important tasks first. For example, if a project is worth a large proportion of your grade, then prioritise the time you spend on that (whether you like the subject or not.)
4. Check email, facebook, messages, texts etc at set times of the day. Don’t look at them at other times.
5. Know what works as a reward for you, and reward yourself with that when you complete a task. (But don’t cheat and reward yourself until the task is done!)
6. Have an organised to-do list, and work through it, item by item.
7. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked by friends, or unexpected distractions and opportunities.
8. Schedule in some leisure as you can’t work all the time.
1. Reward yourself for studying and working on assignments. However, you need to do this after you’ve done everything you planned to do!
2. Study with others (But make sure you work and don’t just socialise.)
3. Keep your long-term goals in sight. They’ll slip through your fingers if you don’t do the work.
4. Cut out distractions. If you’re surrounded by things that you’d rather do than work, you’ll probably abandon your boring studying.
5. Develop an interest in the subjects you’re studying. That way, the work won’t be such a drag.
6. Take regular breaks. These should be at logical points in your work. That makes it easier to resume your studying, and to remember what you were working on before.
7. Work somewhere bright, warm and comfortable.
8. Set reasonable study goals for each session.
9. Start early in the day at weekends, and early in the evenings on week days. The longer you put it off your studying, the harder and more onerous it seems.
10. Just do it. It’s surprisingly rewarding to do something that’s tough!
Develop your stress busting skills by working through the following three steps:
1. Realize when you’re stressed – The first step to reducing stress is recognizing what stress feels like. How does your body feel when you’re stressed? Are your muscles or stomach tight or sore? Are your hands clenched? Is your breath shallow? Being aware of your physical response to stress will help regulate tension when it occurs.
2. Identify your stress response – Everyone reacts differently to stress. If you tend to become angry or agitated under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that quiet you down. If you tend to become depressed or withdrawn, you will respond best to stress relief activities that are stimulating. If you tend to freeze—speeding up in some ways while slowing down in others—you need stress relief activities that provide both comfort and stimulation.
3. Discover the stress-busting techniques that work for you – The best way to reduce stress quickly is by engaging one or more of your senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Each person responds differently to sensory input, so you need to find things that are soothing and/or energizing to you. For example, if you’re a visual person you can relieve stress by surrounding yourself with uplifting images. If you respond more to sound, you may find a wind chime, a favorite piece of music, or the sound of a water fountain helps to quickly reduce your stress levels.
1. Putting off until tomorrow what you can do today.
2. Social networking (and encouraging friends to waste time, too, by texting or messaging them, or commenting on new blog entries, photos and status updates).
3. Writing to-do lists (instead of working on the actual assignments or tasks).
4. Cleaning and tidying up (as you can’t work in a messy room).
5. Organising your work (into neat piles, coloured folders etc.)
6. Surfing the web (usually with no clear goal in mind – so it’s more of a distraction technique, or a way of relieving boredom).
7. Going in search of food; leaving your work to grab a coffee with friends.
8. Phone calls to friends (which often end up lasting longer than you’d intended).
9. Playing computer games (which can eat up a lot more time than you can afford!)
10. Exercise. (This can seem virtuous – but if it takes you away from important work then it’s more of a distraction than a proper excuse).
1. Plan your day in advance. That means you can get up and get started right away instead of frittering or wasting time. (Often writing a “to do list” is a useful idea.)
2. Decide on your priorities, and do the most important things first.
3. Also, do the hardest task first. Otherwise, they will niggle at you constantly and slowly drain away your energy.
4. Avoid multi-tasking when you’re working on something important.
5. However, it’s good to multitask when we’re doing menial, repetitive and boring tasks.
6. Ditch requests and tasks that are unimportant, and a total waste of your time!
7. Commit to NOT procrastinating. Ask a friend to keep you accountable.
8. Be organised. This includes engaging in advanced planning; knowing what you need for the task; having everything you need close at hand; bundling similar tasks together; and working in a relatively tidy and clutter-free environment.
9. Cut out distractions and avoid time wasters (social media, cell phones, highly social or demanding people etc)
10. Know what your most productive time of day is and treat that as a sacrosanct period for working.
11. Get into the habit of shutting off racing, distracting and negative thoughts. This is a crucial form of self-discipline.
12. Break large tasks down into smaller sub-tasks – and set achievable deadlines for these.
1. Aim high. Plan on always getting the best marks you can in each test you take. Measure yourself against yourself. Try to get a higher score on this test than the last test.
2. Plan how your will complete your assignments in advance. You need to know what you are doing, when you are doing it, and have a deadline for when it will be completed, before you even start working on the assignment.
3. Devise an effective study plan so you are constantly preparing for exams, and don’t have to cram at the last minute when you feel you’re running out of time.
4. Know what you’re being evaluated on, and what the different weightings are. (Assignments, tests, exams, presentations, group work, attendance, class participation etc.)
5. Ask your teachers or professors for help if there’s something you can’t do, or don’t understand.
6. Learn new material and concepts as soon as it’s taught. Our memory fades quickly, and we require rehearsal and practice to consolidate learning, and transfer material to our long term memory.
7. Take notes, and try putting ideas, concepts and facts into your own words. Summarise the material in your mind – but then test yourself on important details.
8. Investigate webcasts and use those to enhance, and enrich, your learning.
9. Make use of small pockets of time to work on assignments, and to fit in extra studying and self-testing.
10. Do past papers and talk to others who have sat the exams before.
1. Review your performance on previous tests. Note any specific problems you had, and conscientiously work on those.
2. Arrive in plenty of time for the test. Make a note in advance of what you will need and lay those items out the night before the test (pens, erasers, ID etc)
3. Make sure you don’t drink too much just before you set the test. Also, go to the washroom immediately before you enter the examination room.
4. Eat a protein meal before taking the test as protein breaks down more slowly than carbohydrates so that should stave off any hunger pangs. However, if you’re allowed to take a snack, like a museli bar, into the examination room then it’s a good idea to do so.
5. Dress in loose comfortable clothes. You don’t want to be too hot or cold as that will distract you from your work. Also, choose a seat and location where you feel you will be comfortable, and will not be distracted.
6. Try to relax. Think confident and positive thoughts. Take some deep breaths as you enter the room (and avoid other students who you know will be stressed as stress can be contagious in test situations.)
7. Read through the instructions slowly and carefully. Try to avoid careless errors.
8. If you think you’ll have plenty of time for the test, begin by quickly scanning over the question before you attempt to work on the answers.
9. Be strategic in the way you answer the questions. Do the easy ones first as that will increase your confidence. After that, move on to the questions that assign the most points. On tests with essay questions, plan what you will write before you start writing. Make an outline and sequence the order of your paragraphs.
10. If you have time at the end of the test, go back over the paper and review your answers. Make sure you have answered ALL the questions, and have done so correctly. Don’t forget to turn over the last page to make sure you haven’t left out any questions.
If you can answer “yes” to most of these questions then you’ve managed the art of time management:
1. Are able to balance work, college commitments and your social life?
2. Do you have clear and specific goals?
3. Do you timelines and deadlines for achieving these goals?
4. Do you usually hand any work in on time, or do you stay up all night before the work is due?
5. Are you good at estimating how long a task will take?
6. Do you know your most productive time of day, and schedule your commitments to maximise performance?
7. Are you good at focusing on what is most important, and prioritising what needs to be done?
8. Are you able to avoid unwanted interruptions in the time you’ve set aside for studies (facebook, tumblr, calls, texts, friends etc)?
9. Are you able to say “no” to people and things who waste your time, or stop you being productive?
10. Do you schedule in some downtime, and make time for your friends?
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!
1. Get up early on school days. Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready in the morning (and don’t switch off your alarm clock).
2. Prepare your clothes and school supplies the night before.
3. Prepare a “to do list” for each day. Do this in the evening, before you go to bed.
4. Have a designated study area (that doesn’t include in front of the TV). Keep this free of clutter, with essential supplies close at hand.
5. Don’t overload your schedule with extracurricular activities. Allow yourself some time just to chill and do nothing.
6. Use a calendar to keep on top of homework and tests. Some people find using colour coding helps.
7. Have regular, and consistent, study times.
1. Try and give your work your full and undivided attention. Don’t multitask or flip between activities when it is important to retain what you are learning.
2. Study over a number of equally spaced sessions instead of cramming the week before exams. That allows you to gradually consolidate your learning.
3. Organize your material in a related and logical way as it’s easier to memorize your work in chunks.
4. Use mnemonics to aid with recall. For example, rhymes, jokes and images can often help with this.
5. Relate new material to previous stuff you’ve learned. This establishes a relationship between the old and new.
6. Use visual materials – such as photographs and tables - to help you memorize numbers, dates and facts.
7. Share what you’re learning with someone else. Trying to teach others can highlight any flaws – or bits of the material you don’t know very well.
8. Spend extra time studying material in the middle and the end of the textbook. Also, allocate more time for more difficult work, or material that’s hard to really grasp and understand.
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!