Preparing for mid-year exams

Preparing for mid-term or final exams can be very overwhelming. However, there are ways to get us through exam season with less stress and anxiety. Here’s how you can be better prepared for exam season.

Review class notes daily

It’s important to keep up with readings and take notes in class- this makes preparation much easier, rather than cramming everything a few days before your exam. A good approach is to review your class notes every day. Creating summaries, mind maps, graphs, and charts can also help. This will also allow you to ask questions on topics/subjects you need extra help with, in advance. Dedicating between 30-90 minutes every day, reviewing what you learned in class and making notes, will ensure you’re better prepared when it comes to exams.

Know the structure of the test

It’s also a good idea to know the structure and academic weight of your upcoming exam/s, and you should not hesitate to ask your teacher/tutor about this in advance. Depending on whether it’s multiple choice, short answer, essay format or a mixture of all three, it will help determine how you should go about preparing you for the exam. This will allow you to schedule your time wisely, so you know which sections to direct your focus towards.

Take a practice test

A good way to test if you understand the work is to do practice tests. This can involve doing past papers or activity sections from your textbook. Testing your knowledge as part of exam preparation, will allow you to identify your strong and weak areas, which you can improve on. Remember to consult with your teacher/tutor on anything you don’t understand.

Create a study group

A group study session is also a great way to review and compare notes, ask each other questions, explain ideas and discuss the coming exam. Studying with friends can also help keep you on track. Setting a specific day and time for study sessions can help with time-management. Although you can be easily distracted when studying with friends, try to keep the focus on studying.

Rest is important

Although cramming the night before sounds like a good idea, it’s actually bad for your health and can lead to a burnout or blank out during the exam. It’s important to rest and get proper sleep before any exam. While resting, you’re allowing your brain to process all the information you’ve learnt. Getting enough sleep will also ensure you don’t feel tired during your exam.

It’s also important to take frequent breaks while studying. Take a 5–15-minute break for every hour of studying. Taking study breaks will help you retain the information and can improve overall focus and attention.

Preparing for exam season doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful, it just involves putting in a little extra time and effort each day. Following the tips I’ve mentioned above, will ensure you go into your next exam with confidence.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).