By Gaby Ndongo
It may be the first, second, third or even fifth time writing your final semester exams. But regardless of the number of exams you’ve written, it’s normal to be a little bit nervous. Below are 7 tips to help ace your exams.
1. Revise the semester’s assessments
Work once more on the class exercises, tests, weekly and major assignments given during the semester. Use the feedback in these assessments to identify your areas of weakness. Take note of your mistakes or things you do not understand and ask your tutors or lecturers to help you work on these areas.
It will also give you a chance to get accustomed to the type of questions that are regularly asked during assessments and which may be asked in exams.
2. Make use of your course’s teaching staff
Consult the tutors and lectures for clarification on anything you didn’t understand during the semester. Remember that they are paid to ensure you pass with the highest marks that you can obtain.
But they can only do so if you consult. So, you should approach them for assistance on any of the course work that is troubling you.
3. Consult your semester’s notes
Refer to and then modify the notes taken during and for lectures, test periods, tutorials and other assessments. These sets of notes are usually personal as they are written in ways that only you can understand, which makes the revision process easier.
4. Attend all revision sessions
Attending those end-of-semester revision classes can be a strenuous exercise but make sure you go anyway. Lecturers tend to give exam scopes and important tips that are really worthwhile.
Attending workshops is also a good idea as you get the chance to meet students who are in the same state of mind as you are. It’s always reassuring to know that you are not the only one who is feeling nervous and stressed.
5. Communicate your knowledge to someone
Explaining what you remember to a friend or family member is a good exercise for your memory and understanding. You may want to impress your girlfriend by explaining all those complicated theories you’ve been learning or try and explain something in very simple terms to a younger sibling.
6. Use multimedia
My younger brother is studying a BSC in Biological Science at Wits. Despite all the complex modules that he has to deal with such as Biochemistry and Mathematics, he still manages to score distinctions.
He says that the tricks that work for him are to keep the work as a summary and make use of videos to learn and revise content. In his case, YouTube videos come in-handy to explain the processes that he found difficult to comprehend and remember.
7. Make your study material portable
In first year, my journalism tutor gave me a piece of solid advice. She said it is helpful to transfer readings and typed notes to my phone so that I could read them anywhere. Doing this means you can revise your work when travelling to campus in a taxi or bus. This is also time saving.
Using blank cards to write key words and phrases upon can also be helpful as they will serve as revision and memorising items, for instance when you’re standing in a queue at a shop. TOJ
Writing by Gaby Ndongo; Editing by Amber Richardson