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Opinions of Monday, 22 June 2020

Columnist: Emmanuel Asiedu

Secret tips for students preparing for examination


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By this time, most people around the world are aware that we are living in challenging times. Due to COVID 19 and its impact on the economy, it is normal for people to be anxious.

If this has had an impact on you and how you are feeling about your exams, It is completely normal.

But it is important to know that corona or no corona, you can still be prepared for your exams and still pass with flying colours.

In this post, I will be given you tips on how to do this.

Tip 1. Get organized.

Since you have an exam I hope you know what is required?

Don’t wait until the week before exams to figure out what you need to do. Just 30 minutes of planning can save hours of wasted time.

Organize your notes for each class and write down all deadlines and exam dates so you can see exactly what you have to do and when. Is the instructor offering remote group study sessions? Make a note of these as well.

Tip 2. Prioritize your tasks.

Prioritize tasks based on what needs immediate attention. Evaluate every assignment on the list to determine what is important versus what is not.

Consider what classes you’re doing well in and where you need to spend more time. Don’t assume that because you understand the material you’ve covered in a class that you can stop studying altogether. Remember, if your school has made Pass/Fail an option because of COVID-19, it’s still preferable to choose to receive a grade if you can be sure it will be a good one.

Tip 3. Make a schedule.

Now make a schedule of what you’d like to get done each day and set a realistic time frame for each activity. No need for a complicated app — a simple list will do — but if you need the tech support, of course there’s an app for this.

While you’re at it, take a few minutes to back up your computer. This is a bad time to lose any work-in-progress.

Tip 4. Know your exam details.

Just as you’ve had to adjust to attending class and submitting coursework online in the correct way in order to receive credit, be sure you follow the procedure for taking the exam. Don’t wait until right before the exam to figure this out.

Tip 5. Ask for help.

If there’s an assignment you don’t understand or a concept that’s giving you trouble, don’t waste time trying to figure it out on your own. Email your instructor, the TA or your classmates for help.

Do not be shy to get help at the eleventh hour. Don’t discount your library, either. Tutoring and counseling are still available remotely. Check for home tutoring website for updates on the services being offered, and then email or call to get connected with the support you need.

Tip 6. Focus on what you can control

In times of uncertainty it’s natural for us to think about, or worry about what might happen in the future. For lots of us, this can be unhelpful as we are worrying about something that we cannot influence or control.

When it comes to your exams, focus on what you can control and try to prepare for your exams as if there is nothing to worry about. Although this is not an easy task, it is the easiest way to try and keep your mind on track and be motivated.

Mindfulness can be a good way to become aware of our thoughts and keep us focused on the present moment.

Tip 7. Take care of yourself.

Don’t skimp on sleep, make sure to eat well, drink plenty of water, and find a way to relax. Relaxing may seem impossible when you’re only three pages into a 15-page paper, but figure out what calms you and do it.

And don’t feel guilty! There’s proof that short breaks help you focus better when you return to a long task like studying for an exam; you’ll be more productive and more able to retain information.

Plus they feel good. Outdoor exercise is a mood lifter. Only remember to put on your face mask if that’s recommended or required. You can also try to meditate. Walk the dog, call a friend, write in a journal, listen to or play music.

Short is the operative word. Fifteen to 20 minutes is about right, and it’s best to leave your workspace or book behind. A 10–20 minute cat nap can also be a good idea.

Tip 8. Turn off distractions

Turn off your phone, your microphone, your webcam — whatever it takes to help you stay focused while working. This isn’t always easy in our connected world, but there are tools available to help set limits and stop distractions.

Tip 9. Don’t focus on coronavirus.

Try not to worry about what comes after the exams, or what’s going on in the world at large. Take a break from the news or at least limit your exposure. You can stay up to date without letting yourself get thoroughly distracted.

It will feel great to give your current exam your best energy, as this will foster a positive outlook when it’s time to turn your attention to other matters.

Tip 10. Know it's OK to feel anxious

Take things day by day and try to use some of the approaches outlined here to stay organized and focused. Reach out to your instructors and classmates as needed, and use the additional support resources available. Remember, you’re not alone — we’re all in this together!

Conclusion

If you are preparing to take a test, remember that you are in a situation that you could never have prepared for. It’s understandable if you have days where you feel stressed, or unmotivated or unsure how you feel.

These are all normal feelings to have. Try to do as much as you can to stay focused and doing a little each day should help you to feel less stressed in the long run.

I hope this information has been helpful.

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