Raise your hand if you like exams. Anyone?
Even though people don’t like exams, they are a part of education that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So should we scream and yell about the injustice? While that might be part of the studying process that probably isn’t going to do much for being successful.
Fear and lack of control are emotional triggers that need to be measured and quelled. Don’t worry it’s possible.
Think of your exam like building a wall. You wouldn’t take a 100 bricks, throw them into a pile and hope it builds itself. So don’t do that with exam preparation and studying.
Here are a few easy steps to gaining control and reducing the fear.
Break everything into tangible bites. Exams can be daunting because we try and see the entire test as one big entity while we prepare.
2. Get Organized
Write down what is going to be on the exam into sections. Take the information for each section and turn them into ‘mental’ bites you can retain. Just like building the wall, each piece of information is a brick.
Make a schedule working backward from the exam date. Time management and knowing what you have to work with is vital. Put specific time to study for each section. If there are sections that are harder for you, give yourself more time on your schedule. It is helpful to open topics closer to the exam to ensure you have extra time if you need it.
What happens when we don’t manage or have enough time? Stress.
3. Speak Up
Not sure what will be on the exam- ask your teacher.
You need to be the best advocate for yourself. What’s better, not questioning your teacher and feeling less stressed, or asking your teacher and getting a better grade?
4. Avoid Distractions
When you’re stressed or working on something you don’t want to you can find a distraction in anything! Keep your study space clear from objects that don’t have to do with your exam- this includes your mobile phone.
Whether you’re the best student or one who struggles throughout the year these easy steps can make studying more productive and a lot less stressful.
Fight stress by taking control.
Unlike school, one of the most significant values in having a tutor is finding a tutor that can teach the way you learn best.
What learning style works for you?
Visual (images, photos, video)
Verbal (Saying and writing words)
Aural (Audible and music)
Physical (Using your body and touch)
Find a tutor who knows how to match your style will be an essential piece of your partnership. If you don’t already know, identify your style and when selecting a tutor, ask them how they work with students who have your style. Don’t hesitate to ask for examples. The benefit of online tutoring is you don’t have to settle. The right tutor for you is out there.
Lastly, when you’re not with your tutor, it is good to recognize if you prefer to Social (in groups) or Solitary (being alone) studying.
Understanding your styles and your tutor’s abilities is the first step to a long and fruitful relationship.
One of the keys to a strong education is learning how to be a better student. That includes training your brain.
By establishing patterns for achieving goals, associations can be formed between what is going on around you. In the future when similar conditions occur your brain is trained to retrieve and facilitate more effective decision-making that drives smarter choices.
Critical tactics for training the brain:
1. Define your actions
2. Set rules
3. Establish rewards
Performance monitoring helps enable this style of learning by strengthening the activity in the brain that predicts rewards and guides your behavior needed to achieve it.
There is more to reward-based learning than meets the eye. The value is in your brain!
Neurocognitive mechanisms of cognitive control: The role
of prefrontal cortex in action selection, response
inhibition, performance monitoring, and reward-based learning
K. Richard Ridderinkhofa,b,*, Wery P.M. van den Wildenberga, c,
Sidney J. Segalowitzd, Cameron S. Cartere