Preparation to Ace Your Exams!

Preparing for an exam and passing it is already a challenge as it is, and preparing to ace the exam just exponentially increases the challenge. While most of us may think that acing exams is just for academically gifted or inclined individuals, it can actually be achieved by anyone, with the proper preparation. There may not be a sure-fire way or study formula for achieving top exam marks, but working in areas where you can improve and having a thorough understanding of the subject matter being studied are good ways to start.


We’ll delve more into some of the proven ways of preparing to ace your exams.

Be well-informed about the exam

Before going about studying and burning the midnight oil, you need to know these crucial pieces of information:

  • the topics that will be covered by the exam
  • the textbooks and resource materials
  • the type or format of the exam


These are important in order for you to gather the necessary materials you’ll need for your review sessions. Knowing the exam format (multiple-choice questions, short answers, in-class essay type, etc.) can also help you set your study plans and goals on how to effectively answer the exam.


Prepare your study aids

Your study aids need not be limited to the resources you gather in class. Do not limit yourself to textbooks, handouts and notes. The internet can offer additional research and study resources and make use of it. Academic professionals and mentors at Caddell Prep recommend that you also take advantage of online study aid resources. Select ones that provide diagnostic tests that help determine your strong academic areas and areas which you need to improve on. Online test preparation sites should be interactive and have extensive study resources that match your own exam topics. These resources are available for everyone and anyone who wishes to excel in their studies and exams so these should be fully utilized for your academic success.


Manage your study time

Effective time management plays a crucial role in making your study and review sessions successful. Having enough time to study is the recommended way of allotting your study time. You should have sufficient time for relaxation, study and other important activities and these should be well-scheduled and consistent. While there are some of us who thrive on last-day or last-minute cramming, this is a rather unconventional practice that is not recommended for everyone. If you have tried out cramming and it didn’t work well for you, try a more organized and balanced approach by scheduling your study time. You may need to give more study time on subjects you are struggling with and you can have an easier schedule for subjects that you are strong at. Effectively managing your time for study can do a great deal in achieving the most out of your studies and exams.


Set your study pace and environment

We have different preferences when it comes to the ideal study environment. Some of us may like to study with background music, while others may prefer to study in a peaceful and quiet environment. There may be those that prefer to study on their beds with all their textbooks and notes spread out, and there are also those who prefer to do so on their study table, where their books and notes are within reach. Whatever our study environment preference may be, the bottom line is we have to be comfortable when doing our studies and reviews. Our level of comfort has much to do with how well we can concentrate and focus on the subjects, the important terms and the key principles of the materials we are studying. Thus, set an environment for study that suits you best and you are comfortable learning under.


Simplify your study materials

Term exams are known for being extensive and comprehensive. The same can be said for academic admission and aptitude tests. This means that you have a lot of subject areas to tackle and information to process. Having a cluttered and unstructured intake of knowledge and information can lead to poor retention. Therefore, in order to take a significant load off our brain’s processing burden, we need to find ways to simplify key information in our study materials. Lengthy concepts, descriptions and principles can be summarized as long as the gist of the matter is still there. They can also be divided into smaller details so that they can be easily understood and remembered. Concepts that need enumeration can be best remembered by using mnemonics from the first letters of each item. Diagrams, flow charts and checklists make great visual aids that further enhance your brain’s retention of the subjects you have studied.


Skim through your old exams

You don’t necessarily have to study them, but you just need to revisit the exam formats. Try making a copy of these old exam papers and erase the answer marks and try answering them again under a specified time period. This way, you can practice managing the time you will take to answer the whole set of exams that you will be taking.



Organize a group study session

Break the monotony of studying alone every once in a while. Make your study sessions more interesting and lively by having friends come over to your home or going to their place to study as a group. This can help widen the topics you can handle and your study mates may also have answers to some of your questions and vice versa. Having fun while studying makes a more relaxing environment for learning, but remember to not let distractions take a big chunk out of your group study time.


Take regular breaks

Studying nonstop for several hours will not actually do you any good. Our brains are amazing processors of information, but they can also reach their limits and can also be subject to strain if we push them too hard. This can have an adverse effect on our long term-retention of the knowledge we have acquired.


Choose parts of the day where you feel you are most productive for studying and insert short breaks in between to help your mind relax. You can start your day with a quick scan of your textbooks before going out for an exercise and then take a rest and continue studying. Doing meaningful things in between your study sessions do not actually reset your learning, they give the necessary pause for your brain processing to catch up. So leave your study area for a bit and catch some fresh air, do some stretches, grab some snacks and let your mind take a breather as well.


There are still many other ways you can explore on how you can effectively prepare to ace your exams. Along with the preparation comes the mindset and determination. You also need to ask yourself why you need to ace the exam and will you be willing to make the necessary preparations to achieve it. Once you have all of these covered, acing your exam becomes a good possibility.



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