Exam culture has become so distorted that many students believe that last-minute cramming is the only way to study. There are so many reasons why cramming is an ineffective exam preparation method. As a result, students perform poorly on their final exams, despite feeling completely drained due to studies.
Fortunately, there is an easier and more effective method to prepare for final exams. The secret here is balance, discipline, and consistency. It is possible to balance exam preparation alongside the school if you follow these steps:
The biggest reason for last-minute cramming is laziness. Students have a tendency to avoid studying until they absolutely have to. This backfires on them as they are forced to spend long nights learning the entire syllabus, with little effectiveness. It is totally possible to prepare for exams during the school year, as long as you stop procrastinating. Set your mind to your exam preparation and get started without delay.
Create a Schedule
Develop a study schedule that does not conflict with your school timings. Choose study timings that are suitable for you. For example, if you are more productive in the morning, then wake up early to study before school. Otherwise, an ideal time to study is after school, after having lunch and a nap. The timetable should give you enough time to learn a chapter, solve past papers, or revise. Also include time for small breaks in between study sessions to maintain productivity.
Write Notes in Class
The chapters taught in class are according to the final exams syllabus. So paying attention in class itself is a form of exam preparation. In order to boost your concentration, write notes during class. These notes will come in handy when you revise the chapter and solve past papers. Doing so will facilitate better memory retention, so there will be no need for last-minute cramming. Try to keep your notes neat and precise, as this will make revision much easier for you.
Make it a habit to revise the daily lectures as soon as you get home. This way, the information will be refreshed in your mind. This will facilitate better memory retention, and clear up any confusion you have. Moreover, if you revise your lectures each day, it will give you a head start on your exam preparation, as you will spend less time re-learning the chapter. Rather, you will be able to go through it once and move on to past papers.
Solve Past Papers
When students engage in last-minute cramming, they do not have enough time to solve past papers. This is harmful as past papers are the single best method of exam preparation. Therefore, start studying during the school year and solve past papers questions each time you cover a chapter. Be sure to obtain the previous 5 years solved past papers for maximum preparation.
You will undoubtedly have a copy of the syllabus with you, so study ahead. Each night, self-study the chapter that will be taught in the next lecture. This way, you will already have an idea of the topic, so it will be easier to understand the lecture. You can even create a list of questions to ask the teacher in advance. Furthermore, you will be more interested in the class if you have an idea of what is being taught. Studying ahead will improve memory retention and reduce the need for last-minute cramming.
If you encourage your friends to start exam preparation during the school year, it will be mutually beneficial. Form study groups after school, where you can work together to complete homework, revise the lecture, study ahead, and solve past papers. Creating a group study routine will keep you motivated to study and is a great opportunity to clarify concepts and confusion through discussions with your classmates.
Ask for Help
In the last few days before exams, teachers are usually busy and do not have time to help you with your individual concerns. However, if you ask for help on confusing topics during the school year, there will be plenty of time to get help. This way, you will receive the individual attention you require from your teacher. It will make exam preparation smoother and easier. Furthermore, teachers will be more willing to help students that make an effort without procrastinating.
These simple tips will make a great difference in helping you study for final exams during the school year. Not only will it save yourself from stressful last-minute cramming, but it will also be more effective for learning and memory retention. So, stop delaying and start studying for the final exams during the school year.