Tips And Tricks To Acing An Exam

Let’s face it – exams are designed to benefit the few who are good at sitting in one place and regurgitating everything that they have learnt for the past year/s. But you too can ace an examination if you know the shortcuts to it. There may be no shortcuts to happiness, but there are definitely a few to acing an exam.

Understand the Rules
Every exam system has a pre-existing rule book. For instance the NAPLAN language conventions year 3 qualification would look at pronunciation of certain words and speed instead of familiarity with the words or knowledge of their meaning. This means that as long as you are able to string sounds together and read, you will have a good chance of passing the exam. This is true for many others papers, especially written ones. Analyse the exams of past years and talk to those who have been examiners before. You will find that examiners prefer certain kinds of answers, even if they are explicitly warned and trained against bias. Understand the rules and learn to use them to your advantage.

Practice Makes Perfect
Most exams are repetitive to a certain extent. After all, there are only so many things you can quiz students on in certain subjects (this doesn’t apply to the humanities, which has endless interpretations). While examiners are careful to not repeat the exact question, they often repeat similar ones, changing values in Math, changing formulas in Chemistry and changing maps in Geography. In order to be as prepared as you can be, look for sites where you can practice – for instance – the opportunity class placement tests past papers. The more you do them, the more the answers and the questions become muscle memory and the less time you will waste at the examination itself trying to remember the process to solve an equation.

Learn to Let Go
The number one reason for students failing or botching up an exam isn’t lack of knowledge or the toughness of the paper; it’s stress. By the time they face it, they have been subjected to every kind of pressure: social, peer, parental, exam stress and many more. They feel as though failing an exam is the end of life itself, when the truth is that an exam is simply another stepping stone. There are plenty more doors to try. Study hard, learn the shortcuts and give it your best shot by all means. But don’t forget that at the end of the day, it’s just another paper. It will hardly define your entire life. In 5 years, no one will even remember.