Image via Adobe Stock
Image via Adobe Stock
Many tertiary education institutions are so centred around covering the educational material itself that they overlook teaching students the best way to get ready for tests and exams.
In the event that students have never been taught how to study effectively, how are they expected to know how to? It’s like being told to drive yet without being taught. Unfortunately, often when students think they’re studying effectively, their methods are actually not as useful as they believe.
Often you are the biggest obstacle standing in the way of completing your studies. That means you need to watch out for bad habits that can prevent you from achieving your best results.
Not answering questions properly in the course of an exam or test is one of the most common mistakes.
The problem is that if you don’t read a question thoroughly, your mind can easily trick you into thinking that you’re being asked something else. And that may lead you to write a completely different answer from the one being asked.
Always read the questions very cautiously, and then read it over again. Thoroughly examine exactly what the question is asking, circle or underline important words.
It might seem sensible to answer the tough questions first but leaving the easy ones for the last minute is really not a good idea.
If you’ve recognised questions you assume you may answer particularly easily, do them first. This way, you’ve certainly scored a few marks.
If you start with the difficult questions, you may not have enough time to answer the easy ones because you spent too much time on the difficult ones. You may gain less marks.
The most common study technique is to study notes from class. Unfortunately, this method isn’t always very effective, because it is extraordinarily passive.
Students who use this method will effectively admit that they can read over a page of notes and then not remember what they have just read. It is basically that’s cramming.
Many students think they have lots of time to prepare. All too often they only realise realise the day before that they have to study, which leads to cramming.
Adequate sleep plays a large part in improving memory, as the mind uses sleep to form new connections and prioritise retaining the maximum essential information.
Not planning your time during an exam is another mistake many students make. Many students rush through the later parts of a paper due to terrible time management.
It is important that you plan how much time you’ll use on every question, allocating the right amount of time based on questions you are confident in and what number of marks they may be worth.
Some students depend completely on their lecturers. They think that if they do not attend the classes, they will still get organised for the exams very quickly by tapping the lecturers.
However, by doing this, they will miss out on important topics covered in class which might come up on the exams. Don’t ever leave your fate within the arms of others.
Students regularly promise themselves that they will limit their time, or use their gadgets for study purposes. However, they often fail to maintain their promise and allow notifications from Facebook, WhatsApp, Gmail and the like to distract them.
Some students eat less over exams examination because they think that food will make them feel sleepy.
Yes and no! This can be true as if we eat an excessive amount of starchy food we are likely to feel sleepy.
However, if you are eating nutritious food which is good for your mind it will sharpen your memory and concentration. Look for fruit and vegetables, and foods like coffee, avocado, fish and dark chocolate.
Sometimes a task feels so intimidating that students are lazy to get it done as they fear they will fail.
The solution to overcome this fear is to begin tackling the task ahead of time. Once you’ve started, you’ll inevitably find that completing it isn’t as difficult as you were thinking.
Many students drop out because they’ve chosen a course that doesn’t align with their passions or interests. It is vital to properly assess your personality and career goals before you spend time and money on your studies.
There’s no point in studying for the sake of studying. You should have an idea of what you would like to gain from your studies. Having your career goal in mind, for example, will keep you motivated. So take your time to write down and determine exactly where you would like to be with your qualification.
Exam season can be terribly nerve-racking and students may notice that they create mistakes they may have avoided. Bear in mind that it’s necessary to give yourself enough time to prepare for that exam.
Take charge of your future!