How to Improve Your Exam Performance: Before & During Tips

How to Improve Your Exam Performance: Before & During Tips

The level of stress experienced by college students skyrockets during the exam periods. This has a profound negative impact on both their physical and mental health, thus reducing their ability to perform well on those exams. Which leads to even more stress. This vicious cycle is hard to break, but if you prepare for exams and work on them in an organized and efficient manner, you’ll be able to reduce those stress levels significantly.

How to Boost Exam Performance: Tips for Before the Exam Period

1. Take efficient notes in class

Taking notes in class is a key factor for making your exam prep period less busy and stressful. With efficient notes on hand, you won’t have to waste time digging through textbooks and trying to compile materials for revision.

Use specialized note-taking methods for maximum efficiency. The most popular options today are:

  • Cornell note-taking system
  • Outline notes
  • The Boxing Method

You can also benefit from using mind maps while taking notes, but it’s more of a method for effective notes organization. If you do this using a tablet or a smartphone, you can use specialized apps, like Mindly, Mindomo, SimpleMind, or SchematicMind.

2. Make the most from your assignments

Many students do not realize that a big part of prep work for exams actually takes place when they work on homework assignments, like essays. According to Bid4Papers, when completing an assignment a student needs to have two important goals in mind, to satisfy the professor and to learn from it.

The learning part is what you need to focus on, because you’ll need to use the knowledge you gain through work during the exam. Therefore, whether you write the assignment yourself or have a professional help you with it, you should go over the completed text once more and take notes.Apply the same techniques to these notes that you do to your notes from class.

3. Create a revision schedule and stick to it!

The best way to reduce pre-exam stress is not to let it hit you all at once while you are trying to cram months-worth of data into your head three days before the exam. Start preparing 4-2 weeks before the exam and break your study sessions into small parts so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Use a planner app like GetRevising, MyStudyLife, or Todait apps to manage your time most efficiently.

4. Complete practice tests (or learn from previous exams)

Standardized exams all have specialized practice tests available online, which you need to use in order to understand how exam works. These ‘mock tests’ will allow you to develop a plan for completing the exam itself. In particular, you will be able to develop a timetable for completing the exam by calculating how much time you can afford to spend on each questions. Prioritize those that give you more points.

If it’s not a standardized text you’re facing, try to get your hands on some old exam papers. You should ask your professor directly or talk to older students.

How to Improve Your Exam Performance: What to Do During the Exam

1. Answer questions exactly

Do not waste your time on lengthy introductions and adding more information than necessary when answering exam questions. Instead, read the question twice and pay attention to wording. The words used in the question point to exactly what must be included in the answer.

2. Skip a question you don’t know the answer to (if it’s not multiple choice)

Don’t dwell on questions you don’t know as to not waste time. If you can, you can return to them later. However, if it’s a multiple choice question, you should pick the answer that seems the most probable. This will give you a chance of scoring, whereas a missed question brings no points at all.

3. Go over all of your exam in the beginning and prioritize

When looking through the exam, calculate how much time per question you need. Then, prioritize based on the question value. Finally, prioritize based on your personal knowledge. Start with the questions you like and know best.

While the abolishing of standardized tests has already started, college exams are definitely here to stay. It’s a proven fact that they are extremely helpful for learning, and this value exceeds the effect of stress they have on students. Therefore, minimizing that stress through self-organization and specialized apps is the best thing you can do today.

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