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The basics
Study abroad : Once you arrive

7 powerful tips to ace that exam

Exams are right around the corner. Don’t worry. We’ve curated these seven tips to help you sail through all of your exams.

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Every three or six months or so you go through the same cycle. Exams are coming up and you’re freaking out. Don’t fret. We’ve got you. Utilise these seven tips to help you knock your exams out of the park. It’s important that while kicking back and unwinding during your holidays is good, you should never let your summer holidays or any break for that matter, go to waste.


Check your schedule

Always check the schedule of your exams and regularly check them for any updates, sometimes exam dates get changed or shifted around at the university. Ensure that you spend equal time studying all of your subjects.


Revision, revision, revision

Constant revision is key. This means that even before exam season rolls around, it’s advisable that you make it a habit to revise the topic that was just covered. For instance, some of our graduates have shared that in order to get ahead of their peers who are sleeping in on the mornings that they don’t have classes, these graduates wake up early, head down to the library to look at the topics covered in the previous week’s lectures prior to the classes that they will have later that day. This ensures that the topics are fresh in their minds and aids them in making linkages between one topic to another and in recall during exams. 


Know which to prioritise

Know yourself. Which subjects are you most weak at? Which are your strongest? Set aside more time for the ones that you’re not as good at. Don’t just favour topics that you like and are strong in. an exam will cover both areas. Look at past exam papers, talk to your seniors and create a revision based on that.


Improve your recall through linking

Exams are rarely open book affairs, and when they are, those books are of no use to you. Constant revision, as mentioned earlier will help in your recall during the day of your exam. Improving your memory can be done in various ways, chief of them being the use of flashcards. Note-taking, also helps your memory. After listening to what your professor has to say on the subject, writing those pertinent facts down has been scientifically proven to help with memory recall. Creating links from one topic to another, either through a mind map or through your own reasoning also helps with recall. This is because the brain loves linkages. Our neurons are geared to linking things in our brains so that things are stored in memory.


Planning your revision schedule

Set aside your hobbies and focus solely on preparing for your upcoming exams. You’ll have time to dedicate to them once your exams are over. Maximise the time that you have. Do you travel on the bus to school everyday? Use that time to flip through your flashcards. Have a long break between lectures? Head to the library to revise the topics that you’re weak at. Practice writing down all your answers within the required time. Especially for subjects that have essay questions, you will need to write fast and legibliy. Prepare for this by taking timed exams on your own. This prevents your hand from inconveniently cramping up during the exam. It also helps with the stress. Your brain is afraid of what is unfamiliar. Doing continual exam practice sessions will get you used to an exam setting and take some of the edge of. Exercise and proper, healthy meals are just as eseential. You don’t want to fall sick on the day of your exam or even the day before (this means that you will feel groggy and weak the next day and won’t be on the top of your game). 

On the day of the exam, plan your time well. Some exams give you time to flip over the exam paper to read the questions, use that time wisely, briefly skimp through the questions and start mentally preparing your answers. It’s best if you can set aside ten mins to read through your answers and ensure that you haven’t missed out any questions that could cost you your grade.


Don’t freak out

This might be easier said than done you say. Yes, we understand, having been students ourselves, and nervous wrecks during the weeks preceding our exams, we’re well aware how difficult it can be to reign in those stress levels. What we have found out is that sticking to your schedule come hell or high water, being confident in the effort that you’ve put in and ensuring that exercise and don’t over-do it helps. Some of us found that meditation helps. Others have shared that turning to their faith helps. It’s important that you have a strong support network, one that you can share all of your worries and fears with.


Get enough ZZzs

We cannot stress enough on the importance of getting enough rest. It’s tempting to just burn midnight oil and study throughout the night for two, three nights in a row. Even if your young body can take the abuse and recover, it might not do so in time for your exams. What’s worse is that the toll will take place right when you’re sitting in the examination hall writing down your answers. Furthermore, science has proven that sleep deprivation can have devastating effects on your body years after the fact. It can even lead to weight gain and health issues. Sleep. If you usually turn in at twelve am, then do so every night, don’t wreck your sleep schedule and if you absolutely have to, ensure that you make up your sleep debt the very next day.


All the best!! You’ve got this!


Contemplating studying abroad? Check out the courses available here.

Or download a university’s prospectus now!



Useful links

Awesome libraries to visit

7 ways to pay attention in class

4 ways to keep in touch with your loved ones when abroad

Top tips when applying for universities in the UK and US

Things to do before your study abroad trip

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