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Transcript of EXAM PREPARATION
"LIFE IS GETTING COMPLICATED... I'M LOSING MY MIND!"
During this workshop:
Active vs. Passive learning
Memorizing vs. understanding
Exam preparation tips
few weeks leading up to the exam
the night before
the day of the exam
writing your exam (DETER strategy)
Occurs when you use
your senses to take in information e.g.
to a lecture,
= most common way of learning
1. Make a list.
2. Write a statement of intention.
3. Set realistic goals.
4. Break it down into specific tasks.
5. Make your task meaningful.
6. Promise yourself a reward.
7. Eliminate tasks you never plan to do.
8. Estimate time X 100%.
Your is not a computer... and you are not a Parrot!
Your brain = Billions of neurons connected together.
MOST try to learn by memorizing the information in a sequence -
like a parrot
We learn best by connecting ideas together into a web
, rather than trying to store them with rote memorization.
What separates memorization from learning is
a sense of meaning
. When you memorize a fact, it's arbitrary (illogical), interchangeable - but when you learn a fact, it's bound to others by a web of logic.
Rote learning — memorization
Word-for-word = parrot - Cannot explain or formulate ideas in own words
Cannot apply to real life situations
Cannot see relevance of ideas outside the classroom
Does not see differences, similarities, and implications
Interprets ideas literally
Has difficulty solving problems and thinking critically
Believes there is one “right” answer for every question
Apply to real life situations
Can connect classroom and real world
Identify differences, similarities and implications of ideas
Realise figurative and literal iterpretations
Can solve problems and think critically
Accepts that there may be more than one “right” answer to a question depending on the circumstances
Two sides of the same coin…
Don't downplay factual knowledge, because students cannot learn to reason critically without any information to reason about.
Memorized knowledge isn't half as useful as knowledge that's actually understood.
on the subject
Giving yourself time to
identify and reinforce
connections between ideas before you are examined on them
new material by answering questions you ask yourself
Reducing pre-exam stress/anxiety
by avoiding the need to “cram” for an exam
Increasing your self-confidence
by mastering material shortly after it is presented, then confirming your mastery to yourself over the next few classes
"I perform better under pressure."
"When I work when not 'in the mood' my to work isn't very good."
In university up to 70 % of students identify themselves as procrastinators.
Strategies for reducing procrastination
What you can do
Why does this work?
BEFORE THE EXAM
Early start = more time
Reviewing after each class.
*By starting early and studying on a regular basis = better opportunity to absorb the information = EASIER LIFE when it's time to put it all together for the exam.
Organize course material (avoid gaps)
Missed classes? Get the notes!
*Proper organization = WHOLE PICTURE of the amount of material that has to be covered and improve the flow of the study process.
MAP IT OUT
(all of the material that has to be covered)
showing what, when and how much for each day - BE
IF you are up to date =
(not learn from new)
BEHIND & NOT ENOUGH TIME?
DECIDE WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOR THE EXAM!
FOCUS ON CHALLENGING, DIFFICULT AND IMPORTANT WORK!
DONT WASTE TIME
ON UNIMPORTANT WORK - LISTEN TO YOUR LECTURERS.
manageable study sessions
Divide the course material
into small segments and assign them to the study sessions
clear and specific goals
for the study sessions
to ensure that material weighted more heavily in the exam gets sufficient study time
Take into account your
with the material and the
Don't make the study sessions too long (MAX 45 MIN)
Study sessions should have enough
in terms of topics and activities to prevent boredom and loss of effectiveness
Avoid cramming before the exam
regular breaks & get enough sleep
How to Create a Study Plan...
Studying for the Exam
sample questions in the same format as the exam
and answer them in a
simulated exam environment
Old exams and assignments
Write full answers
- helps with the entire thought process
Ask past or senior students
STUCK? Consult with your lecturers, tutors and class mates
Oral Exam with a friend - does he/she understand you?
Essay type to practice writing in the stipulated time
Practice sessions serve as
Check the answers to diagnose your strengths and weaknesses.
Practicing under Exam Conditions
A good study environment
Tools & Techniques
Deal with Your Anxiety
that includes stress management (
breathing, relaxation & positive visualization, and exercising
Determine the source of your exam anxiety:
ack of preparation
but are still panicking or overreacting?
This may be an
irrational response ... consider additional help.
Opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge!
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
• Remind yourself that
it is only an exam and there will be others
when the exam is over.
Think of yourself in a positive way
Think of all the hard work you have done
already or think of what you do know.
Plan ways to improve
Change your attitude
Thinking of yourself as a total person, not just as an exam taker.
Be proactive and Be prepared
Don’t forget the basics
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Before bed - a final review of summaries or notes, especially important ones.
Sleep at least 4 to 6 hours.
When and where
Pack what you’ll need and a back up pen...
Your student card.
Know what you are allowed to take into the exam hall and what not, e.g. calculators, notes, formulas, etc.
Prepare a backpack or bag
Healthy but light dinner. Don’t eat anything that may cause you to feel ill the next day or disrupt a good night’s rest.
Spend 30 minutes organizing work you wish to cram.
Cram only the most important sections of the work, e.g. the survival sections.
Do not waste time on sections you already know.
AGAIN... Know what sections of the exam carries the most marks and focus on those.
Go over all the important lists, tables, graphs, etc.
Practice deep breathing during 5 minute breaks.
Cram... (if you must...)
Don’t drink coffee or take any tablets that will keep you awake or disrupt sleep.
• Comfortable clothing.
• Check materials that you’ll need.
• Eat a good, light meal.
• Take a bottle of water with you.
• Avoid people who freak you out.
• You may go over only the headings or key points of summaries (only as a reminder...)
• BUT: Avoid learning anything new, including the latest gossip.
• Use breathing or relaxation and visualization techniques.
• Arrive early! Arrive at least 1- to 15 minutes before the start of the
• Use the bathroom.
WRITING THE EXAM
D - DIRECTIONS
E - EXAMINE
T - TIME
E - EASIEST
R - REVIEW
The DETER strategy
• Read the exam directions very carefully!
• Ask your lecturer to explain anything about the exam directions you do not understand.
• Only by following the directions can you achieve a good score on the exam.
• If you do not follow the directions, you will not be able to demonstrate what you know.
D = Directions
• Examine the entire exam to see how much you have to do.
• Only by knowing the entire task can you break it down into parts that become manageable for you.
E = Examine
• Once you have examined the entire exam, decide how much time you will spend on each item.
• If there are different points for items, plan to spend the most time on the items that count the most points.
• Planning your time is especially important for essay exams where you must
avoid spending so much time on one item that you have too little time left for other exam items.
T = Time
• Answer the EASY ITEMS FIRST!
• If you get stuck on a difficult item that comes up early in the exam, you may not get to answer items that exam things you know.
E = Easiest
• If you have planned your time correctly, you will have time to review your answers and make them as complete and accurate as possible.
• Also make sure to review the exam directions to
be certain you have answered all items required
R = Review
• Circle or
underline important words
in the item.
the answer choices
before selecting one
answer choices you are certain are not correct.
• Look for two answer choices that are
• Look for
about the correct answer choice in other items on the exam.
• Look for answer choices that contain l
by your lecturer or found in your textbooks.
Do not change your initial answer unless you are sure another answer choice is correct
“all of the above”
if you are certain all other answer choices in the item are correct.
“none of the above”
if you are certain all other answer choices in the item are incorrect.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT
Don't worry about how fast other people finish their exam; just concentrate on your own exam.
If you don't know an answer to a question skip it for the time being (come back to it later if you have time), and remember that you don't have to always get every question right to do well on the exam.
Space out your studying.
Don't try to learn everything the night before.
Try to maintain positive.
Exercising reduce stress.
Show up early.
If you begin to get nervous take a few deep breaths.
Read the directions slowly and carefully.
If you don't understand the directions on the exam... ASK!
Skim through - good idea how to pace yourself.
Write down important formulas, facts, definitions and/or keywords in the margin first so you won't worry about forgetting them.
Do the simple questions first to help build up your confidence for the harder questions.
Focus - Don't let your mind wander.
When the graded exam is returned to you, analyze it to see how you could have done better. Learn from your mistakes and from what you did well. Apply this knowledge when you take the next exam.
You have to know the material to do well on a exam. You have to control exam anxiety to show what you know.
All members = same course.
Small size: 2-4.
Get together regularly
Sharing ideas, knowledge & workload
Each person is an “expert”
Ground rules (e.g. Where, where, time, breaks, contribution etc.)
MUST SHARE the goal of ACADEMIC SUCCESS.
Each person summarizes section(s) of the work and present
Work out solutions together.
Work out problems on own, and bring answers to discuss with group.
Discuss long question (essay) structure and content in group.
Compare & share lecture/class notes, assignments, etc.
Ensure that everyone has some set of notes.
Share extra notes, e.g. charts, mind-maps, ideas, thoughts and summaries.
More activity due to analyzing questions, retrieving details and making of associations!
Procrastinators actively look for distractions, especially ones that don't need heavy-duty commitment.
(E.g. checking e-mails or cleaning house)
Procrastinators are made NOT born
Good, because it's a learned response - can be unlearned
Bad, because although possible to change - takes a lot of psychic energy
NOT EVERYONE THAT THINK THEY ARE PROCRASTINATORS REALLY ARE...
Too many things on their "To Do" list.
They're getting things done, just not as many as they would like.
PROCRASTINATORS LIE TO THEMSELVES!
1. They overestimate the time they have.
2. They underestimate the time it takes.
3. They overestimate how motivated they will feel.
4. They think that succeeding at a task requires that they feel like doing it.
5. They believe that working when not in the mood is suboptimal.
Procrastination is NOT GOOD for your health:
Creates higher levels of stress = stress hormones
Risk for poor health - delay going to Dr.
Weakens immune system
Add stress to relationships
So face it. You've just got to do the task now.
Active learning involves you as the student through
participation and investment of energy
in all three phases of the learning process
(input, operations, and feedback)
. This type of learning is more appropriate to stimulate higher cognitive processes and critical thinking
• Make it work for you.
• Minimize distractions.
• If you need music, remember that:
o Gentle relaxing music helps with
o Active, vibrant music helps with
• Get comfortable but not TOO much.
• Make sure there is enough light.
• Get enough fresh air, open a window.
• Use a proper filing system.
Convert the chapters into various types of
funny flash cards
to help remember the points.
Make absolutely sure that you know when and where you are writing.
Running around trying to find your exam hall ADDS TO STRESS & MAY MAKE YOU PANIC!
1. Read text closely, deliberately, slowly
2. Check for understanding... DONT? re-read and think about it until you understand
3. Reflect and “quiz” yourself
4. When you reach an example in the text, first try to solve it yourself
5. Remember that “thinking you understand the ideas” or the formula is often a very different thing from being able to solve a problem… you must master both before you are ready to take an exam.
6. Stop memorizing, and focus on describing the problem visually as well as verbally. Sketch the situation if possible, and annotate the sketch with key facts from the problem.
7. Teach and explain the topic to someone else… in person or by writing what you would say
According to research - brain is in its most active between
5 - 8 am & 7 - 11 pm = maximum retention power.
who am i?
WHY? IT HELPS YOU TO BE EFFECTIVE + LOWER STRESS.
how much time and effort you must dedicate to studying for the exam.
HOW? .... ASK YOURSELF....
• How much work?
• How difficult is it?
• How much time?
• Other priorities during the study period?
• Format of the exam?
• How important is the exam/test?
• What is your performance target for the exam?
EXCITING TIME OF YOU LIFE
MEETING NEW FRIENDS
TIME TO HAVE FUN
TIME = MONEY
Breathe and do a self-assessment...
ASK YOURSELF ...
HAVE YOU BEEN PERSISTENT ENOUGH?
HAVE YOU BEEN PROCRASTINATING?
HAVE YOU WASTED YOUR TIME & ENERGY ON USELESS ACTIVITIES?
WHERE TO STUDY?
Study in a place where you feel comfortable, relaxed
Where you can concentrate properly.
If you can, study early morning, head to a library or any place where you find a quiet environment.
If you find it helpful.
Don't let it turn into a waste of your time.
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP
Procrastinators distract themselves to regulating their emotions, such as fear of failure.
The bones of the wrist:
Pvt. Tim Hall
for the essential amino acids
(Phenylanine, Valine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Isoleucine, Methionine, Histidine, Arginine, Leucine, Lysine)
NOT ALL EXAM QUESTIONS ARE A QUESTION...
Some items are presented as a statement that includes a
The direction word tells you how to answer to the item.
Recognizing these direction words and knowing what they tell you to do, will help you do well when taking an essay exam.
Analyze, Compare, Contrast, Define, Diagram, Evaluate, Explain, Justify, List, Outline, Summarize and Trace
WHY IS TIME MANAGEMENT IMPORTANT?