As promised… how I approached my exams

So as promised in my last blog post, I said I’d talk about a few techniques I used both last year (during my first year) and this year to tackle my exams.

  1. Past Papers – This one seems a bit obvious, but I find that past papers give a great indication of how much you’re expected to know & what you’re exactly expected to know. Lecturers teach a lot of material in an extremely short period of time and it’s no lie that they won’t be able to fit in a large amount of what they have taught into a 2-3 hour exam, so with more practical exams that require applying knowledge of understanding – such as an exam which requires you to write a class in Java with numerous methods to perform something or writing an SVG image in an exam – the more practice you get, the better.
  2. Don’t neglect Class Tests during the semester – Again, seems a bit obvious because nobody wants to get 0% on an assessed class test they have… right? BUT, what I’m emphasizing is that it’s still important to make sure you revise for them the same way you would for an exam for two main reasons in my opinion.
    a) Assuming you genuinely approach the class test the same way you approach an exam, you’ll therefore most likely make notes… right? Make them NOW, during the semester whilst revising for your class test so you don’t have to waste time closer to the exam having to make them!
    b) If you already revised properly for a class test, revising for the harder exam will seem less like revising everything from scratch (learning new stuff) and rather just refreshing your memory with what you already know. It seems silly if there is a good two months between the class test & the exam but trust me… try it!
  3. Finally, learn what learning style you are. I don’t mean go and take tests and all that fancy stuff, just keep it simple. Some people learn better by doing something, others learn better by listening to something & others learn better by seeing something done. For example, I used to have a friend back in school who would watch the teacher do 1 maths example on the board and understand off the trot. On the other hand, I would never feel confident until I tackled a few questions alone on paper & pen. I also recall things I’ve written in the past during exams, which makes me think I learn by doing rather than listening or seeing. But my point is, know your body and build your revision around your strengths. If you learn best by listening then read your notes/lecture slides out loud… or if you want to go one step further, record your voice reading them and when you go out listen to yourself on your iPod.

So yeah guys. Hopefully those three tips will help you revise for any upcoming exams you might have (e.g. GCSEs/A Levels) or maybe University exams next year.

Thanks for reading!

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About Karam

Karam has now retired from blogging. Hello everyone! My name is Karam and I'm a second year BSc Computing student here at the University of Leicester. I'm also this year's Computer Science sports secretary and possess a strong love for the beautiful game that is of course football. I can speak English, Arabic, HTML, PHP, SQL, VB.NET & Java…

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