Preparing for exams? Give yourself the best chance

Don't Procrastinate. Don't Cram.

09 November 2021 | Education

Desiree Gases

As we are approaching the end of the year, we are also in the final exam season. There are few things quite so scary in a student's life as the prospect of an examination.

There is no doubt that being adequately prepared for an Exam takes a great deal. Exam preparation begins the day your course begins, because your success depends on your day-to-day study habits as much as it depends on the more concentrated periods of study in the weeks leading up to the exam.

It seems like some students thrive on last-minute 'cramming'. We’ve all done it, either completely forgotten that you have an exam or procrastinating so much that you find yourself in a massive rush to learn all the new information before your exam the next day. When this happens, cramming for exams often really does seem like the only logical step. Procrastination provides only momentary satisfaction; the long-term effect is stress and pressure. While you think you may work best “under pressure”, the last-minute efforts result in lower quality work.

Students that cram for tests and exams typically only pass their examinations with an average score. Additionally, the majority of the information gained through cramming sessions ends up being forgotten not just over a period of time but even during the actual test itself. Most experts agree, cramming and procrastination isn't effective. The biggest problem with cramming, according to NUST professor, Prof. Lovemore Matipira, he said “cramming causes students to sacrifice sleep time in order to study. While it's not possible to perform well on a test or exam without the required knowledge, and sleep because sleep is critical for academic success. Sacrificing sleep for an additional 3 or 4 hours of study is often counterproductive. Others refer to cramming as sporting. This leads to limitations of the scope for the exam”.

Give yourself the best chance with these top ten study tips, and try not to let the stress get to you! Remember: you've got this.

1. Give yourself enough time to study

2. spread out study sessions instead of cramming

3. Organize your study space

4. Put everything on paper

5. Practice on old exams papers

6. Organize study groups with friends

7. Don’t put too much strain on your brain, Take regular breaks

8. Get in the zone with music

9. Try teaching the concepts to someone else

10. Take ownership - ask questions. Take advantage of all resources

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