As midterm season is approaching, below are several tips for you to ace those exams.
1. Prepare for exams from day one
Be it an in-class exam or a few page essay, studying for exams or other quiz begins from the very first day you receive your syllabus. That means you must fully understand the main concept of the class and try finding connection between the lecture topics, the readings, etc. One easy way to engage with the class syllabus is to read it multiple times, annotate those subject descriptions and lecture topics in your own words to see your prior understanding about the topic. This way you can also get ahead of your peers.
2. Rewrite notes immediately
During lectures, some students take notes as fast as they can write. But when they read their notes later, they need magnifying glass to read their own writing because during lecture it is hard to write neatly. And, when students take notes like this, most often they are not able to fully paraphrase professors’ words in their own words. By rewriting your notes immediately, let us say by setting aside fifteen-minutes for it, you will process that information better because you begin to select the most important points. But if you don’t really have time, try at least rewriting the notes on the same day, let us say at night or whenever you have some free time, so you don’t lose much of the information from the lecture.
3. Annotate readings
You can annotate your readings by writing what you have learned after every paragraph or you can write a bullet-point summary of the assigned reading. And most importantly, answer questions at the end because it becomes like a self-test to see how far you have comprehend the readings.
4. Crosscheck your readings and lecture notes
That means connecting your notes with the readings to create your own study guide by incorporating some sample questions that you predict be in the exam. And if you are unsure whether your predicted questions will come up in exams, it is still fine because the point of writing your predicted exam questions is to practice your comprehension of the subject matter.
5. Teach to learn
Research has shown that when you teach something, you also learn it more because you process the information in your mind and if the people you teach understand you then you have understood that subject as well. Forming study groups is an excellent way to apply this method or if you don’t want to study together, you can create an ‘imaginary’ friend and start teaching him/her (although this sounds strange) but the point is explaining the information out loud will help you to catch some of your misunderstanding. For instance, when you ‘pretend’ teaching about human psychology and you hear that your explanation is wrong, you can go back to your notes and correct that mistake.
6. Take a study break and eat nutritious meals
After several hours of studying, get up from your desk and walk for a few minutes. Also nourish your brain and body with nutritious meal because, like your smart phone or lap top, if you download a free song or movie from a non-credible website, virus will attack your gadget.
7. Study hard but pray harder
As always, nothing is possible without help and guidance from Allah the Almighty. Writing letters to beloved Huzur (ab), offering extra , nawafil or Tahajjud will give you inner peace and boost your confidence to excel in that depressing organic chemistry exam or never-ending five pages of analytical essay. While walking to your class or waiting for a class, try to memorize prayer of the month feature in this issue of ITK. Remembering Allah every time we can will benefit your academic endeavor.
RKS-QQ Answer: AL-HAQ MUBAHITHAH DEHLI