Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Exams can be stressful, both physically and mentally. There are numerous techniques peddled out there, including last-minute cramming, but these never work. The only way to ensure success is through adequate and effective preparation.
Here are some helpful strategies to help you along.
1. Study consistently
New information creates new neural links within your brain. A consistent review of this information solidifies the connections, and the information is hardwired in your brain. To truly learn anything, one must then invest time and pour consistent effort into it. It is like learning to ride a bicycle.
For your test preparation, that means consistently taking time to revise months before the challenge. Concepts studied this way become a part of your long-time memory. The effort will not only help you pass, but you will also have the ability to confidently apply your new knowledge into work and general life situations.
2. Review test questions
Practice questions can be your guide to better revision and are critically important, especially for self-learning students. This is how you get acquainted with the structure, instructions and phrasing. It also helps to build time management skills.
The more questions you take before the exam, the better you become at figuring out concepts and cutting through ambiguous phrasings. You will walk into that room a confident candidate, which will also significantly improve your performance.
3. Take care of yourself
Your emotional and physical health directly impacts your cognitive performance. A great mood and higher physical stamina can improve your understanding and memory in significant ways.
Consider then, living a healthy life even as you level up in doing the groundwork. Go for a daily morning run, try yoga, or hit the gym if you can. Combine that with healthy eating habits and adequate hours of sleep every day for explosive results in cognitive efficiency.
4. Improve your skills
The very nature of your preparation will, in many ways, determine your final performance. The techniques below can help you enhance your habits:
- Set clear goals for each session
- Minimize distractions to improve concentration
- Organize your space and find a comfortable chair
- Try to make your material enjoyable by techniques such as association
- Link theoretical information to personal or work experiences
- Repeatedly review f information until they ‘stick’
- Use services and solutions available to you
If you are a self-learning student, there may be notes or sessions online that you can take advantage of during the research phase.
Other solutions for being comprehensive may include joining groups or using the local library.
5. Create and stick to the plan
Your study plan is the road-map to effective learning. The right strategy should take into account your areas of weakness and strengths. It should help you establish habits that you can follow with consistency.
Here are the tips for creating a better plan:
- Define all your content areas
- Determine your areas of strength and weakness
- Identify materials such as notes, questions and textbooks
- Create a schedule that syncs well with your work and personal responsibilities
- Stick to it
6. Get the most from your notes and materials
For a better performance, you must thoroughly revise ALL your materials. Your notes and textbooks can broaden and deepen your understanding of the necessary concepts and theories to be applied.
For efficiency with your materials, try the “SQR” Technique; Survey, Question, Read.
Scan the chapter before you read
- Review the topic title and visualize what the subject entails
- Survey the introduction
- Scan through the primary headings
- Always review the topic summary
Query the topic
- From your initial survey, jot down notes so you can answer them later
- Turn titles and headings into questions
- Keep in mind the information that your syllabus focusses on
- Write short notes from the text
- Highlight the main important points
- Read one section at a time
- Spend more time on the tougher sections
- Review your notes at the end of the topic
- Review again at least once every week
7. Get the most out of your time
Here are systems that can help:
- Start your preparation early and review your materials often
- Review the course/topic objectives first
- Study with a top-down approach; start with the main ideas and narrow to supporting information
- Write summaries and create flashcards
- Avoid learning any new material the day before the test
8. Plan for the day
- Get enough rest on the day before your test
- Get all your tools ready, including stationery, calculator, and timepiece
- Find out the details about the site and do a reconnaissance if possible
- Plan your journey and make plans for meals and snacking on the day
In the end
Yes, your FRM exams can be intimidating. But you can use the above techniques to improve your chances of success. And remember…never give up!
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