Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
For some, scholastic testing strikes a nerve of fear, and in many, they open the flood gates of adrenaline and stress hormones.
In that chilly atmosphere, your future possibly hangs in the balance. It’s taken a lot of time, a lot of reading, and spending to get to this point.
How then should you leverage the time for achieving success?
In the first few minutes, scan the entire paper, and see how things are generally presented.
Divide the time allowed by the number of questions to get a rough estimate of how long you should spend answering each question.
Each section may not necessarily be worth an equal amount of effort.
Some questions have more weight than others, so be sure to spend less time answering the ‘low hanging fruits’ and invest more on the more complex ones.
If you are super confident in a given topic, plan to do such questions quickly so you can get more room to focus on tougher questions.
It’s always advisable to start with the easiest questions to secure these easier points.
Improve your comprehension and speed
You will work through the challenge much faster if you optimize your comprehension level. Seek to uncover what examiners really are asking for.
When you understand the concepts on a deeper level, you will spend less effort in answering them.
One technique that works with regards to this is reading through everything before attempting each one.
As you start answering, you will subconsciously be preparing for and breaking down the complexity of the upcoming rounds.
Other ways to get a better grasp of the subject matter include underlining key phrases and identifying any conceptual linkages.
You might want to read tough questions twice so you can spend less time choosing the right answer.
Skip it and go back later
If you are not mentally resilient, things can go awry quickly once you encounter one tough question after another.
These draw your energy and can plant a seed of self-doubt- destroying your confidence.
So, one way to ensure that you maintain your composure is to skip the tougher ones and move on.
You can come back to these later on when your ‘cognitive engine’ is hot enough to handle them.
Practice time management
The most critical factor of success is that of continuous and rigorous practice.
The most successful students might not necessarily be the ‘brightest’, but they are the best when it comes to time management and understanding.
Long before the big day, it is recommendable to take as many practice tests as possible (in an exam-like situation).
That means strict timing, minimal distraction, and even third party-marking.
These kinds of mock runs will expose you to the pressures of time management and will help you build resilience.
The tests will also improve your comprehension speed and your ability to decipher the precise concepts being tested at each step of the way.
Taking breaks can significantly improve your performance in any test. Take a minute to relax and rest your mind.
If you spend every second on trying to solve everything in one go, you will probably end up stressed and unmotivated.
You are more likely to rush and make trivial mistakes.
Stay calm and confident by taking (short) breaks throughout the session. Some experts recommend having breaks every 20 – 30 minutes.
Whatever you do, don’t take too many stops- This can be just as distracting and counter-productive.
Schedule your prep work
The timetable is a simple solution to implement, and any person who desires to be excellent at management must work with one.
Divide your study sessions into blocks to help you cover all the areas of the syllabi.
You can only confidently step into the examination room when you feel adequately prepared for the test.
Otherwise, your experience might be panicky, sweaty, and frustrating.
Avoid last-minute cramming
Don’t read anything right before walking into the room.
Some candidates might spend the last few minutes rushing through study materials, trying to shovel every bit of information into their heads.
This is a recipe for anxiety and failure.
The effect of overloading your brain with new information shortly before an exam is that you will only remember this last bit of information.
All your months of revising can potentially go to waste.
If you worked with a schedule, covered the entire syllabus, and attempted enough practice questions, you shouldn’t stress yourself with last-minute reading.
Even better, we advise that on the day before the test…just unplug and relax.
Taking a break before the challenge can dramatically boost your recollection abilities and cognitive processing speed.
Their will be a wall clock but bring a wristwatch anyway.
Once you’ve established the amount of time that you need to spend relative to the difficultly level, follow through with the plan.
Consult your wrist watch often, so you don’t squander too much time on any one part.
This technique will ensure that you get to attempt everything presented by the end of the testing.
It will remind you to shift gears when you are lagging or take it easy when you are over speeding.
Don’t be overconfident
Some candidates may rush through the entire session and finish too early because of a false sense of confidence.
If you find that you are through with the test before everyone, go over everything again.
Re-read to broaden your understanding. Double-check the answers and ensure that you selected the right ones.
Remember…every minute is precious, put them to good use, and it will reflect in your grade.
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The QuestionBank Family