Preparing for Exams (Best Revision Tips for Smart Students)
Preparing for exams is well worth it. There is no joy like graduating and moving up to the next grade.
However, a lot of hard work comes before we get that pleasure.
Examinations are a huge part of academic life. No matter how much some students might dread exam time, they are inevitable. That is why you must prepare for your exams.
In Singapore, with exams scheduled together, you need to prepare early. Otherwise, studying for multiple exams can be overwhelming in the last few weeks.
You need to make a revision timetable with study sessions that fit into your schedule and start preparing for exams early.
We want to make our strict Singaporean parents proud.
If you do not clear your exams with flying colours, you might end up grounded or perhaps even have no new gadgets for the year!
However, there is no need to worry. Start early using these past exam papers to help you get into the proper studying and revision mindset. Then the best grades are yours for the taking.
Learning can be exciting. There is no need to feel stressed and bogged down.
Just follow our tips, and in no time, you will have the confidence to achieve high academic grades.
Table of Contents
How to Use Free Exam Papers?
The best way to prepare for exams is by using past test papers. You will find secondary school and primary school test papers. They allow you to understand each subject better because they are a snapshot of the critical topics to learn from the last few years.
It has become easier than ever before to access free test papers, so commit to one mock exam at a time and put them to work.
Here are some of the best tips to help you get started.
1. Learn the Exam Structure
One of the essential tips for using free exam papers is learning the exam structure.
Even when teachers create new exams each semester and choose new questions, they would likely use the same exam structure, including the wording.
Hence, you need to go through the previous test papers to get a feel for them.
Check to ensure that the exams are done in sections and see the questions usually asked.
2. Take Mock Exams
The only way to get the best marks for the actual exam is by taking mock exams.
It is a good idea to conduct timed mock tests. It will help you keep up with the time limit and answer as best as possible.
When you take mock exams, you create an exam mindset.
The more exams you take, the more you will improve by learning from your mistakes.
3. Avoid Cheating
There is a time for open-book test exams but make sure you test your knowledge by closing your books and ‘off-ing’ the internet.
So avoid checking your notes for the most effective results.
No matter how tempted you might be, it is a recipe for disaster if you fail to follow.
The correct mindset is, “the more tricky the question, the more it will help me develop the mind-muscle needed for the real exam”. So attempt those questions to push yourself and learn.
4. Review Each Exam Multiple Times
As you attempt past papers, you must review your answers and compare them to understand if you have met the expectations.
Keep resitting the papers and review them to ensure that you score the highest marks. Repeat the questions, especially those you got wrong the last time, until no doubt remains.
5. Get Answers Marked
Even if you are attempting past exams just for practice, you must get them marked. It will allow you to determine where you stand and choose the areas where you are struggling.
You can mark the exam yourself, but do it with brutal honesty. Or ask a friend to avoid leniency.
Benefits of Using Past Exam Papers
When it comes to past exam papers, they serve as an incredible learning resource.
There is no better way to start preparing for exams than with the test exams from previous years.
Here are some of the benefits of using past exam papers:
1. Boost Self-Confidence
A significant advantage of using past exam papers is that they help build self-confidence. You must work on your self-confidence to avoid getting anxious and stressed on exam day.
Losing focus during exams is primarily due to a lack of preparation!
So improving your confidence is very easy by attempting plenty of test papers.
2. Better Understand Common Exam Topics
Another reason you need to use past exam papers is that they help you understand common exam themes.
As you attempt multiple test papers, you will find similar topics that each paper covers.
This helps you determine which areas you need to work on to ace your exams.
3. Practice Exam-Style Questions
Schoolbooks often contain exercise questions towards the end of each chapter, but they are not enough. You can’t start preparing for exams with such a limited selection of questions.
So relying on past test papers helps you cover the full range of potential questions.
As you attempt the papers, you will understand the questions asked and how you should respond.
4. Improve Time Management Skills
Part of having the correct mindset is working on your time management skills.
Managing your time is something you actively work on past papers. Keep to the time limits. Stop writing at the end of the allocated time and train your mind to produce the result required within that time frame.
Many students fail to attempt past test papers because they are too busy or don’t appreciate the lead time needed when preparing for exams.
So they end up falling far short of their exams goals.
The solution is simple. Start preparing for exams now!
5. Refine Exam Responses
When attempting old exam papers, you understand how to earn the highest points by refining your exam responses.
Most test papers come with a grading sheet and explain how to answer each question fully.
You can review solved answers and read comments by examiners to revise your technique.
Tips and Tricks to Maximise Exam Preparation Success
Maximise exam preparation success by planning. The earlier you plan, the better.
Create a realistic timeline for determining how much time you should spend covering the exams.
You would estimate the amount of time you will need to set aside for studying through proper planning. Make sure to cover the most difficult topics first.
If you are an early morning person, you could even wake up early and do some revision sessions before school. Then you’re free the rest of the day for your sports and other extracurricular activities.
2. Use Sticky Notes
Next, you need to utilise sticky notes when studying for exams. Get colourful highlighters and sticky notes for improving productivity.
Make bullet points of essential things you need to remember and stick the notes on your study wall.
3. Take Breaks to Rest Your Mind and Exercise the Body
Taking regular breaks during your revision time is imperative. You need to manage your energy carefully, otherwise, you’ll get burnout or fall asleep at the desk!
If you fail to get enough sleep, you will not perform your best on the exam.
You can drink all the coffee or Red Bull you like, or even ‘burn the midnight oil’ to study. You’re as good as a zombie on exam day if you don’t get sufficient sleep.
Remember, if you sleep and exercise well, you stay fresh and remain creative. Creativity will help you solve tough questions on all exams – not just on the English language exam!
4. Avoid Procrastination
To succeed in your exams, you must deal with procrastination. It is easy to fall into the habit of putting off exam prep.
However, you must create a reward system to ensure that you remain motivated and do not lose track of what matters.
That extra hour you spend scrolling through social media every day takes up to 60 hours every month. Therefore, you must be careful with how you use your time.
5. Remove Distractions
Lastly, you must eliminate all distractions to ensure that you get quality study time.
Keep your phone away and find a spot that allows you to remain focused.
Yes, perhaps even away from well-meaning parents who want to chat!
Best Learning During Class Practices
1. Pay Attention
The truth is that good studying begins in class.
Make sure you pay attention in class and do not lose focus. Avoid talking with your friends during the critical learning portion of the session.
Listen to what your teacher has to say and ask all relevant questions.
2. Take Good Notes
To make the most of your time in class, you must take good notes. It will make it easier for you to study.
Write down important facts and be as concise as possible for the best notes.
3. Stay Hydrated
Apart from enough sleep and exercise, the secret to remaining alert in class is staying hydrated.
Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go and drink plenty of water to stay focused.
If you don’t like the taste of tap water then try filtered water. Or, mix tap water with coconut water. This may not be recommended by a doctor but it works for my wife!
4. Break Things Up
There will likely be plenty to study, so break the learning into small chunks to easily digest everything.
5. Ask for Help
In addition to the above, you must ask for help whenever you are stuck. It is simply not possible for you to understand everything all the time.
Therefore, you must raise your hand and ask questions if you don’t understand something.
Or, if you’re at home, get onto Easylore and find an online tutor to help you with your exam questions.
Best Revision after Class Techniques
1. Go Through Your Homework
A helpful technique is going through your class notes and homework a few times after class. It will help you better understand the subject.
2. Maintain Consistency
Start small and keep going.
It is the secret to effective revision. If an exam is a month away, start studying for a few minutes every day.
3. Create a Study Routine
For the best revision, you need to create a study routine.
It will help you stay on track and clear your exams with flying colours.
Preparing for exams means being prepared for future opportunities. Exams are essential for evaluating where you stand academically.
If you are willing to put in the hard work you will surely succeed!
by Ande Schurr
Easylore, Head of Social Media
Ande lives in Singapore and manages Easylore’s content and social media. As a digital marketer and educator, he enjoys Singapore’s unique business and academic environment. When he’s not filming, blogging or planning ad campaigns, you can find him playing tennis or queuing up for soup with his wife at the Red Hill Food Center. (More about Ande)