Study Smarter – Part V: Exam Technique


The Y12 Blog has been posting posting a five part smarter study series based on webinars hosted by Karen Boyes (previous posts are here, here, here and here). She is an education guru that has become a leader in New Zealand for her thinking around studying and thinking dispositions. Her blog regularly contains informative articles and her company Spectrum Education has a range of useful products and resources that can assist a student in the market for a better approach to studying. Like the Smart Study Facebook page for regular study tips.

The following notes are taken for her webinar on study skills available in full here. The webinar went back and forward between the seven keys to memory and translated them into study tips to make them accessible and practical.shimer_comping_66_recondite

Practice exams are the most important exams that you sit in the year. They give you the information about what you don’t know so that you can learn it.

Exam Strategy Tips

  1. Maintain a positive attitude (visualise yourself being successful, pay special attention in class for hints, tips and exam ideas, clarify confusions, avoid people that are stressed)
  2. Make a plan (spend 10-15 minutes each week planning your week, draw up your calendar and stick to it, prioritise what you need to learn, learn the information you don’t know)
  3. The night before (revise your notes, avoid cramming, get a great night sleep/rest)
  4. The morning of the exam (have a great breakfast, arrive 10-15 minutes early, avoid people that are stressing, ensure you have 2 pens, 2 pencils, calculator with spare batteries, go to the bathroom before the exam)
  5. During the Exam (keep your positive attitude, scan through the whole paper, start with the easy questions, read the instructions carefully, circle/highlight key words, show your working, read questions twice, sit up straight)
  6. Manage your time (pace yourself, plan to have 10 minutes at the end for checking, calculate how much time you can spend on each question and stick to it
  7. What to do when you are stuck (breathe deeply, skip some details, jot down what you can recall and come back to it, ask yourself questions, stay calm, move on)
  8. The death grip (stretch out your arm, tense muscles then relax, wriggle your fingers, loosen your grip)
  9. Neatness Counts (write legibly, cross out with a single line, be careful your numbers are clear)
  10. At the end (go over questions you’ve skipped, recheck all questions, check for capital letters, fullstops and punctuation, check your spelling

This concludes the our five part look at studying smarter! There are a range of strategies and tips shared across these posts. Hopefully they can be put into practice to will contribute to more student success!

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