“Study hard during the year, and study smart towards your final exams”
Passing your final exams (and passing them well!) is not an easy task, but it is certainly not impossible. It requires careful planning, hard work and discipline.
We often find ourselves having little time to study for our finals if we have not allocated time and planned for the exams in time. We have found that the best way to prevent poor performance in your finals is to study hard during the course of the year, and study smart during exam time. What does this mean? It means that during the year, you read over each chapter over and over again until you understand the material. This will involve you asking your teachers and friends for help on concepts that you may not understand. Never be scared to ask for help when you need it. Remember, no man is an island and no one starts off being an expert!
An important part of studying hard, but efficiently, is drawing up a time table. In drawing up your time table, it’s always important to start form the future and work backwards. For example, if you want to be done with the syllabus for a particular subject by August, you then count how much time you can spend on a chapter. For example, if the Accounting syllabus has 20 chapters, and you want to be done with accounting by August, it means that you have 7 months (from January) to cover the 20 chapters. This means that you have 28 weeks to do 20 chapters, which then means you should spend approximately 1 and a half weeks on each chapter. Following this approach will ensure that you are not pressed for time when exams approach.
Another aspect of studying hard involves doing past questions. At the end of each month, make sure you do past exam questions on the topics that you covered in that month. This will ensure that during exams you have time to revise the material. Remember that doing questions not only help you asses where you are in terms of your level of preparedness, but also help you with mastering how to answer questions in the exam. In an exam, it is not just about knowing what the answer to a question is only, but how you present your answer is very important as well.
Studying smart during exam time involves you working on your weak areas. During the year (while studying hard!), you will have come across concepts that you don’t understand. Concepts that you think you are weak at. During exam time, you spend most of your time going over these concepts, while revising the concepts that you are already comfortable with. This approach will increase your chances of being fully ready for the exam.
Lastly, another important aspect is spending time working on how to answer questions. This will involve you going through a full exam paper and timing yourself. Practicing this skill will help you not to run out of time when you are writing your exams. As you are practicing using past exams, pay careful attention to how the memo presents the answers. Remember, how you present your answers to exam questions is very important!