How to prepare for an exam? Exam preparation tips
I just want to discuss with you some of the most important things you should do before appearing for any exams.
1) First and foremost knowledge about the exam itself
You should ask the following questions:
- What for?
- Duration of the exam?
- The total no. of questions?
- If Sectioned like A, B, C then what is the criteria for this distinction?
Then the time allotment for each section is different. We need to prepare with this distinction in mind.
2) Go through the syllabus of the exam and prepare accordingly. Remember, a single strategy may not work with all exams. If you are writing a medical exam, then more attention to be given to study aspects related to medicine.
Life sciences, the subject is extremely vast, so you are not supposed to cover all topics in the syllabus and I think it is not possible often. Any way; give your best try.
3) The best way to begin preparation for an exam is ‘just go through previous questions and scribble down how many you could answer? Most often, at the beginning our performance may not be up to the level, we may even think whether we could pass the exam. But remember, this will be the case with even the topper in that exam. Don’t get depressed as you are at the beginning of the journey.
4) Learn to read a book completely from introduction to the end till glossary. It is obvious; you may not digest the whole, reread passively, just like reading a news paper. At times you may feel like’ This is an important point, and I need to write it down’ and that is it you are on the track. This depends on the time you have for the preparation. I know it is impossible to go through completely a book like Karp or Strayer. But I think you can go through the summary part given in these books at the end of each chapters. If you struggle at certain points or terms, there move to the detailed text and that is it. But better not to completely avoid these very nicely explained texts.
5) Then repeat the step 3 moving through previous Question papers (past papers), If you could answer more or if you are familiar with more no of questions; You are on the track and this will definitely boost your confidence and your urge to read and know more.
6) Schedule your time table properly. I think, at least 6 hours a day minimum will do at the beginning. You may be good at biochemistry but may not be good at Ecology. Give more time to ecology at first and reduce time as you get a feel of the subject.
7) You should have an in depth knowledge in at least one subject areas in life sciences like botany, molecular biology, genetics etc where we should be confident that we have the greatest chance of getting right answer if a question comes from this section.
8) Work out problems given at the end of each chapter that will definitely guide you move into the depth of the matter. Go through glossary of some good text books. This will help you to familiarize with maximum number of terms in minimum time. For Biology Glossary
9) Imagination is the key to success. Visualize basic concepts in biology and do find time to see animations that will definitely clear your mind and fix your doubts. We have a section devoted for the same where you could find some extremely useful links to the world of great animations in biology.
10) At last not the least, find time to relax, whenever you are out of mind, don’t force the things to work for you, get up as early as possible from your study table and move around. Take a deep breath. Feel the fresh air rushing in. Be back when you think you are sound and fine. But stick on to the minimum of at least 6 hours a day.
Purpose is the best motivator in the world and you are here with a purpose. Go ahead, rise up to the occasion, your hard work will definitely payoff and if you really feel your subject I think, it is not at all a matter of hard work. It is just the matter of right attitude and perseverance.
Remember challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
Send your suggestions, comments and questions.
Wishing the very best