I shall not suggest a way out to 'prepare well for exams' because the only way out is 'To Prepare'. The more time you spend in subject preparation, the more you read and comprehend is what makes you write well in the examination. I shall suggest something that can help in writing well. Exam fever is not a result of the absence of preparation for the exam.
It is because we treat the exam as something different from our preparation. We read a lot many pages, spend time with friends to clear doubts, surf the web and visit teachers to ensure that we know everything.
Still, the fear of the unknown remains. The best way to handle the stress before the examination is to prepare with it. We should not hamper the preparation plan because of this. Let’s discuss some tips to do well in the examination (not before but in). Remember, the best you can do is to handle and channelise the stress. Do remember that the tips given below are not going to work as a panacea, but these will surely help a lot to get you better at the examination.
Presentation of what you know matters significantly because after all, it’s the set of eyes that evaluates your answer sheet.
1. Read the Question Paper and see the inter-connectivity in the questions so that you do not repeat or create redundancy. If you see that there is a question that requires a small answer but the same segment is to be written to a long answer type question as well, don’t hesitate to write the same definition. But avoid doing the ditto thing. Don’t copy as it is.
2. Make Points and Get Noticed
The benefits of making points (bullets or number) help in the following way:
- It helps the reader (examiner) to visualise that the answer is known to you
- Pointers help you to follow the advanced written points. You won’t forget what is to explain further.
- The Third advantage is that by writing points you earn points (marks) because the examiner can then count how many points are there for the appropriate score.
Create a Hierarchy of Your Statements so that there remains a logical sequence in thoughts. Sometimes, the examiners use the skill of “Skipping” as well. If they skip some portion and resume reading after some sentences or paragraphs, the sequence should sound ‘cohesive’ to them. Besides, writing with points/bullets helps in establishing Aesthetic Sense as well.
3. Highlight with Underline or with a Bold Pen
It is not about highlighting each and everything. The definitions, phrases or terms that are important to you as “Suggesting Words” should be underlined. Use a bold pen or underline (avoid doing both) the text that SHOULD BE READ as significant by the examiner. Do not highlight to impose, but to impress.
4. Avoid the shades of Red-Green to Highlight
The examination is a formal process where we are not allowed to use any other ink pen other than blue and black. Prefer to use blue to write and a bold-tip pen to write ‘highlightable’ text. I have used Reynolds Liqui-flow to write headings and even in the blue, it is quite attention-grabbing.
5. Prefer following the Sequence of Question Paper, it helps the paper checker and also gives the impression that you are a prepared student. As the question paper is made in a proper sequence of the syllabus itself. However, this advice is relative to your own observation. Follow this if you find it beneficial.
6. Don’t ever fragment the Sub-parts to different parts of the Answer sheet
All Parts should be done in one place. This is important because when the answer booklets are evaluated, the marks for each question are also to be entered on the cover page. Suppose Q.1 has four segments i.e. a-b-c-d. We are required to attempt all at one place. We can afford to arrange the sequence of a-b-c-d but doing 1-a and 1-c at one place and then attempting 4-5-6 then again writing the answer to 1-b and after doing some other question we do 1-d. The same way it looks uncomfortable to you in the para above, it is to the examiner as well.
7. Mention the Unit and Question Numbers as given in the Question Paper
It becomes tough to enter the marks on the cover page of the answer booklet if the student has not mentioned the Question Number. Avoid making the evaluator to pick the question paper just for this paltry task.
8. If the Questions are Writable and the number of words is less, write the question statements in the Answer Booklet before you attempt the Questions It helps the examiner in avoiding looking at QP again and again. It gives the impression that you are with the examiner and have full confidence in your preparation.
9. Don't jump over the Word Limits if given in the question paper. Still, maintain Brevity according to the Value/Marks the Question Carries. We need to remember that Verbosity doesn’t Impress!
10. Make Graphical Presentation/Visuals Help the Observer/Examiner. If you make a graph/tree diagram/table or some other simplifying visual that enhances the ease of understanding your answer, it certainly brings home an advantage.
11. Avoid making Spelling and Punctuation Errors because these are not forgiven if noticed. The red pen won’t even think for a second to create a ‘THIS IS WRONG’ signal circle around the word or sentence.
12. Do not Over Attempt: If there are two questions in a unit or there is a choice/alternative. Do not attempt both because you won’t get marks added for both. It wastes time as well. There is no provision given that you will bet the best (score) of the two.
13. Try to be in the shoes of the examiner, see what they have to do; you need marks only. They need Answers, Marks, Handwriting, Organised Content and so much in a paper. The equation is simple and is based on mutual understanding.
Write to Make the Reader Understand and don’t fear them. Write because you need to prove that you know.
Don’t take it for granted that the TEACHER ALREADY KNOWS so let's WRITE LESS. Rather, WRITE as Much as you can, keeping in mind the MARKS and the MINUTES have been given. Word limit should be the third factor to influence, still important.
Present Your Preparation in an Impressive Manner!
All the Best!