Thursday, June 7, 2012

Exam Anxiety - From Panic to Passing Tomorrow's Exam

Studies conducted by numerous institutions of higher learning indicate that an overwhelming number of students suffer some form of exam anxiety. And it is no wonder! The amount of time spent in preparation for exams stretches toward two extremes:
• Waiting until the last-minute, and then cramming
• Never quite learning the skills needed to prepare ones' self for the inevitable exams
Among many students, the last thing they are concerned about as each new semester begins is passing exams. They tend to begin each semester full of hope and resolve. They feel confident that they'll grasp all of the information given to them during classes and lectures. But as time passes, many students slowly begin to lose that resolve.
Instead... self-doubt begins to erode their good intentions.
It's not your fault! Human nature tends to convince students that the best way to pass an exam is to wait until it's almost upon them. This is when exam anxiety begins to build. If you find yourself in this leaking boat, here are some tips to ease the pressure before it becomes too much of a distraction:
5 Steps to a passing grade
1. Review all of your notes. (You do take notes, don't you?) If you don't have complete notes, see if a classmate will loan you his/hers. Begin by writing down a list of all the points you think will be listed in the exam, while keeping in mind that NOT EVERYTHING will be included. Do not waste time studying the points you know-concentrate on the points you do not know or do not fully understand.
2. Using a scale of 1 - 5, give weights to the subjects you need to concentrate upon-1 being a topic needing the least amount of study.
3. Decide how much time you will need to thoroughly cover the weak topics, even if this means skipping that part-time job or even classes. Studying for an exam is a fulltime pursuit so use every available minute for study. We learn most through our visual sense, but the second best means of memory retention comes from audible input. So make your own voice recordings. Most computers have a built-in audio recorder. If not-download Audacity at
4. If the exam is just a heartbeat away, plan on doing nothing else but studying. There are websites offering a wealth of How-To-Study tips, but you won't have time to review them all. You see, the idea is to begin preparing for an exam several days out from it. But if that luxury isn't available, then get to work immediately.
5. Memorize those topics you think are vital as close to the exam as possible. When it comes to memory, each individual will possess different degrees of ability to retain the information. If any last minute cramming is to be done, do it a close to the exam time as possible.
A Word About Cramming
Many educators agree that cramming should be a last resort simply because its effectiveness is limited and only provides minimal retention. But if the exam is tomorrow, you have little choice but to dive in.
The Last Minute Crunch:
In several of the posts on my personal website, I offer time-tested and proven study techniques that have benefited thousands of students just like you. But when there is simply very limited time to learn the way to study, I suggest you put the 5 tips given above to work for you.


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