I won’t say that I was a nerd and knew the answer to every exam question, but I can state with certainty that I tried to figure out every one of the questions I was given. However, there was a time when a single question on a test confused every student, myself included. I really enjoyed the subject and the two professors who taught it. No one had cautioned me to review the tests they had given in previous years since I thought the subject would be simple, so I concentrated on all the other papers but this one. Well, I must admit that the exam paper was a novel—a chapter from Star Wars, Disney World, or something similar—that one had to read, enjoy, and then naturally decipher in order to arrive at the answers. I felt as though I received a B- because everyone had complained and they had to make a remark after I left the room enchanted.
This brings me nicely to my topic for today’s blog post: examinations. I personally do not believe in them and believe that a piece of study or a discussion can be a better basis for determining a student’s success or failure. We are not, however, discussing the objectivity of examinations as they are currently being conducted and will continue to be until a president of a significant nation decides otherwise. There are different approaches to taking examinations; I won’t claim that mine is the greatest, but I’ve figured it out, and if I could do it and ace every test, you can too.
Make notes on each subject first, then make notes from those notes, and finally summarise the notes into synonyms and other items that will serve as reminders of the subjects you have studied.
The second and most crucial step is to figure out every question from a previous exam that you can. If you come across 20 years’ worth of exams, take them even though you don’t think you understand the material very well. Instead, read the material, take notes, and then additional notes, and take the previous exams.
Third, keep in mind that people who are bored after marking the third script will be marking exam questions, so keep your responses brief and to the point while using buzzwords relevant to the topic. Therefore, if you are discussing global warming, include changes in temperature, dried-up rivers, melting glaciers, and other such things. If you are discussing diseases, say AIDS, cancer, the flu, or anything similar.
Fourth, attempt the question even if you don’t know the complete answer by drawing a picture and using diagrams to represent your replies. Also, remember to answer in points because each point is worth one mark.
Fifth, answer the simple questions first, then move on to the difficult ones. Do not start with the simple questions. Make sure you estimate the required time and devote the same number of minutes to each question (if a question is 10 out of a 100 marks in a three hour paper, then spend 18 minutes on it and move on).
Last but not least, please check your answers. This is just as crucial as answering the questions correctly, and failing to check your answers could cost you at least five points. Enjoy your exams, and don’t study on exam day or discuss your answers with anyone. Instead, relax the night before by watching a movie or reading a book. There will be confusion, which can do more harm than good.