Sunday, August 3, 2008
Exam Tips for Poly Students
{11:15 AM}

And perhaps for others as well.

People have been asking how I studied/prepared. Some concluded that I consistently mugged or I'm pretty much a smartass. Honestly, I'm neither. Many of my close friends would laugh if you ever called me a mugger cause I'm pretty much the eleventh hour person (well, almost!)

Now, this guide won't necessarily give you straight As but I hope that it somehow gives you a guideline on how to study. Here are some of the frequently asked questions.

1. When should I start studying?

Ideally, around three weeks is enough. Some people take months to prepare for it. But for me, anything around three weeks is safe. If you are a slow learner, like yours truly, you definitely need that much of time.

Also, try studying after all the revision lectures are over. This gives you the framework of what to study.

2. Which module should I start off with first?

Personally, for me, I would go with my hardest. If there's computational ones like accounts and statistics, start off with them first. That's because computational ones are easier to understand and apply, and I can assure you that you can still remember them if you practice hard enough.

Leave the theory modules to the very end.

That of course, bearing in mind which modules comes first.

3. How should I allocate my time on each module?

My tactic is that I never liked to mix my modules together. I will focus on one module first for four/five days and then move on to another. That way, I can understand better and not get my facts jumbled up.

4. How should I study the module?

Simple. If you like making mind maps, then do mind maps for all the chapters. If you like to memorise, then do acronyms for your different sections.

After doing that, then go through the chapters.

Usually, I don't recommend redoing your tutorials. Instead, read and understand them. After this is done, do your past year papers. I recommend doing 4 past semestral papers. It will allow you to visualize the feeling of taking that examination.

5. I can't seem to get these information inside my head.

Simple. What you can do is to work hand in hand with a friend. Each of you will take the topics that you are most familiarised with. Once you have mastered the topic, take the time to explain to the other the summary of the topic. I'm sure this is very helpful.

On top of that, ask questions to see if both of you understand the whole concept.

6. I hate reading my notes.

Same goes for me. Which is why I like the above method.

7. I can't study in the morning.

Then you're just like me. So, do your notes and whatnot in the morning and do your revision at night when everyone's asleep. Then wake up late to compensate for your late nights.

8. I always get distracted by tv shows and MSN.

Simple. I always believe that there's always time to study. Go watch your tv shows and MSN before studying. That way, you won't feel uneasy thinking about these distractions later on. If you're tired, take a rest before continuing to do your work.

Sometimes, in between study breaks, I would go and catch a movie or hang out with my friends. It's healthier that way.

9. I always get cold feet before examinations.

Why should you? You should be prepared by now. Have faith.

10. I think my friends are smarter.

Well, they are only smarter cause you don't believe in yourself. I don't think they believe they are smart until they start trying.

11. I really don't feel like studying.

Think about this. Sacrificing three weeks for good grades and two months of holidays is worth it. Think about the satisfaction of watching your good grades unfold on results day. Cry because you're happy with your results and not because you're disappointed.

A person who suceeds is the one who works for himself and no one else. Don't care about how others are going to fare and stress yourself further. If your friends need help, offer them help. You will find out that teaching makes understanding better.

Also, always aim for an A. If eventually you don't get it, it doesn't matter. All that matters is you tried.

Study well but don't be like this.

With that, have a great weekend. I will post later the results of this week's referrals.