With the second half of the school year well underway, many students are already feeling the jitters as exams and HSC loom. After achieving a 98.80 ATAR, Clarissa shares with us her best tips on how to get ready for the exams ahead.
Paper trail - Start familiarising yourself with past exam papers now. Even if you have not learned all the content, look through them and attempt to answer the questions. This will help you learn how to apply concepts you have learned to common exam questions and also understand the gaps in your knowledge. It is also very likely that similar questions from past papers will appear in your school and HSC exams, so it pays to familiarise yourself with them now.
Sum up - Create weekly summary notes from each subject. Include a list of the syllabus dot points with the corresponding notes written below each one. This ensures you study every syllabus point without missing any. Highlight keywords to prompt your memory – I really love PILOT Pen’s Frixion Light highlighters as they’re erasable, so you can highlight notes and then erase them as many times as you like without making a mess.
Hard word - Keep a ‘hard questions book’. Dedicate a book for writing down any questions you found hard or mistakes you keep making. Write down the solution to the hard questions in this book as well. Before exams, revise this ‘hard questions book’ to prevent making the same mistakes in an exam.
Timing - Use spare time effectively. Free periods and school holidays should be used to your advantage to consolidate content and get ahead. Aim to complete three hours of study every day during the holidays to revise notes and complete practice exam questions. Also aim to read ahead the chapters in your school textbook and begin making draft notes for the content you will cover in the following terms at school.
Plan ahead - Use a diary to schedule and plan for what you will study each day. Fill out your diary each week on Sunday night to prepare for the week ahead and don’t forget to add in extra-curricular activities or due dates for assessments. Add time limits to each task in your diary to ensure you stay on track. As you complete tasks, cross them off in your diary. A diary is crucial for staying organised and not forgetting tasks.
Balance - Establish a routine and avoid late nights. Adequate sleep optimises your thinking ability and concentration for the day ahead. Set aside time each day for study sessions but also set aside time to do something you enjoy. If you aim to stick to the same routine every week, it will help prevent procrastination and will ease the pressure. Don’t underestimate the power of a routine and sleep.
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