In the previous article, the first and basic steps on how to pass an examination were aptly considered. Nevertheless, it must be understood that a good start simply may not guarantee success; rather, a consistent application of duty and commitment leads one to glory. Yes, it’s not over, until it’s over. This article centered on the EXAM PROPER would primarily focus on two aspects; (1) before exam; and (2) on exam.


  1. BEFORE EXAM– For the purpose of this write-up, ‘before exam’ is usually the period very close to the examination days. It is identified with sudden seriousness of students (even from renowned back-benchers). No doubt, owing to the urgency and priority of the exam, dry bones begin to rise again. Nervousness, the feelings of hate and fears of inadequacy begins to cloud the sky. Friendships are formed readily with open arms like the last-days of rapture. Coffee sellers begin to make more profit than top gainers of stock exchange markets. Yeah, BEFORE EXAM.

To make the best out of this season, it is instructive that student must have earlier applied sound points as highlighted in the previous article. Additional points, at this stage, should be applied now. They are:

  • PAST QUESTIONS– This seems to be an infallible and constant form of sound preparation. Teachers nowadays are lazy to innovate new questions especially those who have been teaching the same course over the years. A good student should note some reoccurring questions even if it has not been taught or seen to exist in the course outline. A religious approach to the past questions would bring rich rewards.
  • STUDY GROUP– A selected few associates (not more than 4), sharing similar goals should team up, and several times in a week, trash out endearing and dangerous questions as deemed to be looming in the mist of the exams. The meetings should straight to the point in a bid to achieve needed goals. Also, parasite members should be discreetly excommunicated, so to speak. (productivity must be priority in every sense)
  • FOOD AND REST– In truth, (except one is an elf in the hobbit) a person could collapse during this season of incessant pressure. A solution can be found in eating enough food and sleeping soundly. The human brain as explained earlier is the hungriest organ of the body taking over 40% of the energy in food. The combo of food and sleep can prevent sicknesses of varied nature. No doubt, a student should contemplate the negative effect of over-working and sleeping less during this phase.
  • COMPARE NOTES– Comparing notes can enable a student to access the veracity of His material so as to make needed adjustment. Doing this could prevent an error from transferring irrevocably to the exam booklet.
  • LISTEN TO MUSIC– (personally, I love rock, rap and country; aren’t they a little noisy? Ehhh, what the hell, I luv em). Listening to music sooths the mind and flexes the brain. It’s also a nice way to relax.
  • VARY READING LOCATIONS– With the choking pressure, a discreet student seeks to vary reading locations, as this, no doubt, allows the mind retain better. (Just try it).
  • FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DO NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND- (you could be dazed on exam day) #justsaying
  • RECALL THE LECTURES POINTS IN CLASS– Lecturers may sometimes openly stress out likely-exam-questions. A sharp student can only recall these moments if he/she was attentive in class.
  • PQ4R MEMORY RECOVERY– The name is itself a mnemonic device used for remembering text material. If you are interested in better remembering a chapter from a textbook, you should first Preview the information by skimming quickly through the chapter and looking at the headings. The next step is to form Questions about the information. One way to do this is by simply converting headings to questions. Using this article as an example, you might ask, “What are the ways I can prepare, BEFORE EXAM?” The third step is to Read the text carefully trying to answer the questions. After reading, the next step is to Reflect on the material. One way would be to create your own examples of how the principles you are reading could be applied. This follows with the step to Recite the material after reading it. This involves, putting the books aside or looking away and trying to recall or to recite what you have just read or at least the idea drawn from it. If you cannot bring it to mind now, you will have little chance later. The last step in PQ4R is to Review. After you have read the entire chapter, go through it again trying to recall and to summarize its main points.
  • MEMORY PALACE– The mind is seen as the mental activity and memory of a person, the memory in turn has been defined as the processes by which people and organism encode, store and retrieve information. A mind palace can be regarded as a mental image of a familiar place filled with recognizable and significant items which can be used by a person to remember abstract things (am talking about that dreadful exam).

This aspect of the article must end with the knowledge that a lot is needed to excel in examinations. Knowledge of this article should urge students to begin certain arrangements after the release of the exam time-table. Of course, preparations must begin from day one of classes; needless to say, study must be intensified as the exam draws near.

  1. ON EXAM– This is the period characterized by a night before, the morning of the day of the examination and the moment of flipping the exam questions. Oh yeah, at this point the head is usually full of sense and non-sense, of evil and good, of light and darkness, of hate…and more hate. Stress is the oxygen that is inhaled, OCD is what remains. The only thing at this point that can make an inadequate student joyous is the postponement of the exam. In truth, even a prepared student may feel the sudden surge of inadequacy. However, some ways must be adopted to secure one’s self confidence (and sanity). They are:


  • COME OVER PREPARED– It is important to come with more than one pen, one pencil, one eraser, sharpener etc. The chewing of gum and having sweets could also resist tension (for more info consult ‘sir alex ferguson’).
  • BE CALM; DON’T FREAK-It is important to resist any person, thing or thought that could draw one to loss of calm or emotional instability. Being calm could also involve being quiet. Sitting in a cool place could encourage nerve relaxation. It is pertinent to trust one’s self and ability.
  • PRESENT YOUR WORK NEATLY AND ORDERLY– Can a student grade His own script? (hey, who knows) If not, then He is obligated to present His work in a legible manner, so that an examiner can read, understand and is instructed by your dexterity. It would be discreet to maintain a good sense of order in trashing out an exam question, no doubt.
  • BE LIBERAL – C.A Mace wrote about the psychology of study in 1932. Even today, this information is ever so valuable.

“The failure to recall what is well-known may be in large measure due to a type of over-concentration of attention leading to consequent restriction of information”.

In fact, try not to panic and close your mind off the many possibilities. Imagine in an exam hall one reads a sentence 5 times without taking it in. just pause and feel the flow, you can do it.

  • DOUBLE CHECK ANSWERS– It is wise to double check answers offered, this could afford a person the chance to correct misspellings, mechanical accuracy, and in general, small and great mistakes.
  • DO NOT FINISH FIRST– This is a common mistake students make. Because one thinks ‘thy will has been done on earth and maybe in heaven’, does not create an obligation on Him to submit His script, the invigilators are charged with the responsibility of keeping time. If one has excess time, it would be smart to READ OVER and OVER and OVER AGAIN, desperately looking for mistakes.
  • ANSWER WHAT YOU KNOW BEST– It would be helpful to start with the easiest question, this has so many advantages such as (1) securing a high momentum (2) guaranteeing the examiners attention (3) providing rest of mind after the event.

To substantially cap this aspect of the article, it must be established that the feelings of pressure and unpreparedness is generously supplied to all students during an exam season. However, pressure is greatly settled when advance preparation involving series of strategies are employed and practiced.

In sum total, it must be founded, that a good and ambitious student must study in long term and not one week beforehand. The more a student spaces out the more it will be easier on the brain to retain and recollect. Thus, making an affairs and study plan, as espoused in the previous article, should no doubt be material to this venture. The application of the above tips should prove useful.

A subsequent article will discuss on the AFTERMATH OF AN EXAM (don’t miss it).


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