The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: What You Do Before Exams Determines Your Results

WHEN A STUDENT is informed that they have a test, the first thing that runs in their mind is how well and ready they will be for the test. But truth be told, that thought only lasts a day in their mind and over three quarters of the students start preparing for the test a day or two before. Well, taking that into consideration, even when it's that late, it's never too late to get the best grade if you keep these simple tools close.

Study

Yeah, well, you can't avoid it. You want to have information in your head, there is no shortcut, and you have to work for it. Read, make notes, try to recall, all in all do whatever it takes to get the information needed in your head.

Discuss with colleagues

Back in high school, discussions with colleagues would help me grasp in two hours what I would have been taught in a day. Discussions don't only teach you a lot but also correct you where you are wrong. Sometimes we read alone and misunderstand information, but because it's our mind that has created it, it seems correct and many a times we take it to the exam with us and fail.

Workout sample problems

For anything related to calculations, forget about all other possibilities that your mind thinks can work and start working out problems. I remember times when I would think I've totally understood but when the exam is placed before me I would get stuck. The most frustrating part of it all is that you often realise it is not a number you are seeing for the first time.

Visualize a Positive Outcome

Picture yourself sitting at your desk taking the test. Imagine all of the answers bubbling effortlessly to the top of your consciousness. Visualize your target score.

Breathe deep

When you feel anxiety building, take slow breaths. Focus on a deep inhale and a full exhale, which will calm your nerves and reset your brain. This technique also oxygenates your brain and gives it an extra energy boost.

Keep temptation out of your mind

Just before an exam, there always those formulae that are important, and more often than not, someone who just started reading that day or the day before can't memorise all of them. Then what next? He thinks of noting them down maybe on their hand or cloth; well don't let this drive you. The cost of being caught cheating is too high a price to pay compared to failing just one paper.

Walk confidently

You've done all you can to prepare, now enjoy the confidence of knowing you're giving it your all. Take pride in your new-found test skills.

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