There are NLP techniques that will assist you greatly in the preparation for exams and other tests, but remember that nothing can get you through a college exam or a test if you haven’t done the work in the first place.
So at the very beginning of your
course set out as you mean to go on.
Everything must be made as simple as possible
but not one bit simpler
Get a copy of the examination syllabus before you begin
to study. Find out what you need to
cover at the very beginning.
Then check out the course prospectus to make sure that the teaching covers the examination syllabus and, if it doesn’t cover it fully, find out at this stage where you can get the additional tuition or learning material so that you are fully prepared when the time comes.
Every class has its brilliant students, its
middle-of-the-road students and its less able students.
Get to know one or more of those you regard as brilliant students.
Note very carefully what they do, how they study and how they relax.
Although some students are naturally more gifted than others, they still have to learn. They still have strategies that they use to cope.
Whenever you can, find out what those strategies
are. Would those strategies suit
you? Are they worth a try?
Could you adapt any of those strategies to suit your method of learning? Consider how you may model them.
Attend as many lectures and tutorials as you can. Tutorials are particularly important because
it is in those sessions that you find out what is important to the tutor.
Some subjects range over such a wide area that it is really not possible to learn it all in detail, but if you attend the tutorials and carry out all the set work you will find you have covered enough to get you through the exam.
You will, however, need to make sure you carry out all
the set reading and exercises, and if you are asked to submit essays for the
next tutorial, make sure you do it.
It is the nearest you will get to examination practice, and you cannot get too much of that.
Apart from anything else, you will become familiar with providing reasoned, written answers and the thought of doings so during the actual examination will not be so daunting.
It is also quite interesting to note the number of times
an examination question is set which is almost exactly similar to an essay
question you answered earlier in the academic year.
If you did that at the time, you have had the
advantage not only of writing a reasoned academic answer, but you have had it
marked by your tutor and have probably discussed the problem during a tutorial,
so you are really being gifted the marks in the exam.
Those who didn’t do the work at the time lose out on both counts.
I have no doubt that those who regard themselves as the
brilliant students will cope beautifully without the assistance of this
article, but if you think of yourself as a middle-of-the-road or less able
student, you can surprise yourself. It
won’t happen all by itself.
You may need to put in some extra hours but you can excel if you really want to.
From my own observations I have seen far too many gifted
students perform poorly at College because they were playing squash or training
at the gym when they should have been at tutorials, they attended lectures
infrequently and didn’t do the reading.
On the other hand, I have seen students with apparently less ability, surpass their wildest dreams in their finals because they kept their noses to the grindstone throughout the course.
Create a timetable at the beginning of the course. Note when the tutorials are and when work has
to be in. Plan study time between
lectures and tutorials.
Allow ample time for relaxation, sporting activity and sex. It is important that you lead a rounded life at the same time as studying, and it is not necessary to give up any of your normal activities.
If you plan your study around a normal 8.30 to 5.30 day
(including lectures and tutorials) you will have ample time in which to
complete your studies and perform well in the exam.
It is not necessary to burn the midnight oil. The only people who do that are the ones who do not do the work during the day! Remember also that last minute cramming rarely pays off.
As the examinations approach it becomes even more necessary to balance your life and avoid stress.
By now you should have a good set of notes from your course work and will be refining them so that you can memorise the important trigger points.
Listen to meditation music so that you can relax
thoroughly and allow your thoughts to flow.
Practise this exercise.
Find a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed, close your eyes and imagine that you are looking at a large movie screen, but the star of the movie is you!
As you watch the movie let your mind float back to successful times in the past and visualise them on the screen.
Now let your mind move to the future. Watch yourself on that screen, this time in the examination room.
See yourself turning over the examination paper at the beginning of the exam, reading the questions, thinking for a moment or two and then writing your answers to the questions in a relaxed and efficient way.
See yourself completing the paper and putting your pen down, knowing that you have done well. Move the pictures through to graduation day and see yourself in academic dress and see yourself graduating with honours.
As you view these pictures, imagine floating out of your seat and up into the movie. Now see what you would see, hear what you would hear and feel what you would feel. Feel the success. Make the colours more vivid and brighter. Turn up the sound and make the feelings stronger.
Where is that feeling of success in your body? Concentrate on it. When you have pinpointed it, give it a colour. Gradually let that colour expand through your body right up to the top of your head and down to the tip of your toes. Let the colour glow and then double the brightness and double it again.
When you are ready, float back into the present moment,
hold on to that colour and feel amazing as you keep within your grasp that feeling
of confidence and success.
This effective technique is a wonderful tool in your box not only at examination time, but whenever you feel challenged and need a boost in your confidence.
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