There is no magic formula to passing college exams- achieving academic goals requires discipline and hard work .Even the brightest students sometimes struggle to achieve high grades, though if you can detect the reasons behind the struggle and a plan of action going forward, you might be more prepared than you think to pass your college exams with extremely good grades.
1.Attend class and follow the syllabus
Even students with the highest grades sometimes struggle to stick to the syllabus materials. Although it may be tempting to delve further into a subject outside the classroom and to try and write creative, original papers, many professors prefer students to adhere to the syllabus. Thinking too much outside those guidelines is often a reason students earn lower grades simply because the final assignment is too detached from the original prompt.
Though it may be tempting to skip class on certain days when you feel overwhelmed or unmotivated, remember that just like missing a workout, the decision will stick with you later. You will have to catch up on class material, explain the absence to your teacher of smaller classes, and potentially miss vital information mentioned during class.
- Take notes in class
. It forces you to pay attention, so you get more information, so you have less to catch up on or figure out yourself when it comes to assignments and homework.
Do your homework. If there is something you struggle with, bring it up in the next class and ask your teacher to go over it again. Or ask a classmate who understood it to explain it to you. Sometimes it really helps to have something explained by a different person.
If you know you won’t be able to complete your homework on time due to external circumstances, talk to your teacher before the deadline and ask for an extension. Most teachers will allow this, if you don’t ask too often, are respectful, and have a good reason.
- Be polite to your teachers
Yes, I know, it doesn’t have anything to do with the subject itself, but being on good terms with your teachers helps. They’ll be more willing to help you, and be more sympathetic when you request a deadline extension. Don’t mess around in class. If you have a reputation as a good kid and hardworking student, you’ll be far more likely to be forgiven for (small) mistakes.
- When you come home from school, spend a few minutes going over what you were taught in class that day. Make revision / study notes as you go along
. When I was in 4th form, I’d take my class notes on scrap paper, and then later copy them out neatly into a notebook. That way, I’d already revised the material at least once, I had decent notes for studying for a test, and I’d immediately catch on to things I hadn’t understood. It’ll make life much less stressful in the run-up to exams and tests. If your friends do the same, swap notes with them. They might have caught something you missed, and it’s sometimes helpful to see information from a new perspective / explained in a different voice.
Start studying for tests / exams early. Revising a bit every day is much more effective and less stressful than cramming the day before.
- be absolutely present in class mentally
if you grasp everything what is taught during lectures, half of your work will be done. And just listening carefully also doesn’t count as being absolutely present. Try to grasp everything, make mnemonics, imagine things which are being taught and try to give your 100% during that.
- don’t take frequent breaks
whenever you take break, you distract yourself and break the flow and then getting back to study is a challenge in itself. So Just don’t break the flow if you have managed to focus on books. It doesn’t mean you won’t take break at all. Just study in large chunks. And take long break in which you can actually do some other thing and recharge your mind.
- go throughPrevious yearsquestion papers
these are must. And also do these before revision (not at last) so you get the idea about topics around which a particular exam paper revolves. there are always some topics from which questions will definitely be asked and those must be on your mind always.
- Be brutally honest with yourself.
Very likely, whatever was working for you in high school is not cutting it any more at the college level. Identify your strengths and build upon them. Identify your weaknesses and adjust your habits accordingly -e.g. start reading the whole chapter instead of just the summary at the end; or close out your email, browsers, and other apps during lectures so you are less distracted and catch more of the lesson.
- If you don’t know, ask!
As a former teacher of mine once said in anticipation of an upcoming exam “Being afraid that I will think you’re stupid isn’t a reason for not asking questions. I’ll find out soon enough anyway.”
- Work first, play later.
This will allow time for you to work through and comprehend the concepts while also giving you a cushion of time to seek help if needed. Rushing through readings, home works, and projects often results in mistakes, oversights, poorer encoding into memory, and consequently poor grades.
- Practice, Practice, Practice.
As soon as you think you understand something, DO NOT simply move on. Instead, test yourself with a different but similar example. Hindsight bias is every student’s worst enemy, which is exactly why math and physics teachers assign so many practice problems -there actually is some efficacy in drill-and-kill.
Finally, procrastination can be your worst enemy during your college years. It is important to learn early on how to motivate yourself to finish that assignment , avoiding the temptation to leave them until the last minute.