How To Pass Your Exams In 7 Steps


Barclays Bank Kenya recently had students in their scholarship program get coaching so that they can be able to do their exams better. The focus of the coaching was to help students improve their study techniques, increase motivation, improve organization skills, increase student’s confidence and raise exam performance in general. The tips were very useful and you can use them all the time.

Passing exams requires a plan. It is easy to get caught unawares by exams, especially for university students. A last-minute rush to read will most probably negatively affect your grades so the workshops are designed to equip you with the skills you need to pass exams.

There are common mistakes that most students make in exam preparation, some of which are;

  1. Lack of enough time to prepare.
  2. Doing the wrong work – doing work that doesn’t matter.
  3. Not correcting past mistakes.
  4. Lack of a revision plan.
  5. Not doing enough past papers.

The key to exam success is exam preparation 80% and 20% exam room tricks. Here are a few general tips to help you get through your exams with ease. There are two parts to this.

Before the exams.

  1. Preparation

Preparation for exams does not just mean going through your notes. Make sure you have all your notes at least three weeks prior the date the exams are set to start. Writing notes makes it easier for you to go through them when you are revising. The three weeks are convenient in that, you can use the first week to finish writing your notes, the second one to go through them and the third to do past papers. Past papers will help you gauge your progress.

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  1. Identify problem areas

Go through past papers and identify where you lost marks. A mistake means lack of knowledge but can also mean a lack of proper comprehension. Identify which areas are problematic for you. From this, you can be able to pay closer attention to those areas when reading.

  1. Consultations and Enquiries

In most university settings, it is almost impossible to get a face to face with a lecturer. If you can, go through past papers with them, show them what you did and ask for guidelines to do better. Let them tell you where you lost marks specifically. Make a list of the things that are proving difficult for you.

  1. Learn from the people around you

Get exams papers back from people who did better than you. Identify what is good about how they approached the exam. Model your answers in the way the person did.

  1. Redoing your past papers

Redo the papers or questions that you did badly. Going through past papers will help you identify where you lost your marks. After you have done the paper, take it for remarking if that is possible. You could also get past papers from students who are ahead of you. Practice makes perfect.

  1. Use an exam planner

Set goals as per the subject. Indicate when to do something on a subject and set a deadline for it. This will make your revision process more organized, giving you a better chance of grasping and covering intended content. You should have a subject, goal, when to do it and the deadline by which you must have done it.

7. Practice makes permanent

The last week before the exam, invest in doing practice papers. Do a number of papers per subjects, at least 3-5. For introductory practice papers, you can do them like an open book. Ensure that at least one paper per subject is done under exam conditions. You will be able to gauge yourself on how prepared you are for your papers.

Exam Room tricks

  1. Avoid negative energy

There are people who stress you before the exam, avoid them. Stay calm, avoid getting nervous. You can do breathing exercises, some people recite mantras and listening to music helps.

  1. Time yourself

Time running out during an exam is probably the worst thing that can happen to you. You have the content but you cannot write it down. Allocate time to questions according to the marks to be earned. Having answers at your fingertips does not help if you do not transfer them to your answer sheet. To avoid this, time yourself while you are doing past papers to see if you can utilize the given time. When you are in an exam room, do the questions with more marks first. This is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your paper.

  1. Read through the question paper

You do not have to do the questions in the order in which they are arranged in the paper. Reading through the questions helps you gauge which ones require a lot of time. Do not use too much time on a question; work on the ones that come easy on you first. This increases your chances of performing well and you will not miss enough time to do your paper. Plan out your answers before you write them down on your answer sheet. Do a mind map.

Here are 5 Simple Tips For Managing Stress

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