Preparing for Exams

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A lesson for Uxbridge College students as part of an Introduction to University day at Brunel University on 14th November 2012.

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  • Training analogyExams can be terrifying but if we are prepared and understand a little bit more about how exams work, we can face them with confidence.
  • review them again one hour, one day and two days later. Reviewing in this way is a very effective method of reinforcing memory.
  • Preparing for Exams

    1. 1. +How best to prepare for exams Emily Danvers Uxbridge College Brunel University 14th November 2012
    2. 2. + Raise your hand if this sounds like you, Wave your hands if this really sounds like you “Planning aheadmyrevisingtalk thethe “I keeppanic: I freeze up. I notes over just reading is course on on bus and over again and atbe revising, hours when should the end of phone on theIway there, right?” and I “I really like exams!” stare out of Ithe window whenaI single of revising can’t remember should thing I’m supposed to have learned.” be writing in the exam”
    3. 3. + Objectives  Look at some exam myths and truths  Consider some effective revision strategies  Practice ways to improve our memory
    4. 4. + Complete the sentence… Exams would be so much easier if only….
    5. 5. + Reflection  Whohas something written down that they can’t change?  Who has something written down that they can do something about?  Who knows how to do something about it?
    6. 6. + Exam Myths vs. Exam Truths Myth Truth  Exams are a memory game  Exams are a test of your understanding as well as knowledge  I hate exams, I’m bound to fail  Exams have advantages – be positive and confront your attitudes  If I fail, it’ll be the end of the  Everyone wants you to pass but you world can only do your best. Put into perspective.  Exams are designed to catch  They are designed to test the you out learning outcomes of the course.
    7. 7. + BETA Revision strategy  Be prepared- look at the past papers so you know the exam format and how this relates to the course syllabus.  Evaluateyour knowledge - Decide which topics you might need to revise in detail and which you need to cover only briefly.  Timetable - Look at how much time you have available and create a timetable. Plan ahead to fit your revision around your life.  Active - condense notes, use memory tools, practice past papers, form revision groups
    8. 8. + Revision routine  Set times, targets and rewards  Consider your environment - time of day, place  Take regular breaks  Work with friends  Test yourself …Work effectively not virtuously
    9. 9. + Revision Cycle… Reinforce memory by reviewing 1 hour, 1 day and 3 days later.Open University (2012)
    10. 10. + Revision and memory Think about your learning style to create codes for your mind to unlock on the day:  Visual- mind maps, pictures, images  Auditory –songs, poems, mnemonics  Creative – stories, connection, analogies
    11. 11. + On the day  Have a good breakfast  Have a quick glance through notes  Arrive early with spare pens/calculator  Set yourself 5 minutes to read the exam paper thoroughly  Spend time planning and reviewing each exam question  Avoid negative people before and after the exam
    12. 12. + Exam anxiety  Use a mantra to deal with negative messages e.g. I can’t do this  Positive objects/thoughts as motivators  Take a logical approach to stay on track e.g. I will spend 5 minutes reading, 10 minutes reviewing and 25 minutes on each question
    13. 13. + Conclusion  Confrontyour exam attitudes – what might be holding you back?  Think logically – what has the course covered? What have previous exams covered?  Revise actively and unlock the power of your memory  Get thebasics right on the day and your well- trained brain will do the rest!
    14. 14. + Online Resources  Leeds University (2012) Exam Skills Tutorial http://library.leeds.ac.uk/skills-exams  Open University (2012) Revision http://www.open.ac.uk/skillsforstudy/revision.ph p  ReadingUniversity (2012) Preparing for Exams http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/studyadvice/ StudyResources/sta-preparing.aspx

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