1-Estimate the time left and what to do
The time between you and the exam session is now running out. You’ll probably have more opportunities to focus on the essentials and get away from distractions. Try to set a goal of being ready a few days before the start of the session so you can have a few days off. These days may also serve as a valve to fill in some last-minute gaps or unforeseen events.
With this goal in mind, list all you have to do and, most importantly, estimate how long each of these tasks will take you. These activities (listing and evaluating) are quite complex, but they will allow you to identify priorities and leave out what is less crucial.
2-Go to the last classes
At a minimum, the last course is often devoted to student issues. It is important to have reviewed your course before this summary and to prepare questions on points that are not clear. Pay attention to your colleagues’ questions and, most importantly, try to answer them. This is a good test to find out if you have mastered the material. More generally, pay attention to all the clues that teachers give you, such as when they repeat the same information multiple times, when they state that a particular topic could be the subject of an exam question, when they pause to let you write, or when they draw your attention to a concept or part of the course.
3-Sleep, rest, relax, eat
Don’t underestimate the importance of taking breaks until the day of the exam. A review is tiring. So you have to be on the attack and not tire your body and your memory unnecessarily, in order to keep as much energy for the exam. We advise you to keep your nights intact and to give you an eight-hour sleep, if possible. If you can’t sleep, get up and read something simple, relax if possible in a quiet, cool place. Avoid at all costs to revise to pass the time, this activity will stress you and tire you. Avoid television and computer screens, the light they broadcast does not promote falling asleep, on the contrary, it excites!
During your days, opt for regular breaks, especially if you are memorizing, a highly tiring cognitive activity. Remember, a real break of at least an hour at noon will allow you to regain strength for the end of the day.
4-Avoid skull jamming
If you want to “take care of your memory,” feed it only small amounts at a time and regularly. Understand that ingesting too much information in a short period of time does not allow you to assimilate information and, above all, prevents you from mobilizing so-called “in-depth” (and therefore effective) learning strategies. You’re just flying over the material without consolidating it. To fix the information in your long-term memory, you need to review the material several times, if possible at different times, varying the angles of attack. At the last minute, you no longer have time to consolidate the information and you are at high risk of forgetting things or getting confused on the day of the exam.
5-Review the set
We know that it will be difficult for you to rest the last few days before the exams and that you will tend to revise until the last minute (even if this is not advisable!). If you want to get your nose back in your classes the day before or on the day of the exam, try to take a holistic approach. Review the overall set, plan and/or structure. It’s also a good time to make a concept mapping (concept mapping) in order to summarize all the information and to make links between them.
6-Testing yourself to study
Take some time during your revisions to test yourself. On the day of the exam, it is too late to find that you have any deficiencies. You can create review groups where everyone is asked about a portion of the course. Try to really answer questions, either verbally or in writing, to really identify gaps (if you have any). You will be able to fill them before the start of the exam session. You may also have to answer one or two questions in writing, in the same format as expected in the exam. You will also practice writing an answer, if necessary. Having good ideas and mastering an answer is good, knowing how to organize your ideas in order to show the teachers that you have the answer is better! The editor can play tricks on you, which is why it is advisable to train in advance. For an oral exam, practice delivering an answer to an interlocutor. For an MQC, practice answering questions as much as possible without wasting time.
7-Re-engineering and exercises
Whenever possible, try to get examples of questions related to the course to test yourself in the most realistic way. Get into the test conditions and test your knowledge on concrete examples. Do this task without the theory before your eyes so as not to confuse “I know, I memorized” with “I can read the answer in the course” or “I know exercise by heart”.” About the exercises: vary them as much as possible so you don’t learn them without noticing them. It is your reasoning that you will put to the test and not your ability to memorize a course or a response.
8-Anticipate the content of the exam
Try to imagine the questions you might be asked. They are necessarily about the course and are not created for the purpose of bothering you. So identify important parts and themes. Having done so, try to formulate questions as if you were in the place of the teacher. Warning: don’t go too far!
9-Calculate your time during the exam
One of the classic pitfalls of an exam is the lack of time. To avoid this trap, before you begin the exam, review all the questions (except for an MQC) and calculate the time you have for each of them (based on their length and complexity – or the points awarded). Watch your watch regularly so you don’t overflow and save time for each question, as well as a final replay. For a QCM, you have little time for each question. If you don’t know, then go to the next question, you’ll come back to the questions that are problematic later, the goal being to earn maximum points and therefore not miss any questions for which you know the answer.
10-Don’t repeat the exam indefinitely: what is done is behind you
It is very common to have a negative impression after an exam, to doubt oneself. Unfortunately, the review done is behind you and you can no longer change anything. So move on to the next one by remembering that impressions are often negative but not always revealing of reality. Don’t lose your focus and focus on the rest of the session by repeating that your preparation has been good and that you will succeed. Positive thinking can be a good ally during this difficult time!
On these good tips, we wish you an excellent exam session and, above all, that it will be successful!