Many students have confessed to me that they do well on
everything in their courses but their exams. There are three main reasons to
1. College and university level courses have far more weight placed on the final exam than high school classes.
2. High school students are not used to comprehensive exams, that is, where an entire term or year of material is tested.
3. Secondary school tests use regurgitation to measure understanding whereas college and university examinations use comprehension and analysis to measure a student’s understanding of the material.
As a result, students are not properly trained for their final exams. What is the trick to doing well on exams? The answer is train like an athlete.
An athlete looks at the long-term goal and establishes a routine and discipline to accomplish that goal. For a university or college student this is achieved by fulfilling these steps:
- Commit time (a minimum of 2 hours of study for every hour of lecture).
- Commit to 100% class attendance.
- Strive for 100% completion of the class readings.
Begin to build your level of concentration to mimic an exam setting. You can’t expect to concentrate during a three hour exam if you haven’t trained for it. Increasing your ability to concentrate for long periods of time takes practice. Start your training early in your academic career and you will be pleasantly surprised how good of shape your brain is when it comes to the final exam.
So if you start your training in the first month of your first term of your first year, lay a solid foundation, be consistent in your work ethic, and commit to the training model, you will find yourself one step closer to academic success.
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