Purposeful Preparation for Perfect Performance.
You need to prepare well in advance for the exams. Your preparation needs to be smart, focussed and efficient. You should ensure that you have the exam timetable, then make a revision plan which works backwards from each exam. Specify which subjects you will revise in each hour between now and the exams.
2. Revise SMART not dumb.
Don’t just sit and read over your notes, that’s the most ineffective and inefficient way to revise. Use your semantic memory to revise your notes – that means you should do something active and meaningful with your notes e.g. précis, reconfigure or visually restructure.
The very best form of review is to practice the exam questions – start off with your notes, and later do practice questions under timed conditions without notes.
Remember “only the wise revise”.
3. Attentive Exam Habits.
Take care in the exam to read and re-read the questions. Ensure that you follow the instructions very carefully. Don’t answer more (or fewer) questions than is required. Answer the actual question as stated, not the question that you would like to have seen on the paper.
4. Be Plan-tastic !
In exams that require longer written answers (any question that requires you to write for 15 mins or more) you should spend time planning your answer. Plan by paragraph, or by concept, or by assessment criteria – whichever suits you, and the subject/exam requirements – just make sure that you have a plan which covers all parts of the answer.
5. Time Management
You must manage your time in the exam very carefully. Ensure that you divide your time according to the number of marks allocated to each question, write your end times for each question next to the question on the exam paper, and then stick to that time plan.
“Do the final exams really matter ?”
A couple of students have recently asked me whether the final exams really matter. Well, as a ToK teacher I would say that we need to see all things in relative context, and if your context is your particular life at school – then, Yes, of course the final exams really matter ! Teachers will use your exam answers as diagnostic and prognostic tools to judge how much you’ve learned this year, and to plan what we need to do to help you to learn more next year. Most importantly the exams are an opportunity for you to show the rest of the world what you’re capable of. Don’t let others underestimate you – do the best you can !
Good luck to all students in their Finals 2016,
By Mr Daniel Trump.IB Diploma Coordinator at KIS International School