“Hard training easy battle” is the motto of the First Battalion of Infantry, Michel Camp, Ghana. Passing an examination with good grades is the aim of every student. Undoubtedly, adequate preparation is the accepted prelude to every examination no matter the level or stage. Examination, like death and taxes is always certain. So long as one remains a student, examination will always knock at one’s door. One key to success in examination is adequate preparation and the other, uncompromising discipline with respect to commitment to studies. Mediocrity and all forms of lackadaisical attitude must be relegated to the background whenever one settles down to study.
Preparation starts from planning, selecting appropriate study materials, organizing one’s time and working consistently and methodically. In the preparation, any one who wants a good grade should have both long term and short term goals. These plans should be made before or immediately one steps on a campus for studies.
The short term goals should be taken very seriously since their accumulation lead to the achievement of long term goals test. For example, a student who wants to complete a university course with a first class needs to take his/her assignments and class exercises as well as mid-semester examinations very serious since they form part of the final grade.
As part of the preparation, make a close or calculated survey of your syllabus or course content and make sure you cover it before examination time comes. Remember that though group studies are good, the best study method for effective comprehension and assimilation is self-directed private study. It is only during such times that it becomes easy to memorize certain things. Remember that you are your own driver on the road of academics.
You should also have a well-planned time table and make sure you keep to it. You can also devote more time to subjects or courses you deem difficult though no course is easy. Pay attention in class and also put down necessary points to serve as a guideline to you. Frame topics and sub-topics into questions to answer. When exam is approaching, have time to practice your questions by answering them as if you were in the exam hall by timing yourself. Try and master the areas you think you are not conversant with before the exam day. Do not leave any topic out with the idea that it would not come during the exam. The area you leave might even be the area that would produce the questions to answer and you might be in a big trouble if you had left it.
In the exam hall, take your time and carefully select your questions to be answered. Start answering from the one you understand most. Most students make the mistake of leaving their best questions to answer last only to be bitten by time. Also do not spend too much time on one question since doing so might limit the time allotted to the other questions.
When answering, support your answers with relevant examples to show that you really understand what you are writing. Also try and allocate some time to read through your answers and do the necessary corrections since the probability of making mistake during exams is very high. However, if you are double sure that your work is mistake free, you can leave it without reading through but the best thing is to read through your work after answering before submitting it to the invigilator.
Never rush to write quickly and leave the exam hall as others do. Remember that a lecturer or teacher is too wise to give you three (3) hours for an hour’s paper. Try and utilize all the time in order to get an excellent work.
In conclusion, remember that unavailability of study materials, orchestrated by financial constraints, shortage of available textbooks, and library among others should not discourage the pursuit of excellence but rather serve as a challenge for hard work.