Plan ahead for May/June 2017 exams


To all the students preparing for exams,

If you are serious about getting excellent grades in May 2017 examination, it’s time to start plan ahead. The exam timetables for May/June 2017 are already out! You can find them here,

IB – http://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/assessment-and-exams/exam-schedule/

IGCSE – http://www.cie.org.uk/cambridge-for/exams-officers/cambridge-exams-officers-guide/phase-1-preparation/timetabling-exams/exam-timetables/

Edexcel –  http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/support/support-topics/exams/exam-timetables.html

Here’s a few suggestions to be well prepared for the exam.

1. Know all the subject content – Read through the syllabus outline and the data booklet and see if there are any lessons you have missed in school any unfamiliar equations or formulas. You don’t want to be caught with any surprises at the exams. If there’s items that you cannot recognise do one of the three things,

  1. Read the textbook and try and understand
  2. Ask a friend – usually friends can clarify a lot of doubts
  3. Ask a teacher – teachers will help depending on their availability, if they don’t have time they will at least point you in the right direction

2. Prepare a program – If you are planning on revision work you will definitely need a program. Prepare a timetable on what tasks need to get done on which day. You can make use of Microsoft Excel to prepare this plan. There’s free calendar templates available in Microsoft Office 365 website.  link – https://templates.office.com/en-us/templates-for-Excel. Download the template and start filling up, make sure to take the following into consideration.

  1. Study hours each day – specific subjects and topics, be practical
  2. Time for practicing questions
  3. Time for practicing past papers
  4. Time for correcting past papers
  5. Upcoming school exams or tests – prelims, end of year exams
  6. School organised revision sessions – ask your teacher for the schedule

3. Practice a lot of past exam papers – I cant stress enough on this. I would recommend you to try atleast 10 years worth of past papers for each subject you take. This will probably take about a month of your time. Past exam papers give you a very good insight into what type of questions they can ask and what are the key points they are looking in an answer. For the MCQ’s that do not have discriptive answers I will be uploading worked solutions bit by bit as I finish them (appreciate your patience).

4. Temporarily give up on your favourite TV shows, video games and any other distractions – As much as you want to talk about who did what in which episode, soon enough you will realise that these will not go on your CV in the future. What goes on your CV are your grades. You will feel left out from the ‘social scene’ for a while. But not to worry, like all the long drawn dramas on television the story will be around the same point where you left off. You can always get upto speed in a few weeks with television, but I’m afraid exams do not have the same option.

5. Find something that motivates you – It can get frustrating when you don’t seem to get the correct answer at times or sometimes when you are given the answer and you still don’t understand. You will feel like giving up and binge watching youtube or netflix for the rest of the day. There’s only one fix to this, find something or someone that motivates you. Here’s something I did when I was preparing. I used to have a image of  a beggar drawn on the wall in front of me. Everytime I see the drawing I realise this is not what I want to be and that studying hard is the only way to prevent that outcome. This might sound a bit extreme, I agree; but sometimes motivation is all you need to push yourself from a ‘C grade’ to an ‘A grade’. The source of the motivation can be highly specific from person to person. Your motivation could be your parents, a university you want to study in or a place you want to live in the future. It’s the dream, don’t loose sight of it.

6. Eat well, sleep well – This goes without saying, but sometimes we forget the most basic things when we are in panic mode. Try to get a good sleep, at least 6 hours. More than 8 hours will cut into your daily schedule for that reason I  don’t recommend more than 8 hours of sleep. Thinking requires energy so make sure that you work on a full stomach. An empty stomach will not help you concentrate either. If you seem to forget when to eat, ask your parents to remind you about breakfast, lunch and dinner, most parents will be happy to do so. If you are away from your parents set a reminder for meal times.

Some final thoughts,

Try to prepare yourself early as possible to avoid disappointment. You don’t want to be saying to yourself at the day of the exam “I should of done this or I could’ve done this”. Try to keep to your schedule as much as possible. Be serious about studies and work towards your goal. Just like an athlete preparing for a big race in a few weeks you will get into the rhythm of practicing everyday. If you have the right motivation you will automatically walk towards your study table in the morning/evening everyday like clockwork. Like they say “fortune favours the prepared mind”. Best of luck!

Mr. Dileep