Tuesday 31 May 2016

5 tips to help you get top marks on your exams

The exam season has arrived! Preparing for your exams is a great time to affirm your own knowledge and credentials as well as hone your time-management skills. While it’s easy to get bogged down when preparing for the end-of-semester period, improving your study habits now will have you feeling ready well before crunch time. We’ve compiled a five-step guide to help you successfully navigate the exam period.

1. Study when it’s right for you
Every person has natural peak periods during the course of the day where they feel at their most motivated, alert and focused. Whether you thrive during early mornings or consider yourself a night owl, plan your study schedule for when you are at your sharpest. Prioritise complex study content for periods of high motivation, saving the easier material for when your attention wanes.

2. Summarise your notes, rinse and repeat
You don’t have to relearn everything from the semester to perform well in your exams. Condense your lecture notes into points that cover the key syllabus topics of your subjects. Whether you learn visually, by reading it aloud or by sound, the process of shortening your notes will ensure you fully grasp your exam material.

3. Review the exam questions
Nothing’s better than a test run! Get your hands on some exam questions and practise writing your answers. Not only will be you familiar with the style and format of your test, but a run-through is sure to quell unruly nerves. The Tax Institute’s ConTax Newsletter includes example exam questions around tax topics that may be useful while your unit coordinators may also be able to provide copies of past exams.

4. Maximise what you can do
Time spent commuting or performing low-concentration activities – such as cooking dinner or even showering – doesn’t have to be considered the time wasted. Take the chance to make use of these periods by reading through your notes, browsing your lecture material or testing your memory by recalling key points. While you won’t be able to learn anything too complex, continuing to familiarise yourself with your study points will promote faster learning and memory recall – helping you reach your end goal quicker!

5. Test yourself
Your ability to learn the material and then refashion it in your own words is a tried and tested method that shows just how thorough of an understanding you have. Try creating flashcards from your study notes or using the syllabus as question cues to test your knowledge.

While the study period can be tense, it’s important to remember to balance your study time with adequate rest and relaxation. With a positive outlook and by focusing on your goal, you are moving another step closer to a successful 
career in tax.

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