Passing exams? Let us start from here!

posted Sep 17, 2013, 8:24 AM by Maurice Nyamoti   [ updated Jan 10, 2017, 10:51 AM ]

Passing exams? Let us start from here!

Ask yourself these questions

1. Did I cover the syllabus?

By how much 70%, 95% or 39%-Does it matter anyway if I don’t cover the syllabus? Yes! it does, it’s a matter of probability, and KCSE examination covers the entire syllabus and addresses key sectors of the curriculum. Covering the syllabus (but not in a shrewd manner) increases the probability of passing exams by a larger margin.

2. Does my Behavior affect my grades?

Find out whether your behavior slows you down. Are you always at logger heads with school administration, parents? Or maybe alcoholism- How often do you get excited when you spend time with pals of opposite sex? Can you be able to transfer the same feelings to books? Gauge your Psychological needs, what do you want? Why do you want it? Is it cost effective? Is this the right time to desire it? Why should adolescence command my integrity? How can I overcome the challenges I face in my life?

3. Am I too good for these examinations?

This is what we call overconfidence; Examination game is not over until the last exam, last period. Approach exams with soberness and humility; Seal all loopholes that can expose your weaknesses. Do exams with pride but don’t overestimate yourself, you may as well prepare for kickbacks if you try.

4. Am I really Capable of…………….?

Why do you doubt yourself in the first place? This means that you are unprepared or what? Nobody likes exams, you are not alone in this Island; examination is not a matter of live or die- examination is a measure of academic performance, life is not all about academics; life is more than that- if you can be able to mix your academic performance and wisdom on a 50:50 basis, then life becomes easier- pressure only comes when you think academic is a matter of grave danger. Now can you get this burden out of your shoulders and start living?

5. Did I prepare well for the exam?

Did you? Did you try to revise? Finish your home works? Covered the syllabus? Did you forgive your enemies before you sat for these exams? Did you cut ties with the past before exam day? Have you ever appreciated yourself? Looked into the mirror and admired how composed you are; how unique and how wonderful? People see you the way you see yourself in that mirror. Degrading yourself has hazardous consequences in your overall composure. Appreciate yourself and start to build a destiny for yourself/ a territorial fence of success. Don’t expect to eat if you never cooked, harvest if you never tilled, dance if there is no music, don’t expect to pass if what you all along did was to sit and wait for exams- not, unless it’s a miracle.
Passing Exams

6. Do I hate this subject?

Most students hate science subjects, if you are one of those silly phobia brains; try to mend your relationship with these subjects. They are truly a gateway to success as you will find out in future.

7. Did I understand this question/instruction?

Make sure you understand every question you want to answer. Assuming that you understood is as expensive as ‘Kenya’s taxation on basic commodities’ as you will end up losing a lot of marks as Kenyans lose this taxation via corruption of the highest caliber.
Conclusion
Passing examination entails a lot of procedures starting from the way you answer questions on different subjects, sciences carry more marks in practical, languages are heavier in literature just as math pp2 is easier to pass than paper one. And that is why you need examiners in your school to train you how to answer questions in different subjects, success also comes from you, do not anger the examiner with poor handwriting or cheeky-unprecedented statements, irrelevance or arrogance. Passing exams comes from yourself, this in thing that tells you to pass is the same instinct that- if used well- can break your jinks to performance beyond barriers and borders. You may be under pressure from your parents or guardians however get this burden off your shoulder and start working for your (and I quote ‘your’) future and not theirs. I will advice you as a friend but I may not decide for you. There is this thing that helped me so much in exam
· Do not focus your attention on cheating
· Do not panic in an exam room
· And most important- specialize in specific topics you are good at, score highly in those subjects you like most and make an effort to improve on those you loath most. In that way, there will be a seesaw of balancing your grade otherwise good luck!
I happened to come across this tips on internet and also found them helpful. Scan them to add to what I had already given you.

Here are 7 tips to help every student pass exams, based on my personal experience:


1. No limiting belief please

- Remove the limiting belief that you can’t pass.
- If you believe you can pass or you believe you cannot pass, you are right.
- I have seen students under the impression that examiner is their enemy. Please don’t think so. Pass percentage might be low, but students do pass their exams. So, don’t think that you will be in a failure category ever.

2. Understand the structure of paper

- First of all, understand the structure of paper – is there any marks allocation for a particular topic?
- Secondly, if there is marks allocation, is examiner following it? The best thing to do is to review the past five papers.
- What is the key topic i.e. examiner’s favorite? Is there any article by examiner in the Students’ Accountant or any other relevant student magazine? Study that topic and prepare for it, even if you don’t like it!

3. Taking notes

- Prepare for exams by way of ‘notes’ which you can recall quickly at the time of taking exam. This will help in two manner. First, when you write, you are in better picture of giving your mind instruction through written letters. Secondly, you can revise from your notes instead of opening the book when exam day is near. Here is my strategy for taking notes:
- Take a paper and turn it in landscape format.
- Put three columns in landscape form.
- Once done, take synopsis of a chapter in smaller fonts and the language which you can easily understand.
- Write bullet points, important concepts and key ideas which you need to remember.
- These notes should be used at the time when paper is on head and you need to revise whole subject in two to three hours.

4. Remembering / memorizing key ideas and formulae

- One of the key ideas to memorize ideas e.g. formulae, is to write them in small charts and hang it in front of your bed.
- See those formulae daily before going to bed and rising up.
- Use different colours and markers.
- Believe me, in my statistics paper, I was recalling the formulae in the exact colours which I wrote on charts.

5. Exam practice

- Practice mock exam – be your own examiner.
- Take any past paper and solve it as a mock exam.
- Solve past paper in the time allocated in exam. Think you are in exam hall and solve the paper accordingly.
- Check your paper and give yourself marks.
- See how you are performing in mock exam and be sincere to yourself.

6. Time your paper

- Here is technique to time your paper: Take total marks and total time. Subtract 10 minutes from the total minutes. Divide the remainder with the marks and you get time per marks
- Example: If there are 100 marks for a paper and you have 180 minutes. Subtract 10 minutes. This means you have 170 minutes altogether or 1.7 minutes per mark.
- make sure that you don’t spend more that 1.7 minutes per mark e.g. if a question is of 10 marks, maximum time you should spend should be 17 minutes.
- It happens that students try to focus on one particular question and if they are unable to solve it, they get confused. Don’t panic. Start next question. If student has time, he / she can take up that particular question later on.
- Try to allocate 10 minutes at the end of exam to review the paper thoroughly.

7. Don’t annoy examiner

See for spelling errors and writing style. Writing needs to be legible and understandable. As a teacher to many students, I have noticed that spelling errors and the way students write, at times, is not understandable. Examiner has very less time to check paper. If your paper is examiner friendly, you are going to attract good marks.
In 2004, I made a presentation on examination techniques at one of the seminars organized by ACCA. Here is the PDF version of the presentation:
All the best for your exams – good luck!
Atika M Nyamoti
Is an IT teacher/web developer and Director of Www.manyamfranchise.com a website that deals with KCSE exam past papers, KCPE equivalent, science projects, office templates, schemes of work, science projects, computer projects and school software. Follow Atika @ http://www.twitter.com/manyamfranchise
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