That time of the year is upon us where we have to put what we learn to practice. Most of us are nervous and do not know what to expect.

So remember when your teacher would say “guys please make sure that you read through chapter 10, and summarize the chapter in your own words”. As much as it might have seemed like a task that one wasn’t supposed to take seriously, later on in life and whilst you’re still studying, you actually realize that it was a principal that our teachers were trying to instill in us in preparation for what lies ahead.

We so used to being spoon fed in the early stages of our school careers that we, tend to forget that it does not exist in tertiary. Success in tertiary is completely and entirely dependent on how serious you are about your studies and going the extra mile, so whoever is reading this I encourage you to not underestimate the skills and principals being taught in school.

The art of “reading” is the most basic skill that everybody should be exposed to, for reasons you can imagine.

I will be committing to completing a Bcom in Management this year and I have started researching the modules, downloading dummies on the net and various other activities to ensure I prepare myself and that I will cope.

A few nifty tips for your next session of exam studying

1. Don’t take your assignments for granted.

A one hour cram session is definitely not a good idea. In most cases assignments and or summary tests are not to annoy you by having something to submit for marks, but rather a monthly preparation to see how much or little you understand a module. So in essence assignments are “free marks” and also contribute to your overall understanding.

2. Cramming never works.

I have heard my High school teachers say it, my mother say it and yes it really does not work. Exams test your understanding not your ability to memorize a specific definition in a textbook. Studying is more efficient when you understand and can summarize a chapter in your own words, in relation to what is being studied of course.

3. Make sure your exams don’t clash.

An exam clash is one of life’s problems you do not want to come across. It is important that you plan accordingly for your exams with the exam timetable of the institution you are studying with. The exam timetable gives you information as to the venue, times, and the duration of the exam. If you do come across a clash you would be able to plan for it better by analyzing which of the two courses you enjoy the most. The one that you enjoy the most would be easier to study for and then the other that you have difficulty with, you can divide your time and focus on it.

4. Dealing with distractions.

It always helps to know yourself when it comes to your weaknesses and strengths. Personally mine is an overbearing obsession with my cellphone and laptop. In knowing my weakness, I am able to channel my strength, which is being able to focus on more than one social platform for hours, into my studies. That means switching my devices off and “imagining” that I will be updating my status with an overview of what I just read.  It doesn’t have to work for everyone but it does help.

5. Remember the reason why you’re studying.

Most of the time I hear/read about students studying because they want to make their parents happy, they are following the status quo of society or the famous “I am studying because it will bear fruits for my chosen career path”, while all of these are good enough reasons to further ones studies, it is important to look inward and ask yourself, why you are committed to studying and what it means to you and if it forms part of the plans you have for your future. As all the other external factors contributing to your life will, realistically speaking, not be there to hold your hand when in an exam.

– Gift M.