Have you ever wondered why you get so tensed in an exam whilst the guy next to you is looking so calm, cool, collected and confident? The answer is simple; it has to do with preparation. Preparation is a savvy examination strategy that gives an individual plenty of rest and social time. Quality sleep and healthy diet also helps to develop a winning mind-set. A winning mind-set is absolutely as crucial as knowing your subject matter. Below are 10 tips to help you develop a winning mind-set so you too can have a winning attitude and get that grade A in your Cameroon GCE examination.
You need an action plan
You have to have an action plan setting out your road map throughout the exam period, not just one exam at a time. The best strategy is to reflect back from your last examination to where you are at the moment; divide the period up into 3 day chunks that are manageable and please do not forget to take a day off in between. Set your exam priorities and then develop a revision plan that actively target those priorities and make sure to look at the next exam before you sit the first examination.
Develop mental toughness and persistence
Developing mental toughness is easier said than done. However, if you are adopting a “3 day on, 1 day off” plan, you only have to be
tough on yourself for 3 days at a time! Make sure you have little messages on stickers scattered all over the place, on your refrigerator, in your room, in your books, in the office etc. to remind you of what you need to do or should be doing. Do this in an orderly and organised manner otherwise it can become counter-productive. It is easy to make a plan and to say I am going to do this every day every week. However, before you realised you might end up doing it just once or missing out completely on some days or weeks. Therefore, persistence is the watch word, you have to understand that persistence is the factor that separates out the A grade from the D grade students. Yes, people might tell you that “so and so” is naturally clever, it might be true. But they too work very hard, each and every day, so you should be an exception. Hard work naturally pays off.
Be positive minded
I am a big believer of what is written in Holy Bible that the “power of life and death lies with the tongue”. Even non-Christians can testify to this. Research has shown time and time again that if you think positively then you are a happier and a more confident person. Be optimistic; believe in yourself that you have worked hard enough and smart and that you are in good health. You have put all the right energy in place for this exact moment and that will do well because you know your subject matter and feel great. If think people are just lucky; then I will advise you have a rethink.
You can read more on this area from the following books: The Elephant and the Twig, The Art of Positive Thinking by Geoff Thompson.
Be super healthy
You might be wondering why on health you need to be super healthy. Hang on; I don’t want to become an athlete. Yes I agree with you, that is the last thing I will recommend you become for the time being. Too much exercise might deplete your energy reserves and make you overtired. It is often said learning without playing makes Jack a dull boy. Therefore plan some moderate exercise, a nice
brisk walk or an easy gym session would be just fine. If possible spend at least a whole afternoon a week outside doing some exercise; get to know a new area of your town or local countryside better or chat with some friends make, jokes and have fun. Other exercises you might like to try are jogging or hiking, keep it moderate but regular. One of my favourite times for a short exercise is just after a revision session, a nice brisk walk; back for a little TV show then off to bed. There is a school of thought that argues that studying examination material just before going to sleep helps you retain information. This however, is unfounded. Research has proved that when you go to bed when you are tired, you fall asleep straight away. If you this this long enough and often it will be one of the best strategies you can have to help you cope with stress.
Health eating is another aspect of becoming healthy and it’s no doubt a good life habit to develop. Eating a variety of diet with plenty of fruits and vegetable is the way forward. Reduce the intake of restaurant meals to only during special occasions to give yourself a treat. If you must go to a restaurant then preferably chose light-healthy menu. Your worst nightmare will be eating a hot dish of fufu and eru washed down with several bottles of lager the night before an important examination.
So far evidence about the damaging effects of alcohol on the brain is conflicting. All studies do show that alcohol causes damage; however, research shows that it doesn’t kill brain cells.
Drinking plenty of water will do you some good. Avoid fizzy soft drinks because most of them contain high sugar content that will dehydrate you instead. There is little psychological evidence to suggest that a cup of coffee before an examination will provide a boost. Last but not the least remember to go to the toilet to empty your bladder and intestine before you go into the exam room.
Be nice to yourself
Frequent treats can have an up spirited effect. It doesn’t have to cost you a dime at all. There are several ways to treat yourself absolutely free. It could be just telling all your friends how great you are feeling on Facebook, twitter and other social media. It could be a time out on the park or just cooking a nice and delicious meal. The important thing to note here is make them regular. If possible make sure to treat yourself after very revision session. Caution! Do not start eating as your treat though, otherwise this might develop into a very bad habit that getting ride off later might become a problem.
Personally I will recommend playing on the X-box with friends and regular cinema visits. The really big treats should come after you have taken all your exams or better still when the results are out. The positive impact that this will have in celebrating success will be worthwhile.
Set smaller goals
As the saying goes; little drops of water makes the ocean. Even the most successful athletes you have seen or heard of did not get there in one goal. The best way to get to your desired position is to set smaller targets that are achievable. One step at a time, gradually, consistently and persistently you will eventually get to the top. Smaller goals are the key to reaching the bigger picture. You need to set the bigger picture goal, for example ‘I am going to achieve a grade A in my Mathematics examination’, but in other to achieve these goals you may want to set smaller targets like ‘Today I am going to revise algebra and solving inequalities and complete the past GCE questions with at least 95% success.
Improve your memory
Yes, you may be saying that I have a very bad memory, I easily forget what I read and I don’t think anything can be done to improve this. Something can actually be done and it works like magic to improve memory. There lots of mental memory games, quizzes and puzzles like sudoku, crossword etc .out there that can help to boost your memory.
There are no magic food supplements, energy drinks or drugs that will boost your memory. Combining the methods mentioned earlier with healthy eating, plenty of exercise and good quality sleep is the best magic trick.
Other tips that can boost your memory include: making subject matter into rhymes or jokes, using the method of loci where you place important information on a familiar journey and linking subject matter to a strong visual image.
Some good educational games, puzzles and quizzes you may want to try can be found here.
Spend time with like-minded people.
The old saying goes “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you really are” generally in life we notice how rich people hang out with other rich folks, celebrities with other celebrities. You can apply this to your learning style. A practical way is to use your
revision sessions to be with someone else revising the same topic. They said two heads are better than one, you can share notes, ask each other questions and support each other generally. Do this regularly and often, you will notice a significant improvement. However, care must be taken so that you don’t live in each other’s pockets, please don’t go overboard.
If this is not practically possible then, you can form a Facebook group or even calling a friend up on Skype is a great way to talk to about topics and support. On Skype you can even share your computer screen while you talk, great for sharing ideas and knowledge and for giving or receiving support.
Use Past GCE papers
Practising past GCE questions is an important revision strategy you cannot afford to ignore.
You need to get hold on and practice solving as many questions as possible during preparation. I understand this can sometimes be difficult for some students to find and to make matter worst the necessary support you need when confronted with challenging questions. Here at www.asidcam.org will have completely solved that problem for all Cameroonians. Now you can study for you Cameroon GCE examination right from the comfort of your home or from anywhere. Our interactive e-learning centre and interactive CDs means each student have a personal tutor to take you all the way through to your examination.
Our UK trained teachers with many years of teaching experience in the UK guarantees high standard delivery of lessons and high grade attainment.
So there we have it, your goal now is to make a road map that includes all the tips I’ve outlined in this article. You have to begin today, read some of the other articles in this series which cover the tips in more detail, even better attend a training seminar or visit our education page at the top menu to find out more about our interactive e-learning courses and interactive CDs.