Are you ready to learn how to Study and Pass your External Exams? Every student would like to pass WASSCE, SSCE, and UTME and other exams, preferably at the first attempt. While this is desirable, in most cases it’s nothing but wishful thinking. Passing any of these exams requires a lot of planning and hard work — hard work in the sense of studying rigorously.
Here we present the sure-bet methods for doing very well on these exams. Let’s walk through each one:
1. Create a study plan and schedule
You need to create a study plan outlining where, when, and how often you’ll be studying. It would be wise to choose a serene environment with very little noise and distraction, and times you’re most alert during the day which will make reading easier for you. If you are too busy to create a schedule (for example, if you are the type who minds your mother’s shop), work your schedule around your daily activities. The most important thing is to get started.
2. Start studying early
The sooner you start the better. Don’t procrastinate. When you start studying earlier, it gives you the opportunity to cover as much of the exam curriculum as possible. Adequately preparing through studying gives you the confidence to take on the exams, with the assurance of passing with flying colors.
3. Persist at your study
Be persistent. This is the most important skill for those who are new to studying or those who haven’t studied at length in a while. Many people start to feel sleepy once they start reading. While it might be tempting to give up out of frustration, don’t! Just keep at it. If you start feeling sleepy, take some time off (not too much time; maybe a couple of minutes) and then go back to studying. Persist until this becomes a habit. You might need to keep to this routine until the habit sets properly and this might take some time. Just persist. Eventually, it will become second nature to you.
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4. Get a dictionary (or a phone with a dictionary app)
The more English words you know the better your chances of understanding the subjects you study. And since most exams are set in English, knowing enough English words will make studying easier ad more effective. So, keep a dictionary close by and go to it every time you come across a word you’re not familiar with.
5. Get the curriculum and required textbooks
Exams questions are usually taken from books outlined in the WAEC, NECO, and JAMB curriculums. Having these curriculums helps you decide which books to get and focus on, and this makes studying very easy.
6. Look for books related to those in the curriculum
Get as many books on each subject as possible. A concept might be explained better in a book different from the one listed in the curriculum. Having access to this book means gaining understanding better and quicker.
7. Get a copy of the exam timetable
The exam timetable helps you to create a more effective reading schedule, by enabling you to properly and efficiently space your study sessions. Most timetables are available for download online.
8. Buy or borrow past question texts
Study past question texts as they give an insight into likely exam questions. Practicing using these texts help you get familiar with how to answer exam questions and getting up to speed doing so. Past question texts also enable you to measure your level of preparedness and point out areas in which you’re deficient. You can also try our online past question quizzes at no cost.
9. Learn how to use Google
Learning how to use Google will really aid you in your studies. If you’re struggling to understand a concept, just Google it and you’re likely to find a resource that adequately explains it — in a better and simpler way.
10. Know how to use a computer
Some exams like UTME are computer-based (JAMB CBT) and knowing how to use a computer makes taking them easier. If you don’t know how to use a computer, you can watch learning videos on YouTube. (Just do a search for “How to use a computer”.) Or Google for answers. All of this should help you get started.
11. Learn to meditate
Meditate on what you have read. To meditate means to go over or think deeply about what you have learned, in your mind. Do this after studying. Or while you’re working at other chores. Or right before going to bed. Make it a habit. Every time you meditate, you get more understanding and it helps you recall what you have learned.
12. Link up with people with the same success mindset
Link up with other like-minded students with the same eagerness and passion to study and pass. Stay away from the lazy ones who lack focus. (However, don’t get arrogant and start looking down on them.) Having someone with whom you share a common goal and exchange knowledge, helps boost learning, making it easier and fun.
13. Stay away from social media, the TV, and other distracting activities
Keep yourself away from social media, the TV, games, and other activities that cause a distraction while studying. You need all the concentration you can muster to be able to understand faster and better. You can schedule 30 minutes or an hour each day for these light activities. However, if you can do without them altogether, just go ahead. Passing your exams is more important than liking a post on Facebook or Instagram.
14. Reward yourself
Reward yourself with some time off engaging in activities you really enjoy and find relaxing, after periods of prolonged study.
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