Study Skills – What affects exam success?
What affects exam success?
There are various factors that affect success in an exam. This includes subject knowledge, exam preparation, exam practice, writing skills, use of time and attitudes towards the exam.
The better students know their subject the easier it is to succeed. Knowing the subject will help them:
- Have self-confidence and reduce stress.
- Manage time effectively.
- Recognize what is significant. Therefore, They will understand what must be included and what can be left out
- Identify links and connections between different aspects of the subject. These associations will help students have a global view of the subject.
- Recognize which points of the curriculum are relevant to which exam questions
- Find the starting point to answer questions and solve problems
Exam preparation is of paramount importance. Students may be very hard-working during the courses, but if they don’t prepare enough for the exam they may experience a disastrous situation. When sitting for exams students must not only understand information but also remember and present particular aspects of the course at a certain speed.
As the saying goes: “practice makes progress.” It is undoubtedly very important for learners to practice a lot in order to do well. Students have to practice in conditions as near to the real exam as possible. They have to:
- Set up their own mock exam conditions
- Practice old exam questions.
- Work under time pressure.
- Check their answers after they finish.
- Learn to work quickly in planning, writing and checking answers.
For all written exams, exam success is affected by:
clear, easy to read writing style
students have to show their knowledge of subject specific vocabulary in their answers
Well structured answers have an introduction, body (with possibly many paragraphs) and a conclusion
Support your points with definitions, examples, theory and quotes
Use of time
Students must be aware of good timing before and during the exam.
- Before the exam they must timetable their preparation.
- During the exam they must allot enough time for each question.
Our cognitive activity to think clearly and logically, is affected by factors such as:
- how calm we are feeling
- level of interest in material
- Self understanding