Monday, 21 May 2018

The best way to know that you are prepared for your exam is through self-assessment.

Be certain that you know your study material and are well prepared for the exams.

Have you ever studied really hard for a test, but then the day of the test you suddenly hit a blank. Sometimes we can simply feel discouraged because we thought we knew all the answers. Well there is a way of being sure you know exactly how to answer a question – through practice exam papers. Self-assessment is what can make a difference in a pass or fail, between 60% and 80%. Research has shown time and time again that practising exam papers will improve your knowledge of a topic, but also your insight in how to answer questions about this topic. Working through practice exam papers takes time and effort, but don’t feel discouraged. Thomas Edison, inventor and business man said “Opportunity is missed by people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Don’t let the opportunity of learning and getting good grades slip through your fingers only because it seems like hard work.

Here are some of the many reasons why you need to start using practice exam papers in your study sessions:

Know what is important and what not.

When you go through practise exam papers you will soon realise what topics and what kind of questions are important. You might have been focusing all of your attention on one topic but soon realise that there is a different topic that you didn’t consider just as important. Through practise exam papers you will know which topics you need to focus on.

Question familiarity.

One of the biggest advantages you’ll have when using practise exam papers is that you’ll get used to the style of questions. Normally when we study, we don’t study in the form of multiple choice or by matching column A to column B, but these are the type of questions we need to be able to answer.  Practise exam papers help us to get used to these kinds of questions. We get familiar with long questions, short/one answer questions, filling in the missing word, diagrams and sketches and practising how to give the answers that will receive marks.

Practise concentration time.

If you are writing a real exam, you need to be able to concentrate for the whole time you are writing. However, we don’t normally study for that long periods of time. We mostly study in sessions of 45 minutes with a 15 minute break in-between. That isn’t how tests work though.  During an exam we don’t just write for 45 minutes and then break in-between. We have to be able to concentrate for the full duration of the exam and that takes practice too.

When using mock exam papers you get used to the amount of questions. In a typical English Home Language paper of 2 hours long there has to be certain questions with a distinct length, because a teacher needs to test all the topics. Therefore by practising mock exam papers we will get used to the number of questions and also the amount of time each question takes to complete.

Reduce exam anxiety.

A great way to reduce exam anxiety is through practice exam papers, because you get familiar with the emotions surrounding exams. When you work out a mock exam paper, do it under exam circumstances. For example: If the mock exam paper is 2 and a half hours long, put your phone away, take out a watch, time yourself and only use two and a half hours to complete the question paper. Mark your paper by using a red pen and give yourself a mark. Now you have already went through the motions of writing an exam and have also experienced the emotion of exam pressure. The more you do it, the more you get used to it and overall your anxiety towards exams will become lower and lower. You will soon be able to endure any test.

Know what you know and focus on what you don’t know.

After you completed a practice exam paper the work isn’t finished yet! You need to evaluate yourself. If you marked your paper with a red pen, go to the area you see the most red, and go study that which you couldn’t answer correctly. Go back to your notes or text book and identify exactly what you didn’t know or understand – and then study that material over and over again until you understand it like the back of your hand.

Practise Exam Techniques.

There are certain exam techniques that will contribute to your exam success. Perform these techniques while you work out practice exam papers.
1.      Always start with writing your name on your paper.

2.     Quickly look though all the questions and make sure you have the correct amount of papers and questions to complete the exam.

3.     Always turn your papers around and make sure there’s nothing written on the back of the last page where you could miss a question.

4.     Calculate how much time you can spend on each question.  For example:  If you have 2 hours to complete a test that has a total of 80 marks, you can quickly calculate that you have 1,5 minutes for each mark (120 minutes / 80 marks = 1,5 minutes per mark).  Therefore you know if the first question has a subtotal of 10 marks, you have 15 minutes to complete question one (10 marks x 1,5 minutes = 15 minutes).  It’s very important that you don’t spend more time on a question than what you calculated.  Remember, each minute you spend more on one question, you take away time you need to spend on the next question.  When you finished the whole question paper and there is still time remaining you can always go back to the first question.

5.     Scan through the questions so that you know which topic to expect for each question.

6.     Start with the questions that contain the topic you know best.

7.     Remain relaxed through all the questions and after each question take a deep breath before you begin the next one – remember your brain needs oxygen to perform at its best.

Now that you understand the very importance of practice exam papers, you might wonder where you could find it. ASP School Projects specialises in practise exam papers.  Our Exam Papers and Answers assist learners in mastering the technique of writing tests and exams.  Our exemplar papers are presented in the same manner, format and difficulty level set by the NCS and is based on CAPS.  The questions stimulate left and right brain activity.  The following type of questions are included in our papers:  Definition of Terms; True or False (Supply the Correct Answer if False); Match Column B to Column A; Diagrams and Sketches; Fill in the Missing Words; Multiple Choice; Short Questions; Long Questions; Crosswords.  All subjects per grade are included and subjects are divided into terms. Visit our website to find out more

We would love to know if you have used our practice exam papers and for which grade.  Are there any other techniques that you use when writing an exam?  Let us know in the comment section below.

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