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Exam Preparation

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It is one of the top reasons why students drop out of university ... set up a time table and make a commitment to study hard. Be physically prepared ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Exam Preparation


1
Exam Preparation
Directorate of Counselling, Career Academic
Development counselling_at_unisa.ac.za
http//www.unisa.ac.za/counselling
2
What is academic anxiety?
  • Normal tension is essential for performance
  • Academic anxiety type of fear, a nervousness or
    apprehension about any form of academic activity
  • Creates excessive tension

3
What causes academic anxiety?
  • General Academic Anxiety
  • Attending group lectures/tutorials where you
    might have to answer questions or give oral
    presentations/participate in group discussions
  • Drafting and submitting assignments/reports
  • Examination Anxiety
  • Exam preparation (studying)
  • Writing the exam

4
Symptoms of academic anxiety
  • What do you experience when youre anxious
    about your academic work?

5
Symptoms of academic anxiety
  • Physical symptoms
  • Headache and/or muscle pains when
    studying/writing your exams
  • Excessive sweating (hands and face)
  • Fast or irregular breathing
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Overeating or lack of appetite
  • Disturbed sleeping patterns
  • Nervous physical reactions facial muscular
    spasms, itching body, scratching face,
    restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Stomach problems indigestion, diarrhoea,
    butterflies
  • Rapid and nervous speech, stuttering

6
Symptoms of academic anxiety
  • Intellectual symptoms
  • Problems remembering recalling newly learnt
    material
  • Problems with logical thinking and problem
    solving
  • Difficulty in understanding simple instructions
  • Inability to choose between 2 options
  • Difficulty in concentrating during the exam
  • Delayed thought processes and having to make a
    great effort to think
  • Accelerated but inaccurate thought processes

7
Symptoms of academic anxiety
  • Emotional symptoms
  • Feelings of panic, especially when feeling that
    theres not enough time to complete an exam
  • Feeling inadequate, with negative thoughts such
    as Im a bad student, Im stupid and worthless
  • Thoughts of punishment and humiliation if you do
    badly in the exam
  • Anxiety concern about how well youre doing
    compared to your fellow students
  • Feelings of pessimism hopelessness about the
    outcome of the exam
  • Lack of confidence in your ability to answer a
    question

8
Effect of academic anxiety
  • Results in poor academic performance
  • Overall
  • Exams
  • You need to rid yourself of this negative
    anxiety, otherwise you will not be able to
    reach your full potential

9
How to deal with academic anxiety
  • Physical symptoms result of negative attitudes
    thoughts
  • Need to combat negative attitudes thoughts
  • But how?
  • Positive thinking
  • Physical relaxation

10
Positive Thinking
  • Positive thinking technique
  • Positive statements
  • Stopping negative thoughts
  • Rewards
  • Accepting responsibility for academic setbacks

11
Positive Thinking
  • Positive Statements
  • Often, negative statements have no foundation
    are unrealistic
  • So why should we listen to them?
  • Replace negative statements with positive
    statements

12
Activity
  • Write down any negative thoughts you have about
    the upcoming exams
  • Which positive statements can you replace with
    these negative statements

13
Positive Thinking
  • As soon as you find yourself starting a negative
    line of thought becoming tense, say to
    yourself Stop it! I am playing with fire. I
    must start thinking more positively!
  • Practise this strategy as soon as you feel
    yourself becoming tense

14
Reward
  • Use your successes to boost your confidence in
    academic activities
  • Reward yourself for success with a positive
    statement
  • E.g., after an exam Well done. Now I know that
    I can be successful, and that I am capable of
    doing well!

15
Physical Relaxation
  • The breathing technique
  • The peaceful scene technique
  • Progressive relaxation

16
The Breathing Technique
  • Can be used in any stressful situation
  • Lowers your level of tension heartbeat
  • I feel calm, refreshed and in control of myself

17
The Peaceful Scene Technique
18
Progressive Relaxation
  • Working through different muscle groups to
    stimulate relaxation

19
Remember
  • Relaxation techniques positive thinking alone
    cannot prevent academic anxiety
  • Need to be supported by proper preparation
    sound study methods!

20
What is Time Management?
21
What is Time Management?
  • Time management is a set of principles,
    practices, skills, tools, and systems that work
    together to help you get more value out of your
    time

22
Why is it important?
  • It is one of the top reasons why students drop
    out of university
  • They dont know how to manage their time
    effectively social life, studies, family life
    etc.
  • Improve quality of life
  • Reduce frustration, irritability, anger
  • Reduce negative stress
  • Gain a sense of accomplishment
  • Have more time to do things you want to do
  • Improve organization in your life
  • Peace of Mind

23
The FACTS
  • Research shows that
  • Procrastinators produce inferior work, contrary
    to beliefs that the best work is done under
    pressure.
  • (Tice and Baumeister, 1997)
  • A study by Tuckman (2002), found that students
    who complete their work late or at the last
    minute are prone to say to themselves things
    like,
  • "I'm just waiting for the best time to do it"
  • "I know I can pull it out at the last minute"
  • Students who indicated that they frequently tell
    themselves such things did relatively poorly.

24
The EFT Principle of Time Management
  • E Exploration 60
  • F Fixation 30
  • T Testing 10
  • An effective method of managing your time with
    regard to any activity (assignments, exams, work,
    etc.)

25
EFT Principle
Explore 60 Fix 30 Test 10
26
Exploration Phase
27
EFT Principle EXPLORATION PHASE
  • Explore gain information knowledge about a
    topic

Explore 60 Fix 30 Test 10
  • Work through your curriculum
  • Complete your assignments
  • Do additional reading in the library
  • Discuss your field of study with others in the
    field
  • Contact fellow students to sort out problems
  • Make summaries for intensive study later
  • Identify questions you have to answer
  • Identify clarify difficult concepts

28
Fixation Phase
29
EFT Principle FIXATION PHASE
  • Intensive study phase

Explore 60 Fix 30 Test 10
  • Consolidating everything you need to study
  • Making meaningful summaries
  • Memorising the work!

30
Testing Phase
31
EFT Principle TESTING PHASE
  • Test yourself

Explore 60 Fix 30 Test 10
  • Asking yourself answering questions which
    cover the study material
  • Use the study material to formulate questions
  • Use old exam questions to practice
  • Have group study sessions

32
Example
  • If you start exams on the 19th of October and you
    start studying tomorrow (28th of August)
  • You have got exactly 50 days to prepare for these
    exams!
  • How are you going to manage your time?

33
Applying the EFT Principle
28 Aug 28 Sept
13 Oct 18 Oct
Explore 60 Fix 30 Test 10
  • Read
  • Do assignments
  • Group discussions
  • Summaries
  • Refine summaries
  • Study - memorize
  • Answer exam questions
  • Have group sessions
  • Check old papers

34
Questions
  • What does EFT stand for?
  • How much of your time should be spent on each
    phase?
  • What does one do in the Exploration Phase?
  • What does one do in the Fixation Phase?
  • What does one do in the Testing Phase?

35
Tips from other Unisa students
36
Prepare
  • Be mentally alert
  • set up a time table and make a commitment to
    study hard
  • Be physically prepared
  • exercise, eat enough and get sufficient rest
  • Learn to handle your stress
  • A positive attitude will help you to cope with
    exam anxiety.
  • Start your revision at least a month in advance
    of the exam.

37
Prepare
  • Stick to your time table
  • Study every day
  • Make time for other commitments.
  • Arrange for study leave
  • Contact your lecturers if you are unsure about
    aspects of your work
  • Contact fellow students for peer support.
  • Try to be so well prepared so that you can pack
    away your books the day before you write

38
Revise
  • Set up your revision timetable
  • It is NOT a good idea to cram the night before
    you write.
  • Definitely get sufficient sleep.
  • Make sure that you have all your tutorial letters
    and check through them for guidance.
  • Use the exercises in the study units as a way of
    examining your knowledge and understanding of the
    work.

39
Revise
  • Revise your assignment answers and pay special
    attention to the comments of the lecturers.
  • When revising, build up a framework of key words
    and phrases for all the study units and chapters.
  • Consolidate your knowledge of study guides and
    associated textbooks by summarising the key
    concepts from headings and sub-headings on a
    single piece of paper.

40
Revise
  • Look for questions when you study. Also set and
    answer your own questions by turning study
    objectives and headings into questions.
  • Make sure that you know which format(s) of
    questions you need to deal with e.g.
    multiple-choice questions, short questions,
    essay-type questions.
  • In problem solving subjects such as Mathematics,
    Physics, Computer Science and Chemistry ensure
    that you can solve at least one of each of the
    types of problems found in every section or study
    unit.

41
Write
  • Check on which day and at what time you write
    each paper. Be on time.
  • Make sure that you have your student card and ID
    document.
  • Dont study new material just before you enter
    the hall you will end up confusing yourself.
  • Pay attention to the exam rules and instructions.
  • Be positive and be yourself.
  • Take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand.

42
Manage
  • In the case of the essay-type exam, decide which
    ones to answer and mark those ones.
  • Start with the question you know best. Analyse
    the question by underlining the key words. Plan
    your answer by making notes in the back of your
    exam answer book.
  • Make sure that you know where to start and stop
    with the answer. It does not help to write down
    everything you know if that information does not
    answer the question.
  • Plan the amount of time to spend on each
    question. Stay on schedule when answering!

43
Manage
  • You must try to complete all the required
    questions.
  • You have about a minute per question in a
    two-hour multiple-choice exam with 100 questions
    one and a half minute if it is a three-hour exam.
  • Remember to clearly indicated on the cover of
    your exam answer book which essay-type questions
    you have answered.
  • Revise after you have finished writing and check
    for inadvertent mistakes.
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