How to pass exams more easily

Even if it doesn't always look like it for outsiders: Studying is pure stress – at least whenever important tests or exams are due at the end of the semester or for graduation. Our guide will explain how to do everything you need.

As the deadline approaches, panic often breaks out en masse among the feverishly learning fellow students. Whether short- or long-term learners, stretchers, flyers or chillers. After all, it's all about important points – or even the later career path into the corporate world.

How you pass your exams with as little stress, panic and time pressure as possible, we will tell you in our tried-and-tested exam tips for students:

Tip #1: Well planned is half-passed

If you want to get to the end of the semester or at the end of your studies as stress-free as possible through the strenuous examination phase, you should definitely prepare yourself well. clear. But in addition to the right learning method, this also includes avoiding stress factors and other "evil" surprises. In short, you should know exactly what to expect!

The following questions must therefore be clarified at an early stage – preferably at the beginning of the semester or at the beginning of your final learning phase for the Bachelor's or Master's degree:

How many exams/tests do I have to write – and how many tasks do they contain?
What can I take to the exam(s) and what not?
What is made available to me in the exam room?
What kind of questions await me?
How many sections do I have to edit and where can I find the instructions in the exam?
How long do I have time and how is it graded?
What are the assessment criteria for the learning unit or module I'm being tested for – and what are the expected "learning outcomes" that are actually at stake?
You can obtain a lot of this information before the start of the semester, as soon as you know which modules, units or courses you have taken. This is usually done by old exams, which are usually available either through the trade, in the university library (often not available for rent) or online. The advantage of taking care of it before the start of the semester is obvious: because then the libraries are empty, you are not yet in the usual semester stress and already have everything together when it actually goes into the hot learning phase later.

Know what's coming - and learn accordingly
With the old exams in your pocket, you can (in the future) also (in the future) adapt your learning and examination strategy to the structure of the exam(s). If, for example, these consist only of multiple-choice questions,it makes sense to prepare appropriate learning cards and to focus on important facts best guides to do everything in learning. Because then it is especially important to read the tasks in the exam carefully and to recognize small differences.

If, on the other hand, the examination is about short answers or even answer essays,you should be able to explain the essential connections in a comprehensible way and summarize your knowledge clearly (and legibly!).

In exams with an open book, however, it is not only important to know where something stands – and then to find the information quickly. You must also be able to apply your knowledge and link it to the facts available.

Particularly creative answers are required in many case studies or in questions that deal with solving problem scenarios. So it is not only crucial to master the learning material well. You also need to be able to really apply it– for example in (imaginary) case studies that you have to think up to yourself.

Tip #2: Reduce stress factors

If you know that your nerves are already playing a prank just before or during an examination situation, you should also strive for early stress management mechanisms. In fact, it is often the small things of (exam) everyday life that drive the adrenaline level up to a harmful level. A certain tension in the days and hours before an exam, on the other hand, is not so wrong, because a moderate stress level ensures that we are ready for action, wide awake and fully concentrated.

Nevertheless, here are a few tried-and-tested – though not groundbreaking – techniques that can effectively reduce stress in the hot pre-examination phase:

Move! Because exercise supports the physiological aspect of stress, helps to reduce anger and frustration and provides a "fresh" mind. This can be useful, for example, when memorizing or answering tasks in the learning process. Try it!
Stay supple! Relaxation is important, especially in the strenuous preparation phase before an exam. Regular stretching exercises against tension in the shoulder and neck are therefore just as indispensable as sufficient sleep. Is not new, but really helps!
Eat and drink! But please be as healthy and sufficient as possible. Because those who forget to absorb enough fluids and nutrients because of the tension, stress and memorization cannot learn efficiently. Have you ever heard of it, haven't you?

Tip #3: Time and task management in the exam

When the exam day is finally there, it is a matter of keeping your nerve and concentrating on the essentials. Therefore, avoid anything that might distract or upset you the day before – and check again the day, place and time of the exam as well as your exam equipment (replacement pen!). Also: Sleep enough, don't drink alcohol, eat breakfast enough, make your way to university early and don't get mad by excited friends or fellow students.

When the exam starts, this 10-point survival plan will help you get everything right:

10. Do not talk to other "comrades of suffering" about the examination that has just been taken or concrete answers. Who says their answers are correct?

Right at the beginning

1. Recall your rough time schedule, which you had previously worked out on the basis of old tests (and write them on the answer sheet in pencil in case of need).

2. First, read all questions carefully. Yes, really: ALL!

3. Divide the questions then into a) easy to answer, b) not quite as easy, c) rather tricky.

4. Sort accordingly now. Start with the easy questionsthat you can answer without any problems – and which will bring you the most points.

During the test

5. Now take each question in turn.

6. Read the question again slowly and attentively and use the proven BUG methodto find out exactly what to do.

7. For questions that need to be answered in text form, you should not simply write on it. Instead, collect your thoughts and outline the most important parts of your answer,for example by pencil in a short list. This allows you to formulate your answer clearly, precisely and coherently without "running away".

8. Most importantly, think of your readers – and get to the pointin your answer (first) ! You can still run.

When it's all over

9. Don’t try to analyze your exam performance.

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