Effective exam preparation with clear references

Take oral exams and pass exams successfully – hardly a student gets caught sooner or later, the stage fright when it comes to exam situations in the study. Depending on the field of study, examinations can make completely different demands on the examinee. But there are a few common rules for effective learning and exam preparation.

Clarify formalities

Before you even start learning, you should inform yourself about the formalities according to the examination regulations. In some cases, the candidate may, for example, take care of a topic and / or an examiner himself. In both cases, a choice should be made very carefully. So it makes sense to choose a topic with which you have previously dealt with in the context of a course or even a homework. In addition, you should be interested in the chosen topic, because then it is much easier to prepare for the exam.

In the best case, as an examiner, you choose a lecturer you already know personally and you should also ask fellow students if they have already gained experience in exams with the respective lecturer. That way, you can best judge what to expect.

Time management

When the formalities are clarified, things get serious. You can not emphasize enough that the right timing is the key to effective exam preparation. Even students in higher semesters always make the mistake. They begin with the preparations only at the last minute. Even if you make it through the exam in this way, you can be sure that you forget what you’ve learned very soon, if you just start leveraging shortly before Knapp. At least the personal benefit of learning is low, if you do not start in time with the exam preparation.

Tips for time management:

If you do not want to get stressed before an exam, it’s best to set a generous schedule. In a schedule, you can enter how many days to go to the exam and how many hours a day you can learn. You should not overestimate yourself. Already four hours of intensive learning a day are a lot of time. In addition, you will not be able to record much anymore. In addition, you should schedule time for recovery days and for unexpected incidents:

Exam preparation and time limit

If you compare the brain with a muscle, you should approach the exam preparation – the “brain training” – similar to a sports training: in order to build muscle you should not overdo it with the training and always have to rest again, because that is Time in which the muscles actually build up. It’s similar when learning. Only with enough time and with deliberately planned rest periods can the learned “sit down” and only in this way will it stay in the long term.

Small rewards for achieved learning content sweeten the exam preparation and can also motivate. Such a reward can be, for example, a nice movie night with friends or just a day of learning break.

The research

The beginning of the learning phase is usually the literature research. Not infrequently, the examiner to be processed for an exam is specified by the examiner, for all other cases it means rolling out bibliographies, do internet research and scour magazines.

Create a learning plan

A learning plan goes hand in hand with the schedule. As part of the literature research, you should narrow down the subject matter and divide it into smaller “learning portions”. It makes sense to orientate oneself for the learning snacks on content blocks. For example, anyone who examines the Thirty Years’ War as part of a history test can divide the topic into smaller blocks such as “political backgrounds,” “societal consequences,” and “consequences,” which in turn can be broken down into even smaller learning units.

If you want to know exactly how long it will take to learn the exam material, you can easily measure the time it takes to learn a page and extrapolate the result.

Read texts correctly

Which learning method is best for whom? Everyone has to find out for themselves. But there are some ways to read and process texts that work for almost everyone.

The more intensively you deal with a text, the better you will keep the read. For the intensive confrontation you should take in each case pen and paper in the hand. Also important are the underlines. The first time they read, they make sure that you keep the reading material better. The most important contents of the text must be summarized in own words. In this way, you already reflect on what you have read and better anchored it in your memory. Afterwards you should try to remind yourself of the most important statements of the text without the help of your own notes and to recall cross-references to other texts, examples or criticisms of the text read on the subject.

Create a mind map

A good help to reflect read texts and to internalize is the creation of a mind map. Write down the most important topics, terms, keywords and thoughts. You can write the central theme in the middle of a big paper. All around, important terms and sub-points are placed that can be linked together. The drawings and keywords can be added as a reminder and you can make the map in different colors for clarity.

Other helpful reminders are flashcards and thesis papers.

Repetition, repetition, repetition

Repetition is important for successful exam preparation. This is the only way to keep it in the long run and to recognize new connections and connections between the topics.

It is advantageous to ask yourself again and again from friends or ask questions or to discuss and discuss the subject of the exam. This way you lose the risk of learning by heart. A university exam is usually not only in the reproduction of what you have learned, but requires the transfer work.

The final spurt

It’s hard, but the day before the exam, you should at the very most recap what you have learned and avoid having to deal actively with the subject matter again. Above all, you should not acquire new knowledge just before the end.

In the evening before the exam, it is time to go to bed early and, ideally, sleep for seven to eight hours, to be well rested the next day for exams or exams.