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Getting into the exam state of mind – how changing your routine can change your mindset

Team StoryWeavers|January 8, 2021|

getting that exam mindset

It’s ‘back to school’ as usual, or maybe this time it’s not so usual! The Covid pandemic has changed the way we learn, commute, work and eat. Many safety measures have been put in place to contain the spread of the virus. There is no major country in the world that has managed to walk past this crisis unscathed.

Students have had to get schooled from the confines of their homes, remotely and although this style of learning has numerous benefits, getting back to schools will pose challenges of their own.

One of those challenges is the resumption of strictly monitored examinations. Be it competitive exams or regular subject tests or final exams, the challenges will be the same. Over the span of nearly a year of lockdowns, students have grown accustomed to a non-competitive environment.

Although there may be exceptions to this case the large majority of the student community has been facing these challenges.

Staying in the game – How to not lose touch with old school exams?

Some evaluation systems have done away with an exam centric approach to evaluations but it still remains the most practical way to measure student progress. There are many reasons why exams have been the preferred mode of evaluation since millennia. One simple reason is that it is the easiest way to grade students. Whether we like it or not, it is bound to remain the same for the foreseeable future.

The best way to tackle the problem of losing touch is to mimic every single thing that happens in an examination hall as accurately as is reasonably possible. In other words, you will have to learn to give mock examinations at home.

Here is how you go about setting the stage:

  • Get past years question papers
  • Strictly adhere to timings given on the paper and set your alarm clock accordingly.
  • Isolate yourself in a quiet room with no distractions.
  • Keep enough answer sheets next to you.
  • Sit right next to a clock so you keep a close track of time.

This should give you somewhat of a feel of the old school examination hall setting. If you wish to make it even more realistic you could ask your mom, dad, brother, sister or even your friend to be the pretend-invigilator during the mock exam. BYJU’S App is a very convenient access point for students who want personalised tests. The tests on the app can be evaluated and scores analysed very easily.

Sometimes it might be hard to come across the right question paper especially if the syllabus has changed recently. In such a situation you ought to set your own paper in line with a standard question paper pattern. This is not always easy, so if you want help then ask your teacher or even your BYJU’S mentor.

Breaking your previous record!

This might sound like a cut out of a Formula 1 race broadcast but it’s not! Most students have a hard time completing their paper. This could be because of anxiety or improper preparations prior to the test. Either way, the problem is a very serious one. Not being able to complete your paper on time means losing marks.

Taking mock tests regularly is a great way to tackle both these problems. If you think about it, these tests try to mimic near-examination situations. For those with anxiety issues, this is a great way to remain relaxed because you know you’ve been here before. Plus, students also get to measure how well prepared they are for the tests.

If you increase the frequency of taking tests there is going to be a proportional increase in your speed and preparedness for similar tests. Always try to time your exams and try to complete the paper with at least ten percent of the time to spare for a thorough recheck.

Rechecking your answers and going through them line by line will reveal if you have missed out on anything. This is a great way to secure easy marks which you would have otherwise lost.

Being a fair judge – The evaluation round!

When your teacher evaluates your paper there is a strict code followed to get the evaluation process done without any bias. And evaluating a paper is by no means an easy task. It takes some experience to do it right.

The easiest way to get the evaluation done is if you do it yourself. But if you are the one valuing your paper how likely are you to be just while doing it?

First of all, you will need to have the answers to all the questions in your test paper beforehand. Then you will have to check for the points in each answer and compare it with yours. If you find your answers to be in line with the answers in the key, then you can be gracious giving marks for that particular answer.

It is not as simple as it sounds. For language subjects and mathematics, the evaluation methods are very different. For mathematics, an easy route is to check if you have followed the standard procedure and award marks only if you have got the final answer right. Whereas for languages it would be far better to seek the help of a qualified teacher.

Self-evaluation or external evaluation both offer different kinds of advantages. For example, when you value your own paper, you will learn of the different pitfalls that you make when answering questions and this will register in your mind much faster. This way similar kinds of mistakes and patterns can be spotted and rectified easily. 

External evaluations are done by teachers or any other qualified person and such valuations tend to be more accurate. You also get to look at your paper from an experienced person’s point of view.

Your study buddy doubled up as your evaluator:

Most students have that friend in school whom they call up for everything, even for all their study-related doubts. These students mostly pair up to do all kinds of projects and could even be partners in assignments at school.

If you have a study buddy, why not ask for help in evaluating your paper. Alternatively, you could evaluate theirs. This is a mutually beneficial way of assessing a paper. It is beneficial because there could be a strong sense of constructive competition between the two of you. 

Each of you might compete with the other to get your scores up and hence both of you could benefit mutually from such a collaboration. Just be careful to not let the competition get out of hand and get into heated arguments! 

Tell us how you get into the exam state of mind? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve?

Share your experience in the comments section below.

About the Author


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Rohit Raj

Rohit Raj is someone who fell in love with the word “Change”. If there is one thing that he hates, it’s a boring and repetitive life. When he is not working he loves keeping track of the world of business, personal finance and tech. Being an ex-coffee addict, he considers giving up his cup of bliss a monumental feat, although he does miss the caffeine-fueled nocturnal life at times! He enjoys research, reading and reducing most things that he comes across into numbers!

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