Preparing for exams? Do these

An examination is a formal test involving the answering of questions either orally or through other means, without the aid of academic books or external aids. It is adopted in different types of institutions worldwide, especially in schools, as a means of ascertaining how much the candidate has absorbed within a certain period of time.

From the definition, it is no news that an examination period can be regarded as the most important, toughest and overwhelming period for students. The worst part of an examination is the fact that it tends to decide an entire or the bulk part of the student’s grades. Due to the stressful nature of this period, students often resort to illnesses and examination tension.

Both situations make it almost impossible for them to give in their best. Hence, the aim of this article is to educate students on how to conquer their fears, uncertainties and doubt while preparing for an examination.


The basic aim of being in school is to study and emerge with good grades. Hence, no matter the activities one is involved in at school, the art of studying should be incorporated into his/her everyday life. If you are unable to cover a complete topic within a day, devote an hour or two every day to at least studying what was thought in the class by the teachers or lecturers.

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The essence of studying at least an hour or two every day even though the examination period might not even be in sight is to cover as much academic ground as possible. That way, when the exam approaches, all the student needs to do is revise what was read earlier instead of commencing the whole reading process from scratch. That way, the student will tend to feel less overwhelmed or tensed during the exam period.



Research has proved that the bulk part of the human population tends to absorb information faster through visual or auditory perception. The term ‘visual’ in this context refers to seeing, looking or observing the object containing the source of information which ought to be absorbed. The term ‘auditory perception’ on the other hand refers to the art of listening to a standardized explanation or breakdown of the information which ought to be absorbed.

Schools in Nigeria make use of the auditory means more than the visual and most times, even after a series of explanations, students are still unable to grasp or understand the nature of the information which ought to be absorbed. Hence, making them study or read extra before a miracle happens. The best way to avoid reading extra even after being unable to understand things taught in class is to study with friends or classmates. This is important because there are people who might have understood the information and are able to break it down to the lowest means possible in other for one to understand.

Similarly, most students tend to remember information dispersed in a fun or familiar setting. In other words, when you study with friends, the entire art of studying tends to be less demanding, people get to break down and explain information to one another and quiz themselves based on what was explained. When all these things are done, it will be near impossible for a student to forget what ought to be remembered.


Most times, when an individual spends a lot of time reading about a particular subject or object, he/she stops understanding what is being read no matter how many times he/she tries to start again. This could be signals from the brain telling the student to stop reading, take a few minutes off and try again later.

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Even if that is not the case, the student might realize that he/she has gotten a splitting headache from reading about a particular thing for hours. Hence, students are advised to take regular breaks while reading in order to avoid overheating. Once you just notice your mind drifting off when you are trying to understand or grasp particular information, close the book for about 10-15 minutes and commence reading again after the time elapses.


The three most important things to do during an exam period are to (i)read (ii)sleep (iii)eat. Every other activity should be on hold at least till the bulk part of the examination period elapses. The main importance of sleeping in between reading or examination periods is to give your brain and body more time to relax, reduce the exam tension and resume reading from a more refreshed angle.

Most times, students try to avoid sleeping by taking coffee and doing other things. During the exam, the student will be unable to remember all that he/she stayed awake trying to memorize. In order to avoid that, try to sleep at intervals during the course of exam preparation. If this is done, the student will be able to wake up and study from a more refreshed angle.

If you are unable to sleep and wake up at once, set an alarm or stay around friends who will wake you up after a certain period of time elapses. If neither proves effective, take some coffee once you wake, it will help to remove the sleepiness or at least reduce it. However, try to avoid an excessive intake of it during an examination period.


Food always helps to keep the brain alert in one way or another. Hence, students are advised to eat a reasonable amount of food while reading and even before an exam. Snacking or eating light meals while reading can help to keep the student awake and alert whereas, eating before an exam helps to make the student focus more on the questions which ought to be answered during the exam. Students are advised to eat the following during the course of an exam:

  • Fruits and Vegetables.
  • Crunchy snacks like chips and cookies.
  • Light meals like bread and tea.
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Most times, students fall sick during the course of exam preparation because of excess stress. Other times, however, it could be that the student already had the sickness before the exam but it chose to manifest more during the examination period due to stress.

Hence, students are advised to take a medical test before the commencement of the examination period, that way, it will be easier to treat illnesses that have been lying dormant in the body system of the student. The essence of avoiding sicknesses as much as possible during an examination period is to be able to study and write the exams properly. On the other hand, if excess examination stress makes you ill, try as much as possible to avoid stressing yourself during an exam. Follow the aforementioned tips religiously.


Past questions refer to old questions which were given to students who previously wrote the exams for a designated discipline or subject in the previous years. The essence of studying with past questions is to understand the nature of the questions which may be asked beforehand. That way, the student will be prepared or well equipped for anything in the hall. This could serve as a means of reducing the examination tension.

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