By Aida Zemani
We might not have realised that time flies so fast that the final exam is just around the corner now. Therefore, it means that IIUM students can’t afford to waste time, but to start focusing on their studies.
Amirul Hendra Abdul Rahman, who has been consecutively four times in the Dean’s list, shares his experience on getting ready for examination:
1) Appreciate study week.
Study week is usually given to students to make preparation before actually going into the real ‘war’ which is the examination. Amirul Hendra himself suggests that every student needs to really appreciate the time given during the study week. As a final year student, he realised that study week has given him so much extra time to cover every nook of the subjects that he will sit for finals.
2) “The pen is sharper than the mind.”
Indicating that the pen is sharper than the mind, Amirul Hendra refers to the importance of taking and making notes. Different student have different ways of interpreting the note taking methods, but for him, taking notes in class and reorganising it is very important for early preparation. In that way, when reaching the end of the semester, students will be able to go through all the notes that have been taken roughly a day before examination after having a good understanding of the whole topic on that subject. However, students need to bear in mind to never take lecturer’s slide and notes for granted. Use it for the purpose of taking your own notes. Also, focus on anything that the lecturer taught in class especially when it is not stated in the book.
3) Allocate your timetable
In everyday life, we need to have schedules so that we can get ourselves organised. The same concept applies to studying. Decide for each day which chapter you should cover until the day of your examination. For Amirul Hendra, he usually covers the last paper that he will sit for in the first three days of the study week. However, towards the first paper, only then he will be focusing on that subject. The reason is because when reaching the end of the examination period, students will usually feel enthusiastic to return home after the whole semester, and getting busy to pack their things. Therefore, at least they had already covered the final paper and only need to refresh their mind on what they’ve studied.
4) Study alone first, then get into groups
The principle of studying alone is to get the basic idea and understanding of the topic that you have studied. Therefore, during group study discussion, you will not appear to be at a lost. However, it also depends on what subject you are studying. If the subject needs you to have someone to guide you, then find someone who really understands the topic. Get yourself comfortable with the person you are referring to and decide the method you prefer to study.
5) Never underestimate the power of the internet
People may say that the internet is not reliable, but there are hidden gems in the internet for Amirul Hendra. Wikipedia can be of help or might ‘kill’ us, but it is a good starting point for us to get the general idea of certain topic that we may not understand. However, you must be beware of its accuracy. You need to also refer to other online resources that are more reliable.
6) Stay healthy
Despite the unpredictable weather, you need to always observe your health. You have to drink a lot of mineral water to keep you from hydration and stay fresh all the time. However, since we are now in the holy month of Ramadan, try to engage yourself more with the water for instance, taking an ablution or wash your face when you are studying. Get enough rest because getting enough rest is the key to have a healthy body, but know your limit.
7) The double ‘D’
Keep the best for the last, Amirul Hendra mentioned. The two most important things that every student should really face in their life are discipline and dua’. He said that even if we have made thorough planning in getting ready for examination, if we do not have the discipline in implementing what we have planned, it is pointless because what matters most is the effort.
Every student in this university is called ‘fisabilillah’. The first weapon Islam teaches us is the dua’. We struggle to have the knowledge. Therefore, after getting ready with all the revisions that we’ve done, never forget to seek help from Allah. Let Him decide what is best for you after making all of the effort and never forget to thank Him for what He has given us.
Amirul Hendra also shares tips for last minute study.
Mark your calendar and make a countdown. Cross each day that passed by until your next paper. You will realise how many days left till your upcoming paper and that will urge you to start studying and focus more, or else we feel that the exam is still far away.
Always expect the consequences. We never know what will happen the next day. We might have emergencies that we cannot avoid, therefore, we have to postpone our study to the next day.
All in all, there are no specific rules in getting ready for examination. People can give guidelines or tips on getting prepared for examination but it also depends on our style of learning. Always remember to never tell yourself that you do not have enough time to study. ***
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