Exam Method and Madness

lshtm_logo_blackSo I made it through what I call ‘Assignment Month’..phew! By the end there I was just going on autopilot, and not necessarily giving my best work, but hey, que sera sera…

After that I took a little break to travel for a few days and catch the inimitable singer/songwriter Mika on two stops of his North American tour. I was cognizant that exams are peering at me around the corner so I carried my text book, fully prepared to do some studying in any spare moments. The plane ride passed with no studying. That was OK. The next day was brilliant weather-wise in New York City and as I went to queue for the concert quite early, I felt sure I’d get some studying done. Twelve hours later and the only time I touched the book was when I considered having Mika sign it for me as I met him backstage. I guess what I’m saying is that studying on a vacation is hard :)

But I’m back and reality has fully reasserted itself. My study plan follows a basic outline:

I start studying for the exam furthest away. I read the text/CD and make my own notes – sort of my personal cliffs notes for the subject. I also go through any suggested extra reading/journal articles at that time, printing out or condensing as needed. Past exam papers are attempted and answers correlated with the examiner’s report. Any puzzling questions get asked on Moodle at this time. This is done with each module until roughly 10 days before the first exam, when I should be on the material for said first exam. Immediate pre-exam prep involves going over my notes, going through Moodle and the questions posted there, and re-doing and practicing the exam papers.cherry-blossoms

I find this works best for me, especially writing my own notes. How do you prepare for exams? Have any tried and true tips?

As we all muddle over our oncoming examinations, remember Spring is in the air! Here are some pretty cherry blossoms for you to remember to take a few minutes and look up from the books! :)

Happy trails!

Nastassia is studying the MSc Public Health offered by distance learning through the University of London International Programmes, with academic direction from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She lives in Barbados.

4 thoughts on “Exam Method and Madness

  1. I took a day off from the books…. I felt really guilty doing that, but when I resumed studying, I realized that I had a new burst of energy and I studied from a more positive and determined perspective.

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  2. Commitment and believing in ones ability to prepare for exams using a method of study that best suits you to get ready seems good to me. I appreciate learning from experiences of colleague students…thanks for the tips Nastassia.

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