Dear students in arms,
There are two aspects to consider here that are relevant in undertaking any exam. The first is the psychological and the second is technical; I will try to elaborate on both holistically.
From the psychological side we have to realize that we ourselves are our greatest teachers; tutors and professors can show us the way but we have to travel that path ourselves. A person who is determined and keeps on pursuing ultimately gets his/her rewards, with or without any tutor. Later onwards in our lives we will realize that ‘one repays a teacher badly if one always remains only a pupil’ (Friedrich Nietzsche).
The best tool we have for passing exams are the study resources like study manuals and practice exams. From there, thoroughly read the concepts and understand them – then go practice the past papers and score yourself according to the practice exam solutions. Practice, practice again; exams are not rocket science, but even then there is no substitute for practice. Through practice and comparing your answers with the solutions you will be able to look inside the minds of examiners and what they want from students in order to pass. An important requirement here is to give yourself ample time. There is no one time requirement because every student is unique but you should feel that you have given yourself enough time. Do not be in a hurry or haste to just give the paper and get it over with. It does not work this way.
It is very important here not to give up. It is generally impossible that we get 100% correct answers and working every time; but that is how we tend to think. We think let’s say if, in the whole book, we don’t understand few concepts, that we have confused everything and don’t know anything. That is not true. Focus on what you know; keep separate what you don’t know, and do not mix these two in stress or panic, thinking that ‘I don’t know anything’.
Another crucial aspect is how to handle less than expected performance. Giving up due to not getting the desired grades is not a good way to deal with life. We have to have the courage to face setbacks and still continue and not give up. Yes, papers are difficult to pass but the rewards after passing can be equally immense, so never give up. Take a break, calm down and feel in control and eventually you will have the situation under control. Visualize your success and that will increase the hope you have inside you. It is hope that gets the work done and fear that is hardly ever productive.
Do not reject the hero in your soul. Keep holy your highest hopes. And if papers are difficult, we just have to remember that “it is not that something is difficult that we do not dare, but it is difficult precisely because we do not dare” (Nietzsche and Seneca). We are more powerful than we think and our daring can be more impactful than we give ourselves credit for.
With consistent hard work, ample time and unconditional confidence in your abilities, whether we pass or face setbacks, each and every one of us can perform miracles.
Syed Danish Ali
Danish is studying for the BSc Sociology in Pakistan. The BSc Sociology is not available to new students, however you can still study for a Diploma for Graduates in Sociology.