They’re not the kind of exams you’re used to in school, but you know you have to prepare hard for them if you want to go to college. Almost every admission procedure requires that you score a certain percentage in one or more competitive exams, so unless you’re good and ready in the most efficient way possible, it’s hard to get your foot in the door that almost every other high school graduate is trying to open. If you’re looking for extra help, here are a few secrets that will help you achieve success:
Start early: Know what you want to do before you graduate from high school and work on achieving your goal step by step. Be familiar with the requirements you must meet, the subjects you need to study, and the grades you must secure. When you begin early, you gain a head start not just on your peers, but also in your attempt to crack the exam.
Do your research: Make a list of the colleges you want to attend and the prerequisites for admission to each of them. Don’t rely on secondhand sources for your information; instead, call the admissions office or check the official website of the institutions you’re interested in and get your queries and doubts resolved. Ask if there are any additional qualifications that you could meet in order to secure scholarships or other perks, and ensure that you send in your application well before the due date.
Do a little everyday: Studying for an exam is a continuous process, one that must be done little by little and on a regular basis. If you try to cram everything a few days or even a few weeks before the big day, your lack of preparation is going to show you up. When it comes to competitive exams, it’s not just your grades that matter, but how well you’ve done in comparison to every other person who has taken the exam as well. And when a whole nation is competing with you, preparation is everything. So besides starting as early as you can, dedicate a few hours every day to preparing for your exam.
Time yourself: Most competitive exams are all about time; they’re multiple choice options that have to be solved in less than a minute, and you often have just a few seconds to come up with each answer. While it’s easy to stay within the time limit for standard questions in English and other general subjects, it’s a different issue for those that involve solving mathematical or scientific equations and problems. Sometimes you get so caught up in trying to crack one equation that you neglect too many other questions in the process. So conduct as many dry runs as you can and perfect a way to answer as many questions as you can in the limited time available. Many students perform badly not because they don’t know the answers but because they do not complete the tests for lack of time.
Stay calm and collected: Don’t panic at any stage of the exam, when preparing for it or writing it. If you’ve prepared well, your confidence should help you stay calm and collected, even when you think you’re pressed for time and the pressure starts to build. When you stick to your game plan, it’s easy to do your best.
This article is contributed by Susan White
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