5 simple and easy ways to get good marks in exams

While marks do not fully reflect a student’s ability, we all have to agree that at certain important junctures, such as 10th grade or 12th grade, marks decide a student’s fortunes of getting into the best universities and degree colleges. Also, scholarship programs at various universities are based on the marks obtained. Further, the ability to score good marks in an exam not only reflects knowledge but also other traits such as diligence, persistence, focus, and steadfastness.

Acing an exam with good marks depends on multiple factors, and a student may face certain challenges. The foremost of these challenges are distractions from gadgets or the internet, a lack of consistency, poor time management and self-care, a lack of strategy, and exam anxiety. At Emerald International School, we groom children, especially in the high school years, to master exam-writing skills and get good marks in exams. At EIS, we take a multi-pronged approach to helping our students get good marks, not only by training them academically but also by preparing them emotionally, managing stress levels, keeping up their motivation, inculcating enough discipline to achieve their goals, and thus improving their overall strategy and approach to the exam, leading to good scores in the exam.

Here are 5 simple ways to improve your marks in exams:

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1. Conceptual clarity and academic commitment: Rote learning has very limited advantages. Understanding basic concepts and the relationship between various concepts and their real-life applications is very important for good exam performance. To gain conceptual clarity, you must pay attention in class, ask questions, and take running notes. You should also later refer to at least two textbooks and prepare your own lesson notes.

Further, you must revisit your notes multiple times so that various concepts, basic principles, features, laws, formulas, etc. concretize in your mind. If certain things require you to memorize them, such as definitions, formulas, dates, etc., then you must do so after understanding them well.

Finally, the age-old advice of writing down answers still holds true even in this day and age. Writing forces you to slow down and be intentional, thus reflecting your mistakes instantly (if any) so you can correct them. Additionally, it is also known to improve memory and retention. So top up your studies by writing down all that you have studied.

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2. Strategy: Strategizing your approach to the exam can help you tackle it better and gain good marks in the exam. The most important strategy is to understand the exam pattern. A good idea of question classification on paper, marking pattern, chapter weightage, scoring sections of the paper, etc. can give you a strong idea of where you should concentrate your efforts while studying.

Further, solve as many old question papers, mock papers, and papers from other schools and colleges as possible, as this will help you test your skills practically, improve time management, and practice all important topics. You will also start noticing that certain topics always appear in exams, thus helping you to be better prepared for such topics.

Further practice legible writing, minimize scratching out, highlight important points, write in points when possible, pace yourself, and practice time management when practicing.

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3. Effective schedule and strict adherence: A minimum of 5 hours must be set aside for self-study every day. A timetable that covers all the subjects on a weekly basis and provides extra time for subjects that you are weak at is an absolute must. It is always a good idea to study and make notes on topics that were covered in class on the same day. Create a timetable by breaking down and skills for dividing your larger goal into smaller weekly and monthly goals and putting them up on the wall. Put a check against the daily achievement of goals so you can track your progress.

You may also treat yourself when you achieve these goals. Identify the time of day when you have high alertness and better receptive ability. For some students, it may be late nights, and for others, it may be early morning hours. Tweak the study schedule according to your personal preferences.

Divide each chapter into manageable chunks and cover one at a time. Practice writing and making notes for each chapter. Don’t put aside a topic once you have studied it for future revision only at the end of the year. Re-read and revisit the topic multiple times to improve understanding and retention.

For numerically oriented subjects such as mathematics and physics, extensive practice is the key. For memory-oriented subjects such as history and biology, constant revision is the solution, and for languages, extensive exploration of versatile topics is the key to success. Thus, adjust your approach according to the subject you have to study.

Last but not least, a great study plan can only be successful with strict adherence to it. Don’t make excuses, don’t skip, don’t be lazy, don’t be overconfident, and don’t procrastinate. Strictly follow the schedule you have created for yourself.

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4. Emotional management and good self-esteem: Anxiety and fear of negative outcomes are your biggest enemies. While doing well in exams is important, it is certainly not the end of the road or a final verdict on your ability. So Relax! You are driving on this highway to reach your destination, and in all probabilities you will, but just in case you don’t, there are alternate roads leading to the same destination. So be positive, visualize often where you want to finally reach your goal, and don’t bother much about the obstacles on the way. Do not stress about how difficult the question is, how vast the syllabus is, or how quick the next student was in answering questions. Move at your own pace, but make genuine efforts. Try to become the best version of yourself. Take good care of yourself. Take enough breaks from tuition, don’t stop sports altogether because you have exams, connect with friends and family, watch a movie once in a while, listen to music, eat healthy, and sleep well. Manage your stress well to perform well in exams.

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5. Minimize distractions: At your age, you have many different types of distractions. However, your biggest enemy that will drive a wedge between you and your goals and actively hinder you from putting in efforts is the distraction that comes from use of gadgets, internet, and social media. You will do yourself a huge favor by giving up on your gadgets altogether, especially in the crucial years leading up to board exams and other competitive exams.

Further identify and fix a quiet place for studies, and don’t make changes often. Use ear plugs or soft music to cut down on noise. Keep your study space neat and organized. Do not bring food or other distractions to the study place. Put your day’s to-do list right in front of you, and when complete, put a tick against it to visualize your progress. Make a contract with yourself that you will treat yourself with an ice cream or chocolate or a simple break only after certain hours of un-distracted study time and honor your own contract.

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Nested in the midst of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and being a residential school, Emerald International School provides the necessary eco-system to propel students towards academic excellence. With teachers and students staying together on campus, the school provides a healthy daily routine with academically immersive classes, freedom from distractions, healthy recreation, and teacher-monitored self-study time on its campus to help students ace their board exams as well as competitive exams.

Exam writing and getting good marks are skills that anyone can develop if the right strategy is employed. Simple, time-tested methods of organizing your approach to studies can help you get good results in your exams. The secret to exam success lies in very basic things such as a good understanding of the subject, consistent practice, and adherence to the schedule. Always remember that there are no shortcuts. Your exam preparation begins at the beginning of the year, never during the exam season.

So to summarize:

  1. Take interest and learn your subjects well
  2. Study regularly, be organized and be goal-oriented
  3. Practice, practice, and practice!
  4. Surrender the phone to your parents
  5. Always remember that exams are yet another phase in life, and there are many more to come, but your dreams and life are much bigger than this exam.