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Five study tips for final exam prep

Another good study strategy for pupils to employ is testing themselves.

Another good study strategy for pupils to employ is testing themselves.

Published Nov 5, 2021


As thousands of matric pupils across the country are currently writing their final exams, in what has been yet another immensely challenging academic year, the rest of the grades are also prepping for final exams.

With sporadic school closures owing to the pandemic, children have had limited time inside the classroom. Here are five exam tips and advice from Optimi Classroom.

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1. Re-reading is just not enough

When it comes to preparing for exams, simply re-reading material can be a superficial process. What is more effective is that pupils should take the time to understand what they are reading, and even be prepared to ask themselves questions about their learning content.

A study conducted by Washington University’s Henry Roediger in 2010, compared test results of students who re-read material with those of another group that wrote questions out and canvassed answers about the material. The study found that those who answered the questions performed better than those who just re-read the material.

2. Test yourself

Another good study strategy for pupils to employ is testing themselves. Pupils can get a friend or family member to quiz them on their knowledge. Creating flashcards with questions on one side and answers on the other is a great way to do this. And they should be encouraged to make these quizzes as challenging as possible.

3. Mistakes can get you ahead

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When pupils test themselves, they shouldn’t stress too much if they get answers wrong or even spend too much time on their answers. It’s important to take a step back, look at where answering has gone wrong and then focus on rectifying those weak areas. This is what learning is all about.

4. Mixing it up

With self-testing, it’s also advised to mix up the learning approach. In this regard, a study technique that is growing in popularity is a process called interleaving. This involves mixing or interleaving multiple subjects or topics in order to improve learning. For example, during a study session, a pupil could devote some time to Mathematics and then interleave their studying session with Physical Science. Cycling through these different but interlinked topics in this way ensures that learners retrieve information and make new connections, thereby bolstering retention.

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5. Dig deeper

Finally, another good study technique is to ask questions about how or why things are a certain way. This can help spark elaboration, and thereby encourage a pupil’s brain to create new relations and connections. This, in turn, has been proven to make it easier to learn and remember things. These types of deeper questions also help with better memory.

These are just five tips that can help pupils get ahead during this stressful and exciting time.

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