Saving An Exam in One Night

We’re midway through the exam season and all of our enthusiasm, or let’s say, motivation, seems to be slowly dwindling away. As every other year, studying beforehand remains an unfulfilled promise and what we do have, is a constant fear of the question paper. So in this last minute panic where you are just a few more hours away from giving up completely and accepting the sad reality, is there really a way to save the semester? Can it be done in a single night? We have some thoughts.

Examination system in India

If you’re reading this a week before exam, we suggest not depending upon this advice as it is purely fot extremely desperate situations. However, if you are 24 hours or less, away from facing a question paper you have no clue about, read on.

  1. It’s not as bad as it seems 

Most Indian colleges have a 66-75% criteria in attendance for qualifying for exams. Unless you’re attending some crazy college out of a movie, chances are, you have been forced to sit (or sleep) your way through classes. Worst case scenario, you have attended only 50% classes.

The point being, you have sat through lectures and like it or not, that has fed some information into your brain. The fact that you have gone through previous semesters proves that you have some basic knowledge about your course. Pick up the books. The headings will remind you of some knowledge and even when you read through the chapters, you’re bound to recognize some theories and facts. During the exam, if you have the most basic idea of what the question demands, you should be able to give a coherent answer because there are a lot of things that you might not have ‘learnt’ but you still ‘know’.

  1. Source Friends, and then let them go

Recruit all forces. Friends, family, distant cousins, old professors, seniors. If you’re the kind who has zero notes and a book which might as well have been written in Latin, your best bet is people who have already studied the topics. Ask them to tell you about the major topics, frequently asked questions, concepts and if they can explain it to you. Take their help in finding some structure to your studying and ask them to teach you for a few hours.

After that, remove all social interaction completely and get back to studying on your own.

  1. Previous Year’s Gold 

Most universities and colleges are not really original in terms of question papers. Questions are repeated or reframed, and there are some basic topics which are included year after year. Go through the past 3-5 year’s question papers and figure out the questions which are asked most often. Do these first.

You will also get an idea about how in-depth questions are or whether they stick to the basic concepts. See the marking scheme to know just how long your answers should be. See if there are choices in the number of questions you have to attempt. You might be able to get away with skipping a chapter or two.

There’s only so much you can do in the limited time there is and it’s best to get down to it as quickly as possible. Divide up the syllabus. Figure out what’s important. Memorize all that you can. Read through the rest. Hope that the Gods are kind to you and you can get through these times with some respect. All the best!


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