Centum Tips

CENTUM TIPS

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    Set a realistic study schedule and begin studying early


    Short study sessions spread out over time are more efficient and effective than a single period of condensed study. Also, begin your study sessions with a quick review of the material you've previously studied, so that this previous material stays fresh even though you studied it in detail weeks before the test. If you learn a little each day and allow plenty of time for repeated reviews, you will enhance your long-term memory. Avoid the temptation to cram for tests; your short-term memory hasn't enough space for all that you need to know.

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    Identify what concepts are most important


    Set priorities and study the most important concepts first.

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    Try to identify the content of the questions you will be asked


    Anticipate test questions. Ask yourself: "If I were making up this test, I would probably ask...", and then answer these questions. Also, time permitting, try writing some multiple-choice test questions;

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    Do not simply memorize facts


    You will have to go beyond straight memorization. Concentrate on understanding the material taught; compare it, contrast it, and interpret its meaning. Focus on understanding the ideas and concepts in the course which knit the facts and details together. You must be more than familiar with the material; you must be able to write it down, talk about it, analyse it, and apply it. If there are graphs, tables, or figures on the test you will be asked to interpret data.

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    Actively summarize


    For each major concept, integrate information from your lecture notes, the lecture presentations, text in the printed guide, and required readings onto a summary sheet by diagramming, charting, outlining, categorizing in tables, or writing paragraph summaries of the information. Your studying should also focus on defining, explaining, and applying terms.

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    Study with other well-prepared students


    These study sessions will give you the opportunity to ask questions and further your understanding of the course material.

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    Review past tests


    To experience the style of questions that have been asked in the past, as an indication of what you might expect, and to determine the level of thinking required (recognition, synthesis, analysis, application) and the degree of difference between incorrect and correct responses. But don't spend too much time on this. Your time is better spent mastering the present material.

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    Be prepared emotionally and physically, as well as intellectually


    Be prepared to do your best. Prepare your brain for optimum performance by keeping your physical resources well maintained. Get a good night's rest before the test. Eat well balanced meals; avoid fasting and do not take stimulants you are not accustomed to (e.g., coffee, soft drinks, chocolate). And keep up with your regular exercise.

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    Stay away from others right before the test


    Anxiety is highly contagious. It is best to focus on what you know rather than on what you don't know. Reinforce your strengths and confine your weaknesses. For this reason it is also best not to study new material the night before a test.

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    Consider the Location


    Consider the distance from home. It is important to be realistic here. Many students are cavalier about wanting to leave home and go as far away as possible. Moving away from home is a big deal, so think seriously about what it's going to be like and whether or not you want to be on the other side of the world from your family. On the other hand, this is a good chance to get out and experience new things, so don't be afraid to challenge yourself -- just be honest with yourself when you are deciding what that means for you.

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    Don't expect to know everything


    It is highly unlikely that any student will answer all questions correctly. Remember that a grade of 75% on a test, which is evidence of a good grasp of the subject matter, means that 25% of the questions were answered incorrectly. So, don't panic if you see a question you did not anticipate or prepare for. Use everything you know about the content of the course and your own reasoning ability to analyse the question and identify a logical answer.

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    Preview the test


    Preview the whole test before beginning to answer any questions. Make sure your copy has no missing or duplicate pages. Read the directions carefully.

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    Start with questions you can readily answer


    To build your confidence and to save time for the harder ones. When you identify a correct response carefully mark this on the question paper. If you are unable to make a choice and need to spend more time with the question, or you answered the question but are not at all sure that you made the correct choice, put a big question mark beside that question, and move on to the next.

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    Plan your time and pace yourself


    Allocate your time. For example, for a 90-minute test with 50 question plan to spend about 1 to 2 minutes per question. If you cannot answer a question within this time, skip it and come back to it later. Set progress points at the beginning of the test and use them to monitor your progress, such as, know what question you should be answering at the 30-minute mark.

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    Allocate time to review your answers


    And to transfer your answers to the computer sheet. It is best to transfer all responses to the answer sheet at the same time once you have answered all questions on your question paper (thus reducing the probability of making a mistake). Note however that you will not be given additional time at the end of the test to transfer your answers.

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    Read each question carefully


    Multiple-choice tests also examine your ability to read carefully and thoughtfully, as much as they test your ability to recall and reason.

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    Identify what is being asked


    Answer each question as the professor intended, that is, within the context of the course material that was taught.

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    The "cover up" strategy


    Some students find it helpful to read the question and try to recall the answer from memory before looking at each of the five responses.

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    The "true/false" strategy


    Identify if the question is looking for a true or false statement. Then label each of the five responses as "true" or "false" and eliminate those that do not correctly complete the question.

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    Read each of the five responses


    1.Don't select a response just because you remember learning the information in the course; it may be a "true" statement in its own right, but not the correct answer to the question.

    2.Don't dismiss a response because it seems too obvious and simple an answer; if you are well prepared for the test, some of the questions may appear very straight forward.

    3.Don't be persuaded by fancy terms in the question; don't say to yourself, "That sounds impressive, so it must be the right answer."

    4.As you read through the possible responses, mark off the ones you know are wrong. This will save time if you have to come back to the question later.

    5.And don't just stop when you come upon the one that seems likely.

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    Should I change an answer?


    Change answers only if you have a good reason for doing so. (Changing your answer from response "b" because you selected "b" to the previous two questions is not a good reason.) The origin of the myth that students most often change correct answers to wrong answers is probably that it is the wrong answers that students remember most when reviewing the test (for you are less likely to remember the answers you changed from "wrong" to "right").

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    If two responses appear to be equally correct


    Eliminate the response that appears to be least related to the question being asked. Remember, you are looking for the best answer, not only a correct one. Some responses may be correct but are not directly related to the question.

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    If you are not certain of an answer, guess


    As there is no penalty for wrong answers. Eliminate the responses you know are incorrect. Narrow down your selection to two responses and then compare them and identify how they differ. Finally, make an informed guess.

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    Learn from returned tests


    To better prepare for future tests. When a graded test has been returned, rework your errors trying to reason out why the correct answers were correct. Identify why you might have missed a question. Did you fail to read it correctly? Did you fail to prepare for it? Was the test at a more difficult level than you prepared for? Did you run out of time? Did you have any problems with anxiety before or during the test? If you did not do as well as you expected on a test, examine the way you prepared and adjusted your style of learning and studying to equip yourself to do better on future tests.

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    Under the format of a multiple choice question


    The stem which asks the question, The Correct response and four other non relevant answers called distracters.

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    Use Creativity


    Adopt creative methods of memorizing related information using numbers, acronyms, mnemonic poems, wild stories and outlandish mental pictures to truly bring the material alive in a virtually unforgettable way.

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    Develop a Positive Attitude


    Develop a positive attitude towards exams. If you are well prepared you'll walk into the exam room thinking "WOW! I can't wait to prove myself to these examiners, I'm gonna Ace this test, just to show them." Negative attitude: "Oooh, I'm so nervous. I hate exams; what's the point? I really don't feel up to this".

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    Avoid Blanks


    During the exam, avoid blanks. Try as hard as you can to make an intelligent guess. Take the closest answer but remember not to take too much of your time answering one item. Go back and review your answers after you finish the exam, if you still have time.

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    Prepare in advance


    Start your preparations well in advance, don't wait until a week before the test to start. You gain less by studying at the last minute.

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    Develop Focus Areas


    Focus on the areas you find the hardest, focus the majority of your time on those questions.

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    Keep Practicing and really Hard


    Keep practicing, once you’ve practiced as many tests as possible maintain your skills through question practice right up until the day before your assessment.

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    Practice under timed condition


    Practice under timed conditions and in exam conditions. This will improve your speed and confidence as well as performance on the day of your examination.

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    Control emotions and anxiety


    Embrace any anxiety you feel on the day of the examination, while adrenaline and nervousness can be distracting if you’ve prepared sufficiently you can calmly reflect on your practice and be confident you can beat the competition.

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    Practice self motivation


    The best form to succeed is to keep on saying “Well if I can’t do no one else can”, keep pumping yourself up

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    Set a Goal to achieve


    Set a target – The most successful people in the world all put their entire pride, ego and life at stake, keeping a target in mind makes your progress every day

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    Set up measurement and progress cards


    The best way to know if you are progressing is to set up measurement and progress cards, and remember to review them everyday at the end and in the beginning

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    Choose a mentor


    A mentor is one who helps, guides and advises you on the right path, choose one mentor it could be from your family, friends, school or even the neighborhood

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    Use Technology


    Modern days are blessed with a lot of technology advancements, choose and uses those that are adaptable and useful in your preparation

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    Be aware of the marking schemes


    Most of the competitive exams have negative marks for wrong answers, be sure you are aware of the marking schemes much before your take up the exams to minimize the risk of losing on grounds of negative marks

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    Be organized


    Being organized is one of the most important skills any student can have. It is also the best defence against a panic attack during an exam.

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    Have good eating habits


    In the bargain of preparing heavily and for long times do not compromise on your diets, eat well balanced food and avoid non calorie eatables

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    Setup your time zone


    Some students find it good to read early in the morning, some would do well during nights, setup your own alarm limits and do not compromise

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    Find time for good sleep


    A good sound sleep is half contributor to good health and good mind, do not compromise on atleast a 6 hours of sleep every day

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