The countdown has started! The final exams and oral exams are just around the corner. Do you feel ready and well prepared? It’s not yet too late to start your exam preparation and even in the current exceptional Covid19 situation, there are many opportunities to connect with your school friends.
Before we can even think about getting into a university, there are the final exams to be passed. The last 12 to 13 years mark of course the cornerstone of your preparation but there are also a few little things you can do now. The new general conditions due to the Covid19 outbreak also place new constraints on your learning preparations.
Create a plan for your exam preparation
Make a plan so as not to put off learning forever and stick to the times you have set yourself. Depending on the federal state, the dates vary. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, the first written examinations start this week and last until May, 26th. After that, it is time for the oral examinations.
A week may sound like a lot of time, but if you think you want to do something else besides studying, the best time to pick up your books is now. Let’s go! Create a weekly schedule, like a class schedule for your exam preparation, but also remember other commitments and appointments, such as meeting friends and sports activities, so that you have a clear idea of how much time you really have left to study. When you then add your learning blocks, remember that a learning unit should not last much longer than an hour and that you should also include breaks.
Make an overview
Before you start learning, it is important that you know which content is relevant and which is not. Which subjects and above all, which topics do you need to know at all? With the information from past exams and the information from your teachers, you can create a plan. Simply take an Excel spreadsheet or a piece of paper and write down the topics to be tested on the exams, depending on the subject. Here you can find a lot of information and examples of what you should expect in the exams.
Such an overview will also help you to check your own learning level and to see when you have learned enough. It is important that you are honest with yourself. What are you good at and where do you still have some catching up to do? When you have created the list of subjects, you should also make sure that you have all the necessary documents at hand: school books, notes, practice tests and the collections of formulas, for example in maths. If you are unsure, talk to your school friends or, if it is not clear to you, ask your teachers. This way you will have the right plan before you start your exam preparation.
Learn together and alone
Maybe you’ve already figured out the best way to learn. If not, you now have time to try different ways. Maybe it is best for you to read something, write down the points and repeat them. Or maybe you learn best when you open up and deduce something for yourself. Or perhaps you can explain it to others or discuss a topic in a group. Each person has their own preferences here. Corona, of course, makes it a little more difficult to learn together with your school friends, but with a little technique you can do it. For example, you could meet with friends every morning at 09am in the Zoom Chat and use this virtual room as a shared room for your exam preparation. Each person sits in their own corner, learning their own material, but there is always someone else there when questions arise or it is time for a break.
Relax and take enough breaks
Speaking of breaks! Remember that you have already learned most of the material you need to know for your school-leaving exams in the last months and years. The main aim of your baccalaureate preparation is to repeat and, if necessary, deepen these subjects. Internalize this point, because it probably takes a lot of pressure off you to remember that you have already acquired most of the knowledge. So don’t panic when you realize that your learning plan is very long.
Regular breaks help you consolidate the things you have been studying and your mind and body need these breaks to relax and prepare for the next session. Get up, stretch your body or go for a run, spend time with your family or call a friend. Do something that gives you pleasure so that you can start the new learning phase in a good mood and with a fresh mindset.
Check your learning level
Reward yourself after all your learning not only with breaks, good food and a bit of free time, but also by seeing how far you have already come. Seeing which subjects you have already mastered is also very motivating and drives you to quickly acquire the missing material.
Here your initial table or sheet overview is very helpful and you can see at a glance how far you have come. And sometimes you will be surprised by how quickly you have acquired new knowledge or by how quickly you have been able to refresh what you had already studied in the past. You can check your learning progress yourself using old exams or even online learning tests, but you can also get together virtually with your classmates in Covid19 times. Together you can form a learning group and evaluate where everybody stands and how and who can support the others when needed.
Keep calm on exam day – Exam preparations are over
Soon the exam preparation will be over and the exam day will be coming up. After these good preparations, on exam day you can go to school completely relaxed and be sure that you have done everything to be well prepared for the upcoming exam. Take the prior evening off, do something nice, relax and go to bed early to get enough rest. The next morning, on your exam day, you should plan enough time not to stress yourself. Take all the time you need to wake up, have a good breakfast and get to the exam location without hurrying. Enter the examination room with confidence! You are well prepared.
If you are already thinking about the next steps in your life and you like to make plans, we would like to suggest that you register for one of our webinars, student advisory services and Open Campus activities. This way you can get an idea of what your future might look like after the Abitur exams. It will probably also give you a lot of motivation and drive to see what you are actually doing your exams for. Soon you will have your diploma in your hands and can start a new chapter in your life. At XU Exponential University, we would be happy to accompany you in this new chapter and become part of your life path.