So recently, I’ve been wondering what the most effective way to study was for me, so I took a look at my history at what’s worked for me, and what hasn’t.
My whole life up to when I left Thailand, I used to think I was an excellent student. This thought didn’t come out of nowhere- it was reflected in my grades. I think it was partly due to the only study tip I ever remember my parents telling me: “Pay attention in class, and you wont be struggling to revise.” That turned out to be a good tip…up to a certain extent. The best official exam result I ever had was an A* for my IGCSE in Mathematics, which I took a year early because I was in set 1, the mathematics elite class. That was probably the proudest I’ve ever been for any exam result.
After moving to Holland, there was a significant lack in my motivation, and my ability to perform. I didn’t finish my IGCSE program for my other subjects, and had to adjust slightly to the different MYP course I took. My ability to perform since then, hasn’t always been as great as I imagined it would’ve been. Naturally, I blamed the schools I went to, and their incompetence in teaching compared to the international school in Thailand. Whether that was true or not, when it came down to it, the only person I could hold accountable for my grades was a person I know very well. Me.
Fast forward to today; I miraculously made it to uni in one shot. The tests I’ve had so far were, I felt, underperformed by myself, which had much more to do with me being under-prepared, than my ability to accomplish the tasks given. So what am I going to do about it?
Reminding myself of that A* gave me hope that somewhere inside me, there is an achiever. Taking steps back from that A*, how did I end up achieving that awesome result? I remembered in class then, the only thing I was doing, was completing past-exams against the clock. That’s it. I never really picked up that habit again of doing past papers like it was my job. Any other way of studying proved useless to me, because I mostly understood the topics; I just had to polish the abilities that I already had.
The result to this: I’m going to start doing past-papers as my primary way of studying. It seems obvious. How do you ace exams? By practicing to ace exams.
Good luck to my fellow students out there 🙂