Preparing for an exam? Read this!

October 07, 2020 · 3 min read · By Zac Cunningham
ASU Online student and brand ambassador Zac shares his tips for focusing while preparing for a test.

When it comes to exams, I have always had a hard time. Testing has never been my strong suit. However, exams usually make up a huge percentage of a class' overall grade. So, how can one become better?

The two biggest mindsets that have helped me are to (1) not overthink, and (2) to not be afraid to ask for help or do more work to understand the information if needed. I personally add stress to situations in life when I care about them and my performance—I am certain that I am not the only one who does this. When I stress about doing good, I tend to overthink and sometimes, even do worse. This could be with exams or in life, but rationalizing what obstacle is actually in front of you will help you put everything in perspective and allow you to be even more prepared for it.

For example, an exam could be the deciding factor in passing a class, graduating, or making honors. Alternatively, it could just be another exam like those you have had practice doing since you started school in kindergarten or first grade, but just with harder college level information. It’s all about perspective and how you define an obstacle. Putting something in perspective and understanding an exam can be stressful, but it’s not life or death or impossible. Remember this makes it easier to prepare and take the exam. Because if something was impossible, no one would ever be able to achieve it.

Now even though it is just an exam, you must also put some level of care in the work to succeed; there has to be balance. You must study. This is where it is critical to not be afraid to ask for help if you need it. For example, resources (such as professors, tutors, other classmates, and success coaches) are all available to help and guide you if you need it. They truly care about your success, so if you need the help, reach out because they are waiting for you to do so. I frequently rewatch the lectures or check out YouTube videos on class information while studying. If there is a piece of information you missed, do not be afraid to pause or go back and rewatch that piece as many times as you need in order to understand it.

Everyone has a different journey in life and some things might work better or worse for them. All that truly matters is that you take the right steps in order to succeed, not just in exams but in life in general. But when it does come to exams, try every possible form of studying you can think of, feel what works best for you, and then once you find it, continue to do it so you can succeed and move forward.


About the Author

Zac Cunningham is an ASU brand ambassador pursuing his Bachelor of Science in communication at ASU Online.

We're so excited to share Zac’s story! Zac is a part of our #LearnASULive team, an ASU Online brand ambassador program highlighting students who are earning their degrees while living their lives to the fullest. If you enjoyed this, be sure to check back for new articles from Zac so that you can follow along with his journey. To check out all his posts to date, visit Zac’s Instagram!

Want to hear from our other ambassadors, too? Use the #LearnASULive hashtag across your favorite social channels to browse through them!

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