In the us sat exams are used to determine if a person is ready for college: they are college admission exams. The sat exam is now called the SAT Reasoning Test, previously it was the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test. It is a standardized exam owned, published, and developed by the college Board of the US and administered by the Educational Testing Service. The current sat exam takes three and three-quarter hours and is not free to take (recently cost $45 for us nationals). Among other things sat exams test mathematics, critical reading and writing skills.
For those who want to get in to college these exams are so important. So much emphasis is placed on having an education and passing exams can affect so much of your life. Despite this few people really know how to achieve exam success A+ Exam. Many students are never really taught how to pass exams: they are just told that they should! How can you ever reach your true potential exam success if you don’t know how to revise effectively, how to prepare yourself and what approach to take to your exams at the time you sit them?
To do anything well you have to know how. During the last few years I’ve marked thousands of exam papers. I’ve seen students making the same mistakes I did as a student, and inventing others that hadn’t occurred to me! Exam anxiety causes students to make easily avoidable mistakes – and they loose marks as a consequence. It’s such a pity!
I’ve seen education both as a student and a teacher. A few years ago, and ten years after completing my formal education, I did a part-time course in mathematics, and then later another in animal behaviour. At the time I was working full-time, so studying was confined to evenings and weekends. It was only then that i really discovered and appreciated the importance of study and exam technique. By following some simple guidelines I completed the courses and gained distinctions. If only I’d knew about these techniques the first time round. If only all students could follow the same guidelines. Are you facing the prospect of sitting exams? Almost everyone does at some time in their life. Do you know what to do to get exam success? To get those qualifications that are going to help you get where you want to be? Perhaps you want to go to college or university, or just get through school? Maybe you want a promotion, or a career progression or change and need to take exams to get there.
Despite the all important nature of exam success in our society few people actually seem to fully know what’s expected of them when they are sitting exams, or how to best prepare themselves to achieve exam success. Often the “how to” part is largely left to chance, as if we will suddenly know by magic just what to do on the day of sitting exams! As if we should automatically know how to remember all the stuff taught to us.
In fact there’s a bit to know about revision and exams: when and how to start revision, how to organise notes, how to optimize revision so you remember as much as possible, how to practice exam techniques, what to do on the day of sitting exams, and even what to do afterwards.
For this article I’ll give some exam tips for completing multi-choice exams (which were personally my least favourite type, when i was a student! ). Multi-choice provides an opportunity to test students over the whole subject area (in comparison to essays, for example, which test a few areas in depth). Many students panic about multiple-choice exams: they worry about getting confused between the possible alternative answers and may even end up guessing answers. However, there’s a technique for answering multiple-choice questions, and some information you should keep in mind when sitting multiple-choice examsAre you someone who love taking exams? As an actuarial student, that is what you will be doing in the first few years. You have to try to take and pass the first five preliminary tests to become an actuary. And these five tests require a lot of self-discipline and determination.
I believe that determination and persistence are the key factors in helping someone to become a successful actuary in the future. I never understood the importance of these until I experienced it myself. I started taking my first actuarial exam, Exam FM/2 in 2010. Back then I believed that doing as many exam problems as possible would help me pass this exam. I spent a huge amount of time studying for this exam. I completed the whole ASM and Actex manual for this exam and I felt like I could pass it when i walked into the exam center.
Unfortunately, I failed the exam in my first sitting. I was devastated. I kept asking why and how is this possible? I was angry and sad at the same time as it was actually the first time that failed an exam. Everyone thought that i would pass the exam since i studied so hard for it. It was a really tough time for me as i felt really down and depressed. However, I realized that wallowing in your own self despair is not going to get you anywhere. I have to move on and learn from this mistake. I learnt that doing as many questions as you can before the exam is not really an effective way to pass the exam. I then decided to focus instead on the chapters that i was not very strong at as i skipped through a few of the chapters that were deemed not so important for the exam previously.
So i went registered and sat for the exam again for the second time. And guess what? I failed it again. I was shocked. I couldn’t understand what went wrong. I studied much harder than most students in my first sitting, finished all the questions in the ASM and Actex manual, followed a strict study schedule and I even focused on the chapters that i was weak at previously for my second sitting but I still failed the exam again. I was obviously sad but it also made me even more determined to pass this exam. I was determined to not make failure stop me. I registered for the exam again the next day after i received my result and started analyzing what went wrong with the previous exam.
I then realized that my basic foundation for the exam was actually not very strong. And we all know that something cannot be built based on a weak foundation. I had to change my studying habit. I spent time trying to understand the concepts that were being explained in the study manual. I learnt to ask why instead of just accepting the answers given and memorizing formulas blindly. This change in my strategy helped me to pass the exam on my third attempt and I was really relieved.
I applied the same strategy when i was sitting for my Exam P/1 and it worked. I passed my Exam P/1 on my second sitting as i was unprepared for the exam when i first sat for it. This was also another lesson that i learned. We must always plan our time wisely and we cannot expect to pass an actuarial exam with only a few weeks left to study. I tried doing this for my Exam P/1 in my first sitting and it was definitely a bad move.