Thursday, 22 October 2015

Getting ready for exams – how to study like a genius.

We all get nervous and stressed when it’s that time of the year again. By that time of the year we mean exams or test weeks and if you’re still at school or varsity this happens more often than not.
You really don’t need to be stressed or nervous, all you need is to be prepared and ready, this makesa world of difference.  Give yourself the best chance with these 10 study tips to study like a genius!
  1. Begin preparing early
    The best possible way for you to do well during exams or test weeks is to pay attention during class, every minute that you aren’t giving your full attention means many more minutes of studying and trying to understand later on.

  2. Know your teacher/professor and have a good relationship
    This is fundamental in achieving good results, to have good relations with your study instructor means that you enjoy the course and if something is unclear to you, you will consult with him/her later or during class to see to it that you understand everything fully.

  3. Form a study group
    Not only will other students be able to help you understand the material, but by helping others you are actually teaching yourself. Remember that this is a study group and not a socializing event and you will need to stay focused on why you are there

  4. Organize your study space
    Make sure you have enough space to spread all your material and notes out. Get yourself comfortable and keep all distractions out of sight.

  5. Flow charts and diagrams work best!
    Use flow charts and diagrams to review your work visually. People tend to remember visual information better. Condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams to reflect when nearing the examination date.

  6. Practise on old examination papers or tests
    After you have studied the relevant material, practice on old papers to test your knowledge and do so under test conditions.  This will help comfort you to know that you will be able to complete the paper within the allocated time.

  7. Take regular breaks for 10 to 20 minutes
    Studying for an entire day might make you feel good, but this could actually be counterproductive. Studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, regular breaks are crucial.

  8. Eat well
    Keep away from heavy saturated foods such as margarine and foods with high sugar levels. You will need to eat balanced meals, containing foods such as eggs, fruit, cereal, lean meat and vegetables. Don’t overeat, rather eat dark chocolate as a treat as studies have shown that this helps  boost your brain.

  9. Get to bead early
    Allow for your body to get the correct amount of rest that it needs to perform the following day.  Thus plan your day so that you will get to bed early and allow for yourself to relax before falling asleep.

  10. Wake up nice and early on the day you are writing
    Give yourself enough time to get up and get to the examination location on time. Getting up nice and early will help you to start the exam/test stress free and with a clear mind.

The privilege of education in South Africa

Being a citizen of such a beautiful and diverse country as South Africa is an immense privilege and one we regularly take for granted.

Not only are we the only country in the world with 11 official languages, but we have a rich and powerful history of reconciliation and forgiveness. Our country has also delivered one of the most powerful figures in the history of mankind, Madiba, the father of our nation.

As diverse and as beautiful as this country might be we do not always realize the task that we as citizens have to bear to uphold this legacy of beauty and greatness, no we rather leave it for the person sitting next to us. We disregard the responsibility of being loyal and responsible citizens that was fought for by so many.

Totsie Memela, CEO of Eduloan, recently said in an Interview with SAfm; that education is your way out of your circumstance, your way of taking responsibility for your life.  Never has this been more true for us as a nation and a country as now.

The mistake we make, is to think that opportunities such as education is a right and not a privilege.  And rightfully so, the basic need to be educated is global, but many only view this as a part of the circle of maturing, of growing up.

Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.  To really realize this, we need to accept the fact that not everyone wants to change the world and therefor there are those that take education for granted. The reality is this, what has been taught to you, no one can ever take away from you. Your education is what shapes your opinion and views.  You don’t know what you don’t know, it’s as simple as that.

Education is the path to development. It creates choices and opportunities for people in terms of access to employment, reduces burdens of poverty and disease, and empowers people. We need to realize that for everyone, education produces a more skilled and competitive workforce, thus opening the doors to economic and social prosperity.

If this were to be true, why are we taking education for granted?

Perhaps it’s not an economically viable option for everyone at this stage. However the example of other European countries such as Austria and the Netherlands, who are succeeding in providing almost free university education for all EU students, suggests that it would not be impossible to provide cheaper education. 

The question then is this; would education be regarded as a privilege and be embraced by everyone once it’s free?  It might be, but that will only be determined once it’s in motion.  For now, we need to realize that even though we can consider Education a basic human right, we need to realize that this in not yet true for everyone. So if you have been through school, college or university; be thankful for the experience the privilege of it. Especially for having done it, in such a beautiful and diverse country.

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