Exams Results & Tips on Scoring As When Working Full-Time

My results were released on the 24 March and about an hour before the release, my classmates started the chatter in our whatsapp group starting with the countdown. As we progressed, it got tougher and so it was nerve wrecking for all of us.

For me, I sorta like expected what grades I would get but then again, anything can happen but prior to the exams, about 3 weeks before, I started my prep. It was frustrating because two of the subjects were heavy in terms of content and me, for not having a knack for memorizing things, as well as I take time to understand theories and stuffs, it was all mumbo jumbo for me. I don't have a gift in actually truly understanding, analyzing and coming up with my own versions of theories.

In other words, I thought that I would never be one of those who scored distinctions as that would mean higher order thinking. However, before I disregard myself, for being less on the clever side, I would say that it IS possible to score As after hearing from my business law lecturer on what are the expectations to separate an A grade from a B grade, and that's how I thought it was possible.

One of them is a B because I hate that subject but yet, I didn't want to score a C after getting a dismal results for both the written paper and the project. So instead of A, I aimed for a B but I got a B+ which is a shocker but ultimately, a pleasant surprise.

For business law, I initially wanted to aim for a B because again, I didn't score fantastic results like my classmates although I was pleased, that I've not failed any of the tests this semester even for other subjects. There were people failing and somehow, I managed to stay afloat.

But after studying the subject intensively, I realized that hey, maybe I could get an A for this since I seem to drill into my heads all or at least most of the facts into my head. And I was right.

I would like to clarify that unless you are really smart and you utilize that intelligence of yours correctly, these tips may not even seem useful. And yes, nothing beats working hard towards your goal, and this has proven to me, that if we put our mind to it, it is possible to achieve what we want.
So if I can do it, so can you.

Tip 1: Write out your own notes. When writing, try not to write every damn word in the notes because it's simply copying without understanding. Might as well save your pen ink. Simply write key words and learn to draw mind maps so you will see how the points link up to under one big header.

Tip 2: Don't just see chapter by chapter on its own. Find the linkages between the chapters from the 1st to the last. At times, a few chapters interlink and then the next set of chapters will interlink so you have got to find how they link up to see the big picture.

Tip 3: From big picture, and to mind maps where you see the main links to the sub links.Note the headers in the mind maps as that will form your main links. From there, go on to the sub links that usually are the details that provide explanation as to the main links or points in the chapters. You must be able to see the big picture so that things make sense to you rather than just studying blindly.

Tip 4: Once you get a clearer picture of the linkages, get smart with time. By this I mean to utilize the pockets of time that you have, even when you are in the move. For example, in public transport, while waiting for your bus to come, lunch time or standing in the queue. 

And be disciplined with time, like let's say, waking an hour or two before you get ready to shower and prep for work. I know I cannot study after I return home because I'm simply too tired and I just want to lie down in bed. So find the right time to steal for your studies when things are quieter if you are a working adult or you have family commitments.

Tip 5: Utilize your weekend but you don't have to put your life on hold. For me, I would make time to study in the morning after I've done some work for my online business so I need to set time deadlines. Let's say, I would use up 2 hours doing my business activities, and after this is up, I would dedicate the rest of the morning for studies. After I go out to enjoy (and bringing my written notes along so I'll utilize the time pockets) and then after a good rest, get at least an hour to an hour and half to continue studying. 

Tip 6: Organize study groups so that you can learn together and studying won't be such a drab. But make sure it is a study group that has clear discussions and not chit chatting away so have someone to be keeping track of the time and keep the group focused.

Tip 7: Get hold of exam papers! This is important. You don't have to do every single question as practice but the main point of getting hold of them is to study the trends and to know what kind of questions they will ask. Of course, they won't ask the exact same thing, but a few tweaks here and there. If you know the generic sort of questions they will ask, make sure you KNOW what are the answers to them to easily score. I did that for the business law and because of that, I knew what the questions will come up especially those in the compulsory section so I wasn't caught off guard as I've practiced the answers to them.

Do not be disheartened if you take a longer time to study or memorize facts than the rest. If you know you are that sort who cannot study last minute, prep yourself at least 3 weeks and dedicate every day to drill those facts in your head. Some people credit themselves to studying last minute and still get it but if you can't, don't follow. You are shooting yourself in the foot like that.

Also, don't give up. As a working adult, it can be tiring. So what I do is to make full use of the study leaves and I went to the school library to study from morning until night when the library was about to close. If you can't study in the library, go somewhere else where you can clearly be focused and not get disturbed as and when. I call these intensive studying period.

At one point, I questioned myself why I go through this torture since I've got a stable job already. But the point is, I wanted to progress and I can't progress if I get too comfy in my current position so I suggest you think long term too if you start having doubts or difficulties and that you're not alone. Nobody else doesn't feel stressed out for exams unless they're of a different species.

 Good luck in following the tips and keep chasing for your dreams :)

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