By Temiloluwa Erinle
It’s the second semester, and the campus is buzzing with hall and faculty weeks, games and contests, concerts, and talk events. But amidst the excitement, a heavy wind is coming, and it’s going to shake your academic grounds. The upcoming exams are only a month away, and if we consider only the topics covered in class so far, most students are ill-prepared.
So, what should you do? Let’s start with what you shouldn’t do. Don’t remain indifferent to the looming exams until it’s too late. As a freshman, I indulged in the excitement of the second semester and found myself ill-prepared for my exams. Don’t make the same mistake.
To prepare for the figurative strong wind, we can learn from those affected by real ones. For instance, the United States experiences the most tornadoes in the world, and after decades of experience, scientists have studied their formation and understood them much more accurately. Although it’s still difficult to predict a coming tornado, constant surveillance helps in spotting ominous weather conditions, necessary for tornado formation, and in promptly alerting people to take protective action.
Similarly, to prevent any damage to your academic standing by the extreme irritant called exams, you must be deeply conscious of them long before they happen and prepare adequately towards them. The best time to start preparing is at the beginning of the semester, when the happy eastern sun is all out to deceive us.
Two hours of good, serious study every day can be adequate over a long period, such as 14 weeks. Small habits bear large fruits with time. Instead of reveling in the lightness of the early days, sacrifice just a bit of your time to modest study. Two or three good hours almost every day can make a significant difference. This worked for me, and it can work for you too.
But what if you’re like me, and you’ve already fallen behind? Don’t worry; you can still do something about it. Start by reading as if the next day is your exam. Although cramming overnight is not recommended, you can spread out your study over the day and dedicate at least four hours to learning and revising in total. This can help minimize anxiety and damage when the wind comes around.
Moreover, use well-recommended study texts and not just lecture notes. Try to understand most concepts, even if time doesn’t permit the penetration of all, jot down the most important points, and practice revising and rote memorization of some points every day. Form a small study group of two or three if you prefer.
Don’t forget to prepare well, and the wind won’t knock before coming at you. “May the force be with you.”