The test contains many different sections that are meant to examine the overall capability of the student sitting the exam. Obviously it is rare that a student will be brilliant in all aspects of the test, it is important that the student has a strategy going into the test. For most students it is natural to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of doing the exam in a hall full of students, this is probably their first time doing an exam of such magnitude as well.
It is important that while speed is important in a test, most students even throughout their university days still continue to rush through a test. In a test like the selective school where there are so many components, it is difficult to switch between sections and continue the train of thought to get the best possible answers to write down for the test.
In a pressure situation such as this one it is best practice to stay calm and take two to three minutes before switching to different components of the test. This way your train of thought is getting ready for a switch, for example going from a writing prompt to a mathematics section of the selective school test. Taking this time in between tests while you are losing some time, it is ensuring that you do not rush and make silly errors which is what happens when you jump quickly from section to section. Maintaining focus for two straight hours is a difficult thing to do, so taking a break during the test allows you to rest your mind and refocus for the next section.
This strategy is effective yet simple and most students fail to do so in an exam situation, if you have this strategy in place it will definitely help the student keep concentration and maintain nerves throughout the test. Taking a break is effective at any stage, if for example the student is stuck on a problem, it is important to relax and stay calm, take two minutes and try to clear your head. If that still doesn’t help do not take too much time on one problem and move on quickly as you cannot afford to waste time if you just can’t do the problem and that can happen in an exam situation.
These strategies are helpful in an exam situation, if the student does prepare for the test through practice examinations, do so in exam conditions and if the student is stuck on a problem try these strategies out, if they are effective for the student it is an extra edge they can bring to the exam.
By Shomik Dutta, an Alchemy tutor
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