Once again final exams for the semester are upon us. This is a critical time for our students. This week is dominated by intense studying, reviews, and test-taking. Although this is a difficult period, all of the hard work and sacrifice are worth the effort.
Our young people are the future of our society. It is imperative that we develop their skills, knowledge, culture, and religion to assure the Kingdom's continued success and development. Education necessarily involves a commitment to excellence and perseverance. These are the exact qualities our young people need to be successful in their personal and professional endeavors. It is incumbent upon us as educators to facilitate the continuing development of these characteristics in our young men and women. It is also incumbent upon the families of our students to provide encouragement and support during this difficult time.
Prayers and Anticipation
Thousands of families are waiting to hear good news in regards to their child's exam results. Every family tries to provide their children with an optimal environment. Much stress usually accompanies exams, and this brings about the need to search for proven methods leading to academic excellence. Because final exams are conducted over a short period of time, many of the students double their efforts during these weeks when studying. Numerous characteristics accompany the final exam period – positive and negative – that we should be cognizant of. Educators and psychologists caution students not to resort to stimulants during this period because they may result in a sharp drop in the ability to concentrate and a sharp increase in sleep disorders.
The Positive Role of the Family
Proper final exam preparation is of the utmost importance to students and their parents. Educators confirm that it is necessary to manage time efficiently, organize their study time and take a break, as well as sleeping and eating well. The family should help to bear the burden by assisting in the management of time and creating the appropriate atmosphere for the examinee to study and revise thoroughly without being subjected to psychological pressures and the feeling of fear or anxiety.
Many students have a problem in retaining what they have studied as soon as they enter the exam room or start reading the questions. Be that as it may, they are distracted by mundane social activities, and they encounter negative psychological symptoms before the exams such as boredom and motivational factors – a lack thereof – in addition to suffering anxiety and drowsiness. Therefore, the student has to escape from studying to watch TV programs, talking on the phone, or overeating because he/she feels that all of the information inside of his/her mind will not be retained.
The Difficulty of Studying
We would like to mention some recommendations from psychologists and social workers to help alleviate stress and anxiety symptoms. Experts assert that students need to break up their study time into 'chunks'. It was related that although many students decide to 'cram' or pull 'all-nighters' prior to their exam, this only triggers tiredness and insomnia - not success. It is no surprise, then, that the student will not benefit from this kind of study, which leads to lack of focus and consequently lower marks.
The exams are nothing but a collection of what has been studied, and the scale of what the student has attained throughout the entire semester. The student should be wary of the factors which create the conditions for psychological stress to thrive and cramming the night before exams. There is no doubt that if he/she does not do this, he/she will be faced with insurmountable fatigue where they will be unable to learn and remember the material.
Examinations are benchmarks of learning throughout the academic life of students and a way to teach the student responsibility. The habits of the students usually appear in the exams, and those who are ill-prepared academically take a significant retreat in facing the responsibility of exams and overcoming difficulties.
Many students ask about how to overcome the anxiety that will affect exam performance. Here, we offer a range of tips that - God willing - will contribute to the success of the students.
Before the Exam
Wake up early
Finish studying the critical elements of a subject
Have your breakfast to keep active
Satisfy your parents and don't miss your prayers
Go to the hall a minimum of 30 minutes before the start of the test
In the Exam Room
Trust in God
Do not distract yourself with negative thoughts and fear of exams
Remember that the test is a cumulative measure of what you learned throughout the year
Acknowledge that you have done, and are doing, your best
Dealing with the Exam Paper
Begin by saying 'In the name of Allah, the most Merciful and the most Beneficent'
Legibly write your name and student number
Take your time