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Exam Preparation: Ten Study Tips | Top Universities

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Exam Preparation: Ten Study Tips

1. Give yourself enough time to study

Don't leave it until the last minute. While some students do seem to thrive on last-minute 'cramming', it's widely accepted that for most of us, this is not the best way to approach an exam. Set out a timetable for your study. Write down how many exams you have and the days on which you have to sit them. Then organize your study accordingly. You may want to give some exams more study time than others, so find a balance that you feel comfortable with. 

2. Organize your study space

Make sure you have enough space to spread your textbooks and notes out. Have you got enough light? Is your chair comfortable? Are your computer games out of sight?

Try and get rid of all distractions, and make sure you feel as comfortable and able to focus as possible. For some people, this may mean almost complete silence; for others, background music helps. Some of us need everything completely tidy and organized in order to concentrate, while others thrive in a more cluttered environment. Think about what works for you, and take the time to get it right.

3Use flow charts and diagrams

Visual aids can be really helpful when revising. At the start of a topic, challenge yourself to write down everything you already know about a topic – and then highlight where the gaps lie. Closer to the exam, condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams. Getting your ideas down in this brief format can then help you to quickly recall everything you need to know during the exam.

4. Practice on old exams

One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice taking past versions. This helps you get used to the format of the questions, and – if you time yourself – can also be good practice for making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section. 

5. Explain your answers to others

Parents and little brothers and sisters don't have to be annoying around exam time! Use them to your advantage. Explain an answer to a question to them. That will help you to get it clear in your head, and also to highlight any areas where you need more work.

6. Organize study groups with friends

Get together with friends for a study session. You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. As long as you make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.

7. Take regular breaks

While you may think it's best to study for as many hours as possible, this can actually be counterproductive. If you were training for a marathon, you wouldn't try and run 24 hours a day! Likewise studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, taking regular breaks really helps.

Everyone's different, so develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, start early before taking a break at lunchtime. Or if you're more productive at nighttime, take a larger break earlier on so you're ready to settle down come evening.

Try not to feel guilty about being out enjoying the sunshine instead of hunched over your textbooks. Remember Vitamin D is important for a healthy brain!

8. Snack on 'brain food'

Keep away from junk food! You may feel like you deserve a treat, or that you don't have time to cook, but what you eat can really have an impact on energy levels and focus. Keep your body and brain well-fuelled by choosing nutritious foods that have been proven to aid concentration and memory, such as fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries. The same applies on exam day – eat a good meal before the test, based on foods that will provide a slow release of energy throughout. Sugar may seem appealing, but it won't help when your energy levels crash an hour or so later.

9. Plan your exam day

Make sure you get everything ready well in advance of the exam – don't leave it to the day before to suddenly realize you don't know the way, or what you're supposed to bring. Check all the rules and requirements, and plan your route and journey time. If possible, do a test run of the trip; if not, write down clear directions.

Work out how long it will take to get there – then add on some extra time. You really don't want to arrive having had to run halfway or feeling frazzled from losing your way. You could also make plans to travel to the exam with friends or classmates, as long as you know they're likely to be punctual! 

10. Drink plenty of water

As a final tip, remember that being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. Make sure you keep drinking plenty of water throughout your revision, and also on the exam day.

Good luck!

Achieve Your Learning Goals – Study Skills

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Top 5 Study Tips to Achieve your Study Goals

Pre-lower, Study tips No Comments »

Study Tip #1

Understand your study topics in your own words: Your teacher or lecturer can explain something to you, you can learn it from a text book, your friends can study with you, even your own notes can explain it to you but all these explanations are of little use if, by the end, you can’t explain what you have learned to yourself. If you don’t understand a study concept that you need to illustrate in an exam to get top exam results, then you won’t be happy with your end exam result. To combat this, get into the habit of explaining whatever it is you are studying, in your own words, so you understand your study notes. The key to help improve your memory is to understand what you’ve learned when you are studying it. So don’t just memorise and tick off the list – make sure you understand your theory.

Study Tip #2

Don’t be afraid to ask study questions: Of course, depending on what you’re studying, it may be quite difficult to get into a position to understand a concept,theory or other information you need to learn. This is where it is invaluable to ask questions of your teachers, lecturers or other educators. Don’t be afraid of asking a ‘stupid’ question – there really is no such thing when it comes to study and learning! Embrace your curiosity, for as William Arthur Ward said: “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” Doing so will allow you to fill in the blanks and better prepare you for exams.

Study Tip #3

Quiz yourself: Once you feel you understand a concept or a topic, it is important to test yourself on it. Try and replicate exam conditions as much as possible: turn your phone off, don’t talk, time yourself etc. You can set yourself a study quiz or practice exam questions and, so long as you approach it with the right mindset, you can get a very good idea of how much you know. You gain a greater insight into where you stand in relation to what you’ve studied so far. Also, it will give you some much need exam preparation, making the actual exam a more comfortable experience. Flashcards are ideal for boosting your memory and help you recall theory, definitions and key dates – these are great for quick study sessions, especially straight before an exam.

Study Tip #4

Get Creative with online study tools: Don’t feel obliged to just sit in front of a book with a highlighter; there are many different ways to study. You should pick whatever works for you. Try using as many study tools and techniques as possible to help you study better and find what works best for you. Perfect examples of such study tools would be online flashcards, mind maps, mnemonics, online study planners, video and audio resources. Login to your ExamTime account now to access your free online study tools; mind maps, flashcards, study quizzes and practice exam answers and bring your study notes with you wherever you are.

Study Tip #5

Set your study goals and create a flexible study plan: In order to achieve exam success you need to know what you want to achieve. That’s why it is extremely important to set your Study Goals now and outline to yourself what you need to do. With your study goals in mind and your end of year exams weeks and months away it makes sense to have a flexible study plan as opposed to a rigid one. The closer you get to your exams the more concrete your study plan should be, but at this point it should be porous. It should be broad enough to allow you to add and change aspects but concise enough so you know you’re covering each subject/topic as best you can at this point.

Tips for speaking tests

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Here are some tips so you know what to expect on the day of the your Speaking test.

Before-exam

Check the date, time and address of your exam, and the address of your exam. Your centre will send you this information. If you have any questions, contact your centre before the day of the test.

Remember to check how long it will take you to travel to the venue.

Get to the exam early. Follow the directions to find the exam room or go to the reception of the building and ask for directions.

things-to-bring

Bring your identification (ID), for example, a passport or national ID card. It must be an original (not a copy) with a photo of you.

during-the-exam

Turn off anything electronic (for example, your mobile phone) when you arrive at the venue.

The centre may take your photo for identification after the exam.

The supervisor will:

• check your ID

• give you your mark sheet. Please do not fold it

• tell you where to wait, and take you to the test room.

Follow the instructions and wait quietly for your test.

While waiting for your test  you can practise your English by talking to the other candidates quietly in the waiting area. If you are doing a Listening test, check that you can hear the test properly. Raise your hand immediately if you cannot hear the recording.

Your supervisor will tell you where to put your bag during the test.

If you have any questions or problems, tell the supervisor immediately.

at-the-end-of-each-paper

Please leave quietly.

You must not speak to other candidates waiting to do their test.

Good luck with your exam!

Exam day tips: Cambridge English PAPER-BASED exams

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Here are some tips so you know what to expect on the day of the exam. These tips are for your written, paper-based exams (not including the Speaking test or Cambridge English: Young Learners exams).

Before-exam

Check the date, time and address of your exam. Your centre will send you this information. If you have any questions, contact your centre before the exam day.

Remember to check how long it will take you to travel to the exam.

Get to the exam early. Follow the directions to find the exam room or go to the reception of the building and ask for directions.

things-to-bring

Bring your identification (ID), for example, a passport or national ID card. It must be an original (not a copy) with a photo of you.

Bring pens and pencils with erasers. Your centre will give you extra pens and pencils if you need them.

Do not bring food or drink to your desk in the exam room (apart from a bottle of water).

You cannot bring your bag, phone, or anything else electronic to your desk in the exam.

during-exam

Your centre will tell you where to put your bags, phones etc. There will be a clock in the exam room. Take your ID out of your bag and put it on your desk.

The centre may take your photo for identification after the exam. 

Listen carefully to the instructions which the invigilator will read out, and make sure you follow them. If you have any questions, need help or want to leave the room, raise your hand to ask for help.

Do not talk to other people, or try to see what they are writing during the exam.

If you are doing a Listening test, check that you can hear the test properly. Raise your hand immediately if you cannot hear the recording.

at-the-end-of-paper

Stop writing immediately when the invigilator tells you to do so.

Give all papers to the invigilator, including question papers, answer sheets, paper for notes, etc.

Stay in your seat until the invigilator tells you to leave the room.

If you have any questions or problems, tell the invigilator immediately.

 

Justin Bieber – Boyfriend

English music 2 Comments »

If I was your boyfriend I'd never let you go
I could take you places you ain't ever been before

Baby take a chance or you’ll never ever know

I got money in my hands that I'd really like to blow
Swag, swag, swag on you
Chillin' by the fire while we eatin' fondue
I don't know about me, but I know about you
So say hello to falsetto in 3, 2, swag

I'd like to be everything you want
Hey girl let me talk to you
If I was your boyfriend, never let you go
Keep you on my arm girl, you'll never be alone
And I can be a gentleman, anything you want
If I was your boyfriend, never let you go, never let you go

Tell me what you like yeah tell me what you don't
I could be your buzz lightyear fly across the globe
I don't ever wanna fight yeah you already know
Imma make you shine bright like your layin' in the snow
Burr
Girlfriend, girlfriend, you could be my girlfriend
You could be my girlfriend until the w-world ends
Make you dance, do a spin and a twirl
And voice goin crazy on this hook like a whirlwind, swaggie

I'd like to be everything you want
Hey girl let me talk to you
If I was your boyfriend, never let you go
Keep you on my arm girl, you'll never be alone
And I can be a gentleman, anything you want
If I was your boyfriend, never let you go, never let you go

So give me a chance cause you're all I need girl
Spend a week with your boy I'll be callin you my girlfriend
If I was your man, then I'd never leave girl
I just wanna love and treat you right

If I was your boyfriend, never let you go
Keep you on my arm girl, you'll never be alone
If I can be a gentleman, anything you want
If I was your boyfriend, never let you go, never let you go

Na na na, na na na, na na na, yeah girl
Na na na, na na na, if I was your boyfriend
Na na na, na na na, na na na, yeah girl
Na na na, na na na, if I was your boyfriend

Eminem – Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna

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Photo caption

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Can you write a caption for these groovy grandparents?

 

Roar (Official)

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"Roar"

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready 'cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

[Chorus]
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar

Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

[Chorus]
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You'll hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You're gonna hear me roar…

Ro-oar, ro-oar, ro-oar, ro-oar, ro-oar

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You'll hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You're gonna hear me roar…

Nail art

Fashion No Comments »

Nail art has become an international phenomenon and many are using their fingernails as a canvas to display creativity and personality. Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are overflowing with people showing off their latest and at times, impossibly intricate designs. The important question is where did it all begin and how has the colour of your fingernails become just as, if not more important than the outfit you are wearing?

The history of nail polish and nail art dates back to 3000BC in China, India and Egypt. Plants were processed to create a dye that was used as a type of nail enamel, this was then applied and represented social class and wealth; deep colours such as red were worn by the rich and lighter paler colours were used by the poor. The Inca civilization even went as far as painting intricate animals on their nails to demonstrate which tribe they belonged to!

It wasn’t until the early 19th century that nail enamel was modernised into the nail polish that we see and know of today. The boom of the automobile industry introduced a wide selection of paints and colours which were soon adapted to be used on nails. The classic “moon manicure” was created and Revlon changed the colour recipe promoting pigments instead of dyes which further escalated the nail polish industry’s success.

It was only a matter of time before nail polish became a statement of personality and creativity. Rock, punk and goth groups wore black nail polish and the colour of your nails communicated the subculture you belonged to. Today, nail art is fully integrated into the fashion world, the application of gems, airbrushing, fine detail and nail extensions means that they can complete any look.

I personally love changing the colour and pattern of my nails to finish off my outfit and rather than seeing it as a chore I enjoy creating new designs. There is plenty of inspiration on the internet and with the latest introduction of metallic nail wraps everyone can get a professional finish in half the time!