If you have opened this article, it implies several things. Either you find exams too hard, too boring, too unnecessary, too cliché or you have some form of laziness when it comes to academic work. That’s not all. It might also imply that you really like making work easier. It’s alright. As campus students, the desire to maximize leisure time and minimize study time is something we can’t control. We wish to watch all the latest movies, go to the best parties, sleep till 10 and still pass our exams.
In economics, we refer to leisure and studying as complements. You cannot substitute one for the other and still hope to get the same output. Too much reading leads to a lack of social life whereas too much partying leads to minimal academic triumph. Either way, what we really need to know is how to pass exams without studying too much. Overdoing things always creates unnecessary complications. Thus here comes my intervention. To lift that heavy load that is studying, you need a fulcrum, pivot and the effort.
1. Engage in intensive group discussions
Group discussions help us understand things a lot faster. Through discussions, we are spared fruitless hours of studying. The geniuses in the groups help us understand things much easier. You can spend a whole day in the library trying to grasp something that you could have grasped in an hour through discussions. Group mates help us understand things much better than the lecturer. You are more likely to pay attention to your friend than the lecturer. It boils down to engagement and interaction – best learning model.
2. Revise all past papers of the last decade
If you spend the whole of your semester revising past papers from the last ten years, you won’t have to read a lot. It’s a guarantee that exam questions will be lifted from some past papers. If not so, you will find that only a few details have been modified from questions that were set before. It’s bad that I personally realized this quite late in my campus life, but as they say, better late than never.
3. Pay attention to every detail from the lecturer
Most students find this one hard including yours truly. Full concentration in class is always a challenge. Sometimes the lecture is too long, sometimes we are hungry and sometimes our minds are clogged with hangover. Campus life is a mix up of many things hence it’s quite difficult for one’s mind to stay fixated on academics alone. There are relationship issues, money issues or family issues. Paying attention is expensive but it can save one a lot of study time. Maximum concentration in class leads to quick understanding of concepts. After classes, what we are left with is only revision. Engaging the lecturer and asking questions also helps.
4. Cheat (at your own risk)
Yes, if you can cheat, please do so. By cheating I don’t mean taking out a handout or a piece of paper during exam time. I mean copying assignments from bright students or sitting next to a genius during exam time. If you sit next to someone who knows things, chances are that you might get a short window of opportunity when the lecturer is looking to ask or copy.
Too bad for you if you have poor eyesight. Bad guys always get away with things. Someone hasn’t attended lectures since the sem started, you never see him near a library, but he gets better grades than you. That’s just how life is. Those who work so hard always get the rough road while those who cheat their way through always get the easy lanes. It’s your personal choice. How righteous can you get and how low can your conscience stoop. All in all, the blend of hard work and wisdom always works best.