Hey everyone! Welcome back to another blog! How quickly is this term going? I can’t believe that we only have another few weeks of discussion left before it is time for you guys to hit your exams! I hope that everyone has been well over the past week and has been able to get through lots of Chemistry! Some students have been telling me that their time at school has or is shortly coming to an end which is both sad and exciting at the same time! Enjoy your last days as a year 12 student, looking back they were some of the best days that I had at school! Moving onto chemistry, I hope that everyone was able to get a grasp of how to manage their study in this period. This week, I thought that it would be great to revise how to get the most out of the practice exams that you are hopefully doing, and I wanted to give some particular tips on how to correct your chemistry practice exams! Let’s get right into it!
How do I get the most out of my chemistry practice exams?
Over the last few weeks we have discussed various techniques and methods that can be utilised in your revision. In amongst these tips, I have given some suggestions on how you should be completing practice exams when it comes to revision and I thought I would quickly give a refresher on what those suggestions were.
Timed Practice Exams:
At this stage, I think that all of you should be timing the practice exams that you are doing. I have recommended this from quite early on and have recommended that you even put time restraints on any questions that you are completing. The reason for timing your practice exams is that it helps in your exam simulation. In the exam, time pressure will become a factor for everyone to consider. Doing timed exams not only gives you an indication of how much of the exam you can complete in the given time frame but also helps you work out a strategy for the exam. Through completing timed practice exams, I quickly found out that I took too long answering short answer (explain style) questions as I tended to add more detail that what was actually required. As such, I started practicing leaving the longer short answer questions to the end and this is the technique that I carried into the exam. On my actual exam there were some difficult short answer questions right at the end of the exam and so my technique actually worked pretty well! Thus, from personal experience I can say that doing timed exams is a great way to prepare for the actual exam.
Tracking your progress is a great way of making your revision effective despite being overlooked by many. When I was completing practice exams for chemistry, I was keeping a record of how I went on each practice exam, whether or not I was able to finish it on time and the areas/topics which I struggled with during the exam. This allowed me to simply reflect over time and make sure that I was actually revising the areas that were troubling me during my revision. Furthermore, I saw that I was eventually able to complete chemistry exams within the allotted time frame. Not only was this reassuring but I was able to identify what I had changed in order to achieve this goal. As you can see, there are multiple benefits of simply tracking your progress and therefore it is something I highly recommend doing in your revision.
Variety of Questions
During revision, it is very easy to get in the habit of doing questions from one source, whether that be VCAA questions, textbook questions or anything of the like. I am sure that your teachers have given you past exams from different companies as well. Whilst it is great to expose yourself to questions from a variety of sources, at this time of the year your major source should be VCAA. At the end of the day, VCAA is producing the exam thus exposing yourself to as many VCAA questions as possible is a great way to move forward in your revision!
How do I correct my practice exams?
You are probably getting sick of hearing about me talking about the importance of correcting your practice exams but today I thought I would explain how I went about things. Put simply, after you complete an exam and take a break and clear your head. Then I would recommend sitting down and going through the exam. This “going through” process would involve you identifying the questions that you got wrong and going back and revising the necessary content.
The way I did this was by simply using blank sheets of paper. If I got a question wrong, I would see whether or not I completely understood the content behind the question. If I didn’t, then I would make a brief summary of the relative material that was covered by the question. By doing this I was effectively killing two birds with one stone, as I was not only correcting my mistakes but I was also revising portions of the content. Repeating this process over several practice exams was the major way in which I was able to understand the content!
Remember, quality over quantity! I know it is easy to have the drive to do as many practice exams as possible but correcting and going through exams that you have done is so much more important! It is all about your learnings from each exam rather than completing them for the sake of completing them, thus I would highly, highly, highly recommend going through your completed practice exams!
What mindset should I have for Chemistry this week?
For this week I think a focused mindset would be most applicable. Coming into the last couple of weeks before the exam, it is important to remain focused and complete the tasks/revision at hand. I think this will help you in completing and correcting your practice exams as well!
Weekly Tips and Tricks
That is all from me this week! I hope that you are able to smash out some practice exams and correct them as well! You have probably had enough of my tips by now, so once again I will keep it simple! Enjoy the week!
Make sure that you are taking plenty of breaks and doing some activities that you enjoy in amongst your study. In this period of time it is easy to feel like you should always be studying, but having a clear mind is key to good performance! Get outside and have some fun during the week and try and enjoy your study as you go along! Good luck!
Have a question?
In the final weeks before exams Ashane will be hosting 2 Live Q&A sessions to help everyone get fully prepared for exams. If you have a question on how to best get prepared, have been stuck on an exam question or want to clarify an area of content send it through here, and Ashane might answer it live!