Ahead of the commencement of VCE exams on 18 October 2016, Professor Justin Beilby, Vice Chancellor, Torrens University Australia provides some tips to ace it.

Top five tips for exam success and how to remain calm and focused in order to succeed.

  1. Know your learning style

There are 7 different learning styles – visual (spatial), aural (auditory-musical), verbal (linguistic), physical (kinesthetic), logical (mathematical), social (interpersonal) and solitary (intrapersonal).

“Understanding how you learn best, and establishing study practices in line with this, will enhance learning and recall,” said Professor Justin Beilby.

Visual: use pictures, mind maps or colour highlighters.

Aural: create mnemonics or memorise information using rhythm and rhyme.

Verbal: use word-based techniques, such as repetitively writing key points and studying material out loud.

Physical: use physical objects such as flash cards or miniature models, touch, action or movements.

Logical: create lists by extracting key points, seek to understand the ‘big picture’ and ‘why’ of concepts to contextualise them.

Social: work and study with others and cross pollinate ideas.

Solitary: maximise motivation by setting clear goals, establish a private, calming area to study and keep a journal outlining your thoughts and observations for later review.

  1. Prepare your study materials

“Review past assignments, feedback and notes to obtain a clear understanding of your areas of strength and those you need to focus more heavily on.”

  1. Work in short, focussed sessions

“Develop a study schedule, clearly defining the focus and goal of each session – concentrating on one subject or core theme at a time – and stick to it. Start early, and space out study sessions to help memorise material. Regularly test yourself as you revise.

  1. Look after your health and wellbeing

“Eat well, exercise and ensure you get 8 hours sleep each night – this will help you manage stress, remain positive and focused, and perform your best.

“Study smarter, not harder and take time out to relax and reenergise. If you are struggling with your study, always seek help and if you are feeling stressed, always speak to someone about it.”

  1.      During the VCE exam: read questions thoroughly, use the entire exam time and check your work.

“Whether the exam you are sitting comprises multiple choice, problem solving, short answer or essay writing these simple rules will help you perform your best.”

Multiple choice: read the questions and answer it yourself before looking at the options given.

Problem solving: include your calculations and notes, and check numbers carefully.

Short answer: use course terminology and provide examples and theorists if possible/appropriate.

Essay: deconstruct the question and plan your response – organising it into introduction, body and conclusion. Always include course terminology, examples and quotes.

Importantly, when sitting a VCE exam, use any extra time at the end of the exam to check your work. It is easy to make little mistakes, but checking work – as you progress through the exam and upon completion – will help minimise these.

“Exams can be daunting – particularly when you are faced with multiple exams across a variety of subjects in a short period of time,” said Professor Justin Beilby.

“Preparation, including a focus on study and personal wellbeing and health, is key to maintaining a calm and focused approach both in the lead up to and during exams and is essential to help you achieve your best.”

Torrens University has two Melbourne campuses – one in Fitzroy and another on Little Collins Street; in addition to online study.

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