The fear of giving an exam never goes away, no matter what age you are. If anything, it gets worse over time, especially during the crucial O/A levels or college exams. Sitting in a silent examination hall, being surrounded by invigilators and struggling to remember your answers is an awful feeling. But preparing for these exams is even worse! It’s the most stressful part of an exam, but that’s often because we’re unaware of the right techniques, right practice tests and guidance. To help our readers understand the various entrance exams and learn some important tips, we invited Neha Nadeem, an educator and CEO of Prime Prep to Mashion HQ. Here’s what we learnt from her.
1. Effective Tips For Studying
When it comes to studying efficiently, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Everyone has different abilities, learning skills and speed, so it’s important to determine what works for you and what doesn’t. Regardless of how you study, one thing is for sure – you willmake mistakes. But learning from these mistakes is the best way to thoroughly study and understand a topic. Neha suggests keeping a track of your mistakes in an error log. She says, “Every student makes different kinds of errors and should always have an error log in a separate diary. One or two months prior to your actual exam, you should look over that error log and study accordingly. This trick especially helps with last minute studying.”
2. Tips For Surviving A Levels
A-levels is not easy for anyone, whether you’re a bright student or struggling. Knowing that your future is dependent on the results of A-levels makes these two years all the more stressful. But if you’re prepared from the beginning, there’ll be little to worry about. According to our expert, “The first thing we see in A-levels is how there is a lot more pressure to perform but fewer subjects. Start looking at colleges you want to go and take out some time to prepare for SATs as well.” For those having a hard time, Neha suggests revising the subject choices.
3. Right Way To Make Subject Choices
The first step to ensure you do well in A Levels is choosing the right subjects. And this is not a decision you should take lightly! The subjects you choose right now will frame your future, and even if you’re not sure of what you want to do, you can still make smart choices now that will leave you in the best position later. According to Neha, “Subject choices depend on your interest level. It’s going to be tough and hectic but you have to be very efficient to manage it.”
4. Importance Of SAT
Standardised Admission Test, commonly known as SAT, is an entrance exam that most colleges and universities require when making admission decisions. The purpose of the SAT is to measure a high school student’s aptitude for college. Emphasising the significance of the SAT exam, Neha advises students to go for it in any case. She calls it the gateway to a majority of undergraduate studying opportunities in USA and says, “All universities in Pakistan, as well as abroad, accept SAT scores. It can sometimes get you an exemption.”
5. Secret To Scoring Well In SAT
To get into your dream college, you first need to know the SAT score it requires. Generally, the better and popular the college is, the higher score they require. The only way to score well in SAT is by prepping for it in advance. And for that our expert advises students to understand their way of learning. “If you’re going for coaching, find a teacher who understands how you respond to a certain question and then give you some resources for it. If you’re studying on your own, go for more than one resource and see what works for you,” she says.
6. SAT vs ACT
SATs and ACTs are both entrance tests that universities in Pakistan and abroad consider for admissions. The content and pattern of both the tests are quite similar and there’s no advantage of taking one test over another. The only difference is timing. Choosing which test to take often puts students in a dilemma. Factors like how well you handle pressure and manage time can help you decide which test will best suit you. According to Neha, choosing whether to take SAT or ACT depends on the context. “If you live in USA, you can go for both. But if you’re an international student, especially living in Pakistan, opt for SAT,” she suggests.
7. What Is GRE
GRE refers to Graduate Record Examinations. Much like the SAT and ACT, the GRE exam is an assessment of an individual’s critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills. It is often required for admission in graduate programs around the world. Explaining the purpose of GRE, Neha says, “It’s required for Master’s and PHD. Most countries want it as a baseline score, just like the SATs for undergrad.”
8. Advice For GRE Preparation
The key to getting a high GRE score is preparing well for it. Memorising tons of vocabulary words and skimming through math topics isn’t enough; you need to be a pro at problem solving to ace a GRE exam. And for that you need sufficient time. According to our expert, it takes roughly two months to prepare for the GRE. “One month is to go over all the subject matter and observe all the content and the other month is to extensively practice from all the practice tests.” Advising students preparing for GRE she says, “Don’t get ahead of yourself. Try limiting yourself to what the GRE question types are and not falling into the trap of studying as much as possible. That’s not how it works.”
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