ICB Study Tips from one student to the next
Have you been attempting the questions, marking yourself and going back to revise what you do not know to attempt the question again? Or have you looked at the question, went to find the answer, write it down and then pat yourself on the back because you 'knew' that answer. Dear student, that's not question practice, that's reading through your work.
Relax, we have all done it at some point but, I'm here to tell you stop, that habit is not going to help you pass the exam.
After every chapter in your ICB book irrespective of the subject that you are doing, there is something called 'Practice Exercise'. It is a bank of questions that tests your build of knowledge of the previous chapter. These tasks may seem small and irrelevant however, trust me it helps! It helps build your confidence in answering questions you will come across in an exam environment and help build your knowledge on the subject. A win-win.
So I promise some helpful tips and here goes:
- Breathe, something we forget to do when preparing for exams. Do not overthink new concepts. If you come across something you do not understand, read through it once, read it again and make notes. Underline or highlight things you do not understand. By the third time some of the concepts will start making sense, but remember to take a second to just relax and breathe.
- Read a little bit through your work every day. Read through your work carefully. Trying to memorise the entire textbook a week before the exam never helped anybody. Reading through your work helps you memorise the concepts. Repetition helps, there's a reason they let us sing our ABC's over and over again in primary school.
- Pace yourself, take realistic chunks of work you'd like to cover for a realistic period. Example, if you’d like to complete chapter 1 in a week, have a look at how much reading is required to complete it in that period. There might be very little reading and one week should be enough to cover the work however, if you are skim reading and find there are a lot of new concepts being discussed you may want to go back and amend your period.
- Set realistic study goals. There is no point in setting unrealistic expectations and then feeling low when you do not reach those study goals. I find that marking things on a calendar helps to remind me of my progress as well as the end goal.
- Take study breaks! I know, we end up feeling guilty when we're not glued to our study texts every minute of the day but, realistically you need to take a step back and recuperate. My study day off is usually a Friday, unless its two weeks to the exam then I'll do some revision on a Friday.
I hope the above helps a little bit and remember IBTC has a tutor available to assist you when you get stuck! Take advantage of that!
Remember studying is a marathon not the 100m race. You'll get there.