How To Score Well On An Exam

Prepare, manage, and schedule!

Preparation

  1. To prepare for the exam you need to study past exams. See what the old exams cover and repeat studying these past examinations.
  • The second step when preparing for the exam is to know the test format so that you avoid any surprises during the exam. You need to familiarize yourself with the format of the test.
  • The third step of preparing is to know your strengths and weaknesses. You need to work on your weaknesses in order to get to the mean in all of the topics. If you reach the mean in all topics, you will probably receive a good score. You will not be able to achieve a good score if you have topics below the mean. Have a strong commitment to work on the weak areas and beat it!
  • The fourth step of preparing is to make sure to study key concepts. Compile the key concepts and keep studying them. No matter how the concept is presented, they are all the same (a cat is a cat).
  • The fifth step of preparing is the need to study on a regular basis, give yourself enough time to practice. Use multiple sources and time yourself, practice speed and strive to cut that time in half. Practice under adverse and stressful conditions. Simulate the worst possible condition that you could face on the day of the exam.

Build confidence and mental stamina. Recreate the test environment as closely as possible. You predict, anticipate and then select! When you see it, you kill it! Stay confidence and tell yourself “I have seen this before and I know which key will open that door!” You need to study something every day, no matter what, even if it is only ten minutes. You need to have dedication, commitment and discipline! You need to study on a regular basis!

Time Management
 Ask yourself; how much time do I need? When do I begin? Do I need a structured plan? Do I need six months or a year?

How much time do I need? Multiple question exams require a long time devoted to studying. These types of exams focus on details and are not a short term thing. You cannot retain many details effectively in short term memory. Avoid cramming to avoid your anxiety and decrease your stress level. In fact, you can get a great score while you are working if you have enough time to study. If you learn a little bit every day and allow plenty of time for repeated review, you can build a very reliable long term memory.

When do I begin? Start now and do not delay (it can be very hard to begin studying).

Do I need a structured plan? Have a written, structured plan for studying and strive to comply with this plan. Balance competing factors such as work, personal time, family time, weekends, holidays or vacations.

Make a Schedule
 Make a schedule, stay with the schedule! Try to finish ahead of the schedule! Use the “salami technique”. A thin slice every day (even if it is only 10 minutes a day), so you can digest it and enjoy it!

If you focus on the important concepts, and study at least a little every day then you will be complete! Study to sharpen your skills (your brain will be prepared and ready), train the brain, anticipate and select.

Dr. Ebraheim scored in the 99th percentile board recertification exam in 2005. Ten years later in 2015, he was able to score in the 100th percentile on this board recertification exam. He is the orthopaedic residency program director at the University of Toledo (Toledo, Ohio), he is in charge of orthopaedics residency training and education.

Follow Nabil Ebraheim, MD on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrEbraheim_UTMC


Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on January 3, 2017.

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