Students fear examinations and tests and this is part and parcel of an educational journey and oftentimes, the nervousness and anxiety births from a place of insecurity and lack of preparedness. It is okay to feel nervous to a certain extent because it means that we care about what we are nervous about, and we would automatically aim to perform well in it. However, it if starts to evolve into fear, that is the real danger zone which no one should enter.
When you find yourself praying outside the exam hall that certain topics or questions should not appear in your paper, you are in deep trouble. That’s certainly not the mindset or attitude to have. A good student should be prepared in every way possible and should be confident enough to answer questions no matter how difficult they may be.
Though school teachers are always trying their very best to enable their students to internalise the topics being taught, the process is not all that rosy. Many children struggle with understanding concepts, applying them to solve simple problems and on top of all of that, trying to enter the space of higher-order thinking.
In order to overcome this predicament, one has to be prepared and be confident of his or her knowledge. When fear takes control of one’s mind, it’s impossible to channel one’s attention and finish the work. Hence, students need to practice and get their foundation set strong. Schools, unfortunately, do not provide their students with enough resources to practice and master their skills.
Students are deprived of a wide range of assessment practices and hence are unable to gauge their level of knowledge and understanding. Fortunately, other than schools, there is other helpful avenues form which free test papers can be obtained. There are many websites that offer the option of downloading test papers but it’s important to download from the right source. The most trusted site from which we can those of tuition agencies which have an easy and accessible option of offering free test papers and assessment practices for students to download and practice.
So, what kind of resources should students download and practice?
#1: MCQ PRACTICE
Tuition websites sometimes provide access to targeted MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) practice papers which can be downloaded easily. MCQs practice is an excellent way to estimate how well you understand your topics and how well you are able to link concepts to figure out an answer. The trend of MCQs being asked in examinations has decreased because education experts feel that it does not challenge students in any way. MCQs test students’ clarity on concepts and nothing more. However, though MCQs are not being asked in examinations as much anymore, it is important to practice them, especially after studying each topic.
#2: SHORT-ANSWER QUESTIONS (SAQs)
This is the next step after practicing MCQs. There are assessment papers which only consist of SAQs and this aims to test a student’s knowledge in a deeper level. At this stage, when practicing the questions, students should have a clear understanding of the basics and be able to recall concepts to derive a solution. Usually, SAQ section’s questions may range from about 2 marks to 5 marks each and according to the mark allocations, students need to train themselves to know how to write a concise answer which contains the key points. This takes lots of practice and persistence to master this but the main challenge is the lack of resources, which is now solved thanks to the internet since many tuition agencies are willing to share free test paper questions.
#3: ESSAY QUESTIONS
The essay writing section is the most intimidating and challenging of all. Students are required to recall lots of details and moreover, they have to be written sequentially within a time restriction as well. The one and the only way to master this is by practice. By being exposed to various types of essay questions, a student will be able to study with a more targeted approach because the expectations of examiners can be more clearly understood.
Tutors in tuition agencies take the necessary effort to condense content and design targeted question papers to upload on their website. Many students have benefited from downloading free online test papers and practicing them; and in fact, many students go a step further and sign themselves up for tuition to push themselves further to excel in a faster rate. At the end of the day, patience, persistence, and determination are the most important values to practice to achieve one’s ambition. Where there is a will, there is always away.