The pandemic has entirely changed the dynamics of education for all students across the globe. It has compelled us to adapt to newer ways of life, one of them being an online mode of examination and exam preparation. This sudden shift has pushed many of the aspirants into a fix as to how to score higher in competitive exams. If you are aiming to crack your GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or any other exam which will help you get into an institute of repute then the following tips will help you stay on track.
Most of the competitive exams today are conducted in online mode and most of us have been acquainted with the pen and paper mode of examinations since our childhood. Multiple factors come into play while giving a modern-day exam such as time management, switching between sections, calculating speed, technological know-how about basic computer infrastructure, calamity control i.e. what to do next if a site breakdown occurs or any technical glitch occurs, etc. It is human psychology to get nervous and panic when a timer is kept right in front of our eyes so it becomes vital to be accustomed to this pattern and overcome these constraints.
So, while you’re at home you have this advantage to practice papers on multiple platforms, give mocks and overcome these psychological constraints. Once, you are no more afraid of these constraints it adds a different level of confidence and a significant change in performance can be witnessed. Especially gaining knowledge about website functioning, system working, fixing internet crackdowns, and getting acquainted with the proctor are key factors to be emphasized.
While at home it should be the top priority for any candidate to double down on their mathematical ability. If you are appearing for any exam be it GRE, GMAT or any other competitive exam the quantitative ability section is inevitable. Owing to the online mode of exams, the faster the calculations more time is saved to recheck and review answers. Hence aspirants should strengthen their arithmetic skills which are most useful in problem-solving such as knowing percentage to fraction values, basic formulae’s, mind-calculating large values of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division can be the most efficient skill in a real-time exam environment. To make things faster you should practice calculations with a timer and that would be more beneficial than just practising.
It is an understood fact that to make it to a top-tier college you shall require both mathematical, reasoning ability and English language ability. The only way to be a champion in vocabulary, grammar, comprehension reading, etc is if you read daily and revise the previous day’s reading. The English language has to become a part of life just like you brush every day, every morning when you wake up you have to revise things. The change that you will observe post this habit would be worth it. It is not just IELTS, TOEFL, PTE wherein you have to showcase your English language skills apart from this even in the quantitative section you would find questions that are not necessarily mathematical but require assessing the situation and answering accordingly. So, if your English language is not up to the mark you shall face significant difficulty even in those sections as well.
While preparing it is of utmost importance that we continuously assess our progress. There is no better way to check progress than appearing mocks. Mocks are ideally the closest simulation of the real-time exam and it is a general tend good mocks tell us where we stand. So try to appear as many mocks as possible to get an idea of the areas where you should be working more and focussing as much as possible. To prepare and to prepare strategically are very different approaches and mocks help us in taking that strategic approach.
The GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, PTE, IELTS, etc exams are not time-bound exams i.e. they do not have any specific time frame of the year where they are conducted. So, candidates have the liberty to take the exam of their own free will so you must decide when you want to take the exam and set the time frame accordingly for preparation. Setting a deadline adds responsibility and preparation is more successful. Owing to the COVID situation the exams are conducted from home which has made it further easier to prepare and practice.
To accomplish anything it is very important to strive hard and just looking at your books and syllabus might not just be able to provide that motivation. So it is advisable to research more about the college, university, the country as well during your preparation that will help you become more of an aspirant and drive you to take that extra mile in your preparation. You should do this as an extra activity of course and not spent too much time doing this. Awareness about courses, eligibility and acceptable exam scorers and their range is important know-how for every aspirant.
You might try waking up for some nights and then go without studying for days. This will disrupt the flow and won’t produce effective results. So, study for 3-4 hours but study every day, be disciplined and do not break the consistency at any cost. Remember why the tortoise won the race and why the rabbit failed. You will gradually start to observe the change once you start becoming more consistent. Make a simple schedule and add English, maths to it without fail. It is a general belief that maths needs practice but the lesser-known fact is that not just Maths but also English needs constant and rigorous practice. Vocabulary is always important and that cannot be done in a day or two, it requires daily reading. Especially vocabulary will help you understand questions and most importantly you just don’t go to a foreign place with poor English, so on all fronts, English is a key factor.
In a nutshell, studying from home might just be the blessing in disguise you were looking for. It is a lucky break for all those aspirants who wanted more time to accelerate their preparations. Even the pandemic has made travel difficult and hence as a consequence, some opportunities might have closed for overseas studies but simultaneously it has also eased the selection process in many universities across the globe which might just be the thing you were wishing for. So, homestay and preparations is an opportunity only if you can see them.
ALL THE BEST!