Exams can be stressful whatever your age, but many adult learners find exams particularly difficult to cope with due to their past experiences within the education system.
Some individuals decide to enter the world of adult education so that they can get the qualifications they failed to get as teenagers, having had a tough time at school. As an adult, you can concentrate solely on learning rather than dealing with all the other issues that come with growing up. You still have to overcome the problems that doing exams can throw up, though.
One of the problems with being an adult learner is that you don’t have as much time as you’d like to dedicate to your studies. It is therefore important that you make sure what little time you do have is used constructively.
You don’t want to leave your exam revision until the last minute, as otherwise you will be in such a panic that you won’t be able to learn and remember facts that will be essential when you reach the exam hall. It is important that you give yourself plenty of time to go through your notes, so that if there is something you don’t understand you can do some further reading or ask your tutor or fellow students for advice.
Everyone has their own way of revising and so you need to find what works for you. You may find that visual aids work better than simply taking notes on your notes; you may prefer using cue cards or writing down keywords, concepts and theories.
When you’re in a classroom environment you will discover that other students are revising using different methods, but you shouldn’t let this flummox you. Instead, you should concentrate on doing what works for you. Once you’ve done a sufficient amount of revision you can then start looking at past exam papers, so that you will know what sorts of questions are likely to be asked.
It is definitely worth having look at old exam papers and trying to answer the questions in the same amount of time you are going to have in the exam. That way you will know how much time you have to plan your answers and how much you can write in this amount of time. It will also reassure you that you are actually capable of completing an exam paper, so that you can enter the exam hall feeling confident.
Ultimately, it helps to be positive about your chances of success, as otherwise you may as well just quit whilst you’re ahead.
As well as exam preparation, you need to think about ways you can manage your stress levels, as being too stressed could lead to your downfall. You may find that walking or engaging in other types of physical activity could help or that meditation or relaxing in a hot bath helps you to unwind and stop panicking about the prospect of your exams.
At the end of the day, if you have done enough preparation you should achieve exam success and if not then you will no doubt have an opportunity to retake your exams, and so there is not point getting too worked up about them.