Taken from: http://www.you.org.za/
Studying + Commitment = Success
- Get sufficient sleep so that you don’t ‘burn out’. You need to relax, even on the night before a big exam.
- You must also make certain to eat properly, preferably light meals that are not to oily. Also drink juices. Do not overdo it and do not resort to excessive amounts of coffee, tea, and other drinks that are high in caffeine. As for popping stimulant pills, know that this is self-destructive which could lead to addiction.
- Always, always, always begin with Bismillah (in the name of Allah).
Examine your Niyah (intention) and correct it if necessary that you are studying for the pleasure of Allah, to earn a Halaal income and benefit the Ummah at large.
- Begin making preparations well before the examinations begin. Plan out a REALISTIC timetable that will result in you having covered [or at least scanned] all the material well before your first exam. Use this final period to look at and attempt past exam papers and to compensate for any unforeseen delays.
- Use your teachers. If you have a problem, ASK!! You will find the vast majority of teachers only to happy to help (and inadvertently give out many heavy hints as to what’s on exam paper!)
- Always revise with a sheet of paper at hand so that you can build up a list of topics which you want to discuss with your teachers. DON’T rely on your memory. If you do, you will only be reminded when you are in the exam hall trying to answer a question on your forgotten queries.
- When revising, make notes. It may seem as though you are just reproducing your notes, but persevere, believe it or not what you are doing is one of the most effective ways of revising.
- Give yourself regular breaks, but make sure that they don’t go on for longer than intended.
- Make sure you are unlikely to be disturbed whilst studying. This means turning off the TV / Radio and asking others to answer the phone. Listening to haram music takes the barakah (blessings) out of your studies. If you absolutely must listen to something try some Nasheeds (Islamic Songs). Discipline is pivotal to success.
- Distinguish between constructive worry that pushes you to study harder and more effectively and destructive worry that merely robs you of your sleep, keeps you from eating and drinking, befuddles your thoughts, and prevents you from studying effectively. Seek guidance from a teacher / mentor if the latter is the case.
Exam Day + Stress = D Day!
- Read 2 Rakaat Nafl Salaah (Salat-ul-Hajat) prior to the exam and make sincere Dua to Allah to assist you.
- Come early to the exam room and make sure that you are properly equipped with pens and whatever else you will need to take the exam.
- If you are having problems calming your nerves on the exam day, remind yourself of the ultimate examination before Allah Ta’ala on the Day of Judgement. Remembering Allah (Zikr) and sending Durud (salutations) on the Prophet (SAW) dispels anxiety and tensionas well.
- Before you begin writing the exam paper, supplicate to Allah, asking Him to grant you success and make your task easy for you. Then begin in the name of Allah
- Look over the exam first. Studies advise spending 10% of the exam time in reading the questions carefully, noting the important words and dividing one’s time between the questions.
- In written exams, collect your thoughts before you start to answer. Write an outline for your answer with some words which will indicate the ideas which you want to discuss. Then number the ideas in the sequence in which you want to present them.
- Understand what the wording of a question is trying to ask of you, e.g. state and explain, explain and critically evaluate. The word ‘and’ in such cases splits the requirement into 2 and the format of your answer should reflect this (e.g. state your point then explain, with reference to real life examples/ studies, or a sub-section to explain a theory and another sub-section to critically evaluate the theory).
- Start by answering the easy questions which you know. Then move on to the questions which carry high marks, and leave till the end the questions which you do not know the answers to, or which you think will take a long time to produce an answer or which do not carry such high marks.
- Write the main points of your answer at the beginning of the line, because this is what the examiner is looking for, and he may not see what he is looking for if it is in the middle of the page and he is in a hurry.
- Devote 10% of the time for reviewing your answers. Resist the desire to hand in the exam papers quickly, and do not let the fact that some people are leaving early bother you. Never leave the examination early!
- If you get stuck for ideas, go back and read over what you have already written. This way you recheck your answer as well as trying to jog your memory for any additional points to add.
- Note that cheating is Haram. The Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever cheats is not one of us.”
- As you come out of the exam hall, remember to thank Allah if the exam went well. If however, it didn’t go as well as you had hoped, put your trust in Him. Know that such things are sent to test us and are an opportunity for us to shed some of our sins and show our contentment with his divine decree. After all, it could have been much worse!
- Don’t analyse the exam with your friends, if as a result of this you realise a mistake you will only get yourself down, and its not like you can put it right anyway. Rather just walk away and spend a little time doing Hamd and Shukr to Allah Ta’ala that the exam went as well as it did.
- Remember you’ve done your ‘bit’ now, turn to Allah in supplication and ask Him to grant you success for He alone is the All Powerful.
- Come home and read 2 Rakat Nafl after the exam as Shukr (thanks to Allah) for granting you the strength and persistence and ability to complete the exam and accomplish goals.
“It is vital to strive and make an effort in this world and excel in it as much as possible but whilst remembering that the true reward and returns are those which will be received in the Hereafter and that all our efforts here should have some connection with our intention to succeed in the Hereafter.
We attach so much effort and time in the preparation of worldly examinations; sleepless nights and extreme stress is undertaken to ensure good results. Such is the scenario of an exam which can also be re-taken. Have we exerted ourselves to achieve success in that examination where there are no re-takes, no concessions and no hope of survival if we fail?
What if we were to glance towards our preparation for the Hereafter? How many nights have we spent without sleeping whilst hoping for success? Which night have we stayed awake to seek Allah’s forgiveness for the day’s sins?”
May Allah grant us all success in our examinations of this world and the next. May He make it easy for us and make us pass with distinction so that we may realise our ambitions and ultimately, be good Muslims and of benefit to the Ummah at large. Ameen