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The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the system of education and assessment (Gierszewski & Pieczywok, 2020). Distance learning has become the norm. Exams are however around the corner and they are a new hurdle to overcome. So how can you deal with preparing for exams, during these unique times?

  • Deal with any technical difficulties

Distance learning users face many technical difficulties that can hinder their learning (Adnan & Anwar, 2020). Therefore, it is important to try to deal with these issues from the very beginning. There are some things that are beyond your control, however, try to be prepared to deal with any technical issues that may occur. Issues to take care of include finding a spot with a good internet connection and using any accessories that can help your understanding and learning process (such as earphones and microphone).

  • Focus

With the numerous distractions that we are currently experiencing, studying has become even harder. You can easily lose concentration and that in turn will increase your stress levels. However, it is important to find different ways to help you focus. Examples include finding a quiet space, setting time to complete a task and informing those who live with you not to interrupt, if possible.  

  • Keep on studying and preparing

Even though everything is still quite uncertain, it is important not to wait till the last minute for some confirmation. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances, decisions are being taken day by day and so if you wait until you have official confirmation, it might be too late for you to prepare. Prepare all that you can beforehand, after all, it is better to study for an exam that does not take place, than to go for an exam unprepared. Furthermore, even though distance learning and little direct contact with your educators may make your motivation decrease (Adnan & Anwar, 2020; Gierszewski & Pieczywok, 2020), it is important to persevere, for your own benefit.

  • Think of all possible disturbances

The thought of the exam is already stressful in itself, and with the pandemic we have to also worry about all the necessary precautions we need to take. Therefore, think of all the possible restrictions you may face and what mitigation measures are currently in place. In this way, on the day and time of the exam, you will not have to worry too much about all these extra measures and focus solely on your exam tasks.

  • Keep away from social media

Social media is already a great distraction for anybody. However, with the pandemic, it is very easy to go browse to get the latest updates. Try to stay away from any of these distractions, not only because they can waste precious time, but can also increase your anxiety.

  • Give yourself a break

Whether it is sleeping, listening to music, watching a good film/series, meditating or exercising, it is important to give yourself a well-deserved break. Remember that if you feel tired, you need to give yourself some time to recharge. This will help both your physical and mental health and you will, in turn, be more efficient and productive.

In conclusion, when preparing for your exams, it is important to keep your long-term ambitions in mind, even though it is hard to do so during these surreal times. These, in turn, will help make all your study efforts worthwhile.

Ann Julene Hili is a Career Guidance Practitioner with Willingness. She specializes in working with teens and young adults who are in their educational and career transitions. She can be contacted on annjulene@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.  

References:
Adnan, M. and Anwar, K., 2020. Online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Students perspectives. Journal of Pedagogical Sociology and Psychology, 1(2), pp.45-51.

Gierszewski, J. and Pieczywok, A., 2020. The Challenges of Studying during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic. Security Dimensions, no. 34, pp. 22–44