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Some of the international students may have ‘learned by doing’ in previous exam periods, but some face their first confrontation with the exam system at VUB. “Do not be afraid of potential new experiences such as oral exams” and “fill in written exams in a structured, well-thought-of way” are two of the tips we provide. On their way to the yearly challenge in January, VUB study guidance helps students with all remaining questions.
It is perfectly acceptable in Belgium to ask your professors questions about the exam content and the best strategy to pass an exam. Also the professional counsellors of the study guidance are lined-up to help you. During their office hours you can just walk in at their ‘meeting point’ for tailor-made tips on how to successfully prepare and perform. They also deal with matters of stress or anxiety issues.
Be prepared, don’t be scared
- Make sure you have a clean desk! Studying can be a chore when you don’t have the physical space for it. Get all possible distractors out of your way and make sure you have plenty of working space.
- Get your text books ready to study. A well-structured text book ensures that you’ll find your way quicker through the subject matter.
- Make sure you know what’s expected from you: what’s your subject matter? What kind of exam is it? Where is the exam?
- Do you want to study with other people around you? In that case, you’re always welcome in our study rooms for group study.
- VUB Study Guidance is reachable from the 2nd of January.
Study at your own pace
- Give yourself a realistic and attainable goal each day, a goal where you’re taking your subject matter into account. For instance, see what’s possible for you to process within a certain period and use this to adjust your goals.
- Approximately, an actual ‘working day’ of 8 hours of study is recommended. Make sure that you study at time periods and according a tempo that suit you. But always keep a normal day and night rhythm.
Questions? Ask them!
- Do you still have questions concerning your text books? Then you can still ask them. In some programmes study permanence is organised. There you can drop by your teachers and ask them questions. In other programmes you can contact your teachers through mail. The Study Guidance meeting point is also still available for you.
- Do you remember what you have studied? Check yourself! You can do this by questioning yourself or let yourself be questioned by others, by making additional exercises…
Strategic planning won’t hurt!
- There are several strategic tips you can use during your exams. For instance: first fill in the exam questions of which you are sure that you know the answer or that you find easy to solve and then proceed to the questions which are more difficult or for which you need more time.
- Use some kind of structure in the answering of the exam questions. Use some key words that are important and start building your answer from there.
- With multiple choice questions, take into account the possibility of ‘correction for guessing’. So, don’t gamble too much and trust your knowledge of the subject matter.
Fitness for your memory?
- Thanks to the many hours of planning, your memory has been well trained. So, despite the fatigue, your studying should go smoothly.
- Increase your memory capacity by searching for (creative) connections, by using study aids and by repeating a lot.
- Healthy food, a lot of rest and practising sports are well recommended.
Believe in yourself. Good Luck!
More information: VUB Study Guidance