If you’ve begun your journey preparing for exams, chances are you have faced the difficulty of time management, especially when tackling Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs). Many candidates find it challenging to complete MCQs within the time given for the exam. If you’re one of them, don’t worry—you’re not alone. In this blog post, I will share some ideas on how to efficiently handle MCQs and be ready to complete your exam in the time you have.
Don’t Worry about the Timer – At First
When you initially start studying and practicing MCQs, you may notice that it takes you longer to answer each question than the time you have during the exam. This realization often leads to stress, but it’s important to remember that it’s completely natural at this stage. The first part of your study journey is not about speed; it’s about understanding the content.
Learning vs. Exam-taking
There’s a crucial difference between learning the content phase and the exam phase of your studies. When you’re in the learning phase, it’s naturally going to take you longer to answer MCQs. You’re still getting familiar with the material, figuring out the formulas, and understanding how to interpret the information presented in the questions. Therefore, your initial focus should be solely on comprehending the content, understanding why a particular answer is correct, and why another choice is incorrect.
Speed Comes with Practice
As you attempt more MCQs, you’ll find that you become faster answering them. You’ll start recognizing how questions are framed and learn to sift through the information more efficiently, understanding what’s relevant and what’s not. Your speed will naturally increase as you grow more familiar with the content and question patterns.
Timing Matters, But Later On
As you approach the end of your study schedule and enter the final review stage and start taking mock exams, that’s when you need to be conscious of time. By this point, you should be more comfortable with the subject matter, allowing you to answer questions more quickly. Some MCQs will still take longer to answer, while others will take less time, but that’s perfectly okay. The key is to be ready to answer each question as efficiently as possible.
Focus on Learning First, Speed Will Follow
If you’re at the beginning of your study journey and are anxious about the time it’s taking you to answer the MCQs, take a deep breath and relax. Don’t worry about speed initially; concentrate on learning and understanding the material. As you practice and get deeper into your study material, you’ll naturally become quicker at answering MCQs. In the end, it’s not just about being fast; it’s about being accurate and knowledgeable, and speed will come as a by-product of that understanding.
Today, I want to talk about a critical element that could determine the success of your study sessions. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t jump for joy at the thought of opening a textbook. Studying often competes with other activities that are much more appealing. So, what’s the one essential thing that you need to do to make your study session effective? The answer is simple but powerful: just start.
The Hardest Part Is Starting
Believe it or not, the most crucial action in any study session is beginning. Whether it’s a Monday morning or a Tuesday evening, just starting to study is half the battle. The temptation to procrastinate or do something more enjoyable can be overwhelming. However, the key lies in overcoming inertia and just starting to study.
Reframing Your Perspective
It’s easy to get bogged down by thinking about the length of time you’ll have to dedicate to studying. You might dread a two-hour session or even a one-hour session. However, don’t focus on the length of the study session; instead, concentrate on the first minute. Once you’ve conquered that first minute, you’ll find that the remaining time passes much more quickly than anticipated.
Why Starting Is So Important
This principle of starting doesn’t apply only to study sessions; it’s universally applicable to any long-term project or task. The first step may not be glamorous or exciting, but it’s absolutely necessary. You will never get to the end of your goal without taking the first step and once you’re in motion, it’s easier to stay in motion.
The Psychological Boost
Interestingly, once you begin a study session, you often find that it’s not as dreadful as you’d imagined. Your focus sharpens, your energy increases, and before you know it, you’re in a study “zone.” You may even find that you’re enjoying the learning process and the time you’ve allocated for studying goes by quickly.
So, the next time you have a study session planned, and you’re not particularly excited about it, remember that the most crucial part is to start. That simple action of sitting down and opening your book or turning on your computer sets the stage for a successful learning experience. No matter how long your study session is supposed to be, the most important minute is the first one. Make it count, and you’ll find that the rest of the session will unfold more smoothly than you’d think.