Make An Impression: How To Ace That Exam or Prepare For A Presentation

September 16, 2013

Whether you are gearing up to take an important university exam or planning a presentation at work, stress can get the better of you. Both of these tasks are significant, and they have the potential to define your future career goals. However, feeling helpless is never the right answer. Utilising helpful tips can prepare you, give you confidence and help you complete the exam or the presentation to the best of your ability. Here are some of the best tips for both exams and work-related presentations.

Tips for Acing Your Next Exam

Create a Revision Calendar
Realising that you have an exam coming up, or even several exams on your schedule, can create anxiety in many students. The key to handling this stress is to create a calendar that breaks down all the revision and preparation you need to do. Spend an hour or two finding the major concepts that you need to study, and assign one or two key ideas to study for each block of time. This way, you always know what to study and you don’t have to lose time finding where you left off.


Make Flashcards to Study With
Flashcards are a common studying method, but many students still don’t see the benefit. By writing down questions and answers or key words and definitions on flashcards, you are going over the information once. When all the flashcards are finished, you can quiz yourself in any setting. Committing main ideas or tricky formulas to memory is best achieved using flashcards.

Don’t Cram The Night Before
If you are worried about a big exam, it can be tempting to stay up late the night before and reread materials in case you missed something important. Being tired for the exam, however, will be worse than simply missing out a few chapters of the textbook. By creating an outline and revision schedule, like the one listed above, you can avoid the late-night cramming that so many students turn to during university.

Don’t Rush Through the Exam
Once you finally have the exam in front of you, you might be tempted to dig in and rush through the questions to find answers you are comfortable with. A better approach is to slowly read the instructions for the entire exam. Only when you know what to expect can you allot yourself the necessary time for each portion of the exam.

Tips for an Effective Presentation

Write a Full Script
There are dozens of suggestions for giving presentations, and everyone has a different opinion about scripts. Some say that they take away from an impressive speech, but the reality is that they should be your starting point. Writing the full script for the presentation at least lets you practice the words and the timing. On the day of the presentation, you can always switch things around depending on how you feel or the interest of your audience.

Start With the Best Equipment – and Get Familiar With It
A big fear for many people is dealing with faulty equipment during a presentation or, worse yet, not knowing how to use the computer or projection screen. To make sure that everything goes smoothly, practice your presentation with the technology you plan to use. If you don’t have the right equipment, and your personal model is an older and more unreliable one, you might want to rent the latest computer, which will allow you to upgrade as technology moves.

Dress To Comfortably Impress
There are two important aspects of dressing for a presentation. First, you need to look professional. Stick with dark blue or black bottoms in the form of formal trousers or a long skirt, and top it off with a professional blouse or shirt. Opt not to wear anything too tight or uncomfortable that will distract you or your audience as you give your presentation.

Whether you are giving a presentation or sitting for an exam, it is important to care for yourself in the hours prior to the big event. This means eating a meal two to three hours beforehand, staying hydrated and going to the toilet fifteen minutes prior. Also, be sure to arrive early so that you can relax rather than rush into the beginning of the exam or presentation. Good luck!