One of the hardest parts of exam study is not being able to track your progress.
Sometimes you fall into the habit of studying content you already know and understand. You feel totally prepared to do the test, but with a false sense of security, and so you don’t get the results you expected.
Other times you may focus so much on the opposite — on the mistakes and topics you cannot do. You start to feel like there is no chance of you getting the results you want, or maybe you just aren’t good at the subject. You forget to acknowledge all of the things you do know and have achieved.
It can be really hard to be objective about your progress and really step back and think about how you are travelling. A useful method that helps keep you on track is the Traffic Light Method, a progress tracker that gives you a real indication of how ready you are to take a test or exam.
After every practice exam you complete you should correct your answers and make sure you write out the right answer in a different colour. Then all you need is 3 coloured textas, highlighters or pencils, preferably in green, orange and red, and you need to go through and mark every question under one of the follow categories:
Once you have marked all the questions calculate the percentage of green, orange and red questions.
This gives you an accurate indication of the gaps in your knowledge so you know which topics you need to prioritise and study next to make sure your next result is better than your last.
Write down on a piece of paper the topics that you need to revise as a first priority (red) and then second priority (orange). The green content, now becomes lower priority. You now know where to spend more time revising the problem topics following every single practice exam you complete. By doing this you will see your grades increase with every exam.
The aim for the next practice exam you attempt for that subject is to increase the percentage of green and reduce the red and orange. You should start to see a shift in problem topics from red to orange then orange to green and you ultimately want to end up with 95 -100% green results.
This method gives you a practice and fun way to measure your progress to make sure you truly are ready to smash your exams!
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