This article may very well be too late for current Year 12s, but Year 11s—you need to sit up and pay attention!
I often hear people say that exams are much harder for young people today, compared to those who slaved over their papers 10 or more years ago. The physical act of rolling a ballpoint on paper is no longer second nature for 17/18-year-olds. The tools of learning are now swiping, scrolling, clicking, tapping and sometimes swearing when technology misbehaves.
It is a fascinating quandary in which we find ourselves: while technology has swept us along in it’s alluring clutches, senior students are still expected to behave like a dinosaur in exams.
Technology has seen the demise of taking lengthy notes for revision with a Bic and paper. This practice in the classroom was unconsciously preparing students’ carpals, metacarpals and phalanges for exams. Even the muscles (flexors and extensors) benefit from this workout.
Exams are hours on end of (technology free) time, doing an activity that is almost foreign, or at the very least semi-un-natural. It would be akin to going to spin class but not knowing how to ride a bike. (I exaggerate but you get my drift!)
Now, as it is NOT healthy to wallow in self-pity, it is far better to work WITH-the-system rather than AGAINST-the-system. So how can you flex your writing muscles and ‘sitting stationary for 3 hours’ power?
In a nutshell, take notes in class AND replicate exam processes (spend chunks of time writing).
Use practice exams to help you prepare for the real thing.
A great many practice exams are waiting for you on the VCAA website.