Every exam needs proper preparations to get the best outcome, and scholarship exams are not any different. Undergraduate/postgraduate students are given a competitive exam to test their Intelligence Quotient (IQ).
These exams are usually between 30 minutes to 3 hours. It consists of different sections. Generally, a scholarship exam focuses on arithmetic, logical reasoning and language proficiency.
Once you can master these subjects, you are one step from securing your educational career. Unfortunately, you need to take either an online or offline exam to turn that dream into reality.
Purpose of Writing a Scholarship Exam
You might be wondering why you have to write a Scholarship exam despite passing all the eligibility criterion. Well, being eligible might not mean you deserve the scholarship. Some scholarship organizations want to test your IQ to be certain you are worth the investment.
Every scholarship awarded to a student is an investment. These scholarship programs are not just giving out huge sum of money to individuals. They do this because they see you as an asset. Scholarship organizers are investing in students believed to add value to the community. So don’t consider a scholarship as a giveaway, consider it as an investment.
How to Prepare for an Online Scholarship Exam
If you don’t plan, you are definitely planning to fail. Even if your scholarship program allows you to use external sources during the examination, you still need to prepare. As students, you do not want to fail a scholarship exam. It’s more saddening than failing a real academic examination.
To avoid ruining your chances of a free education, follow these guidelines:
#1. Make ready your Examination equipments
This should be your first step in preparation for a successful exam. Get your examination equipments ready before time. Your computer, documents, Identity card, webcam, WiFi etc. should be made available and in good condition.
If you have a faulty computer, take it for repair or get a new one. If your computer’s webcam isn’t functioning, seek measures to get an alternative.
I remember when I first wrote an online scholarship exam, I had to double-check my webcam to be certain it was functioning. The scholarship organizers instructed all applicants to take a selfie with their webcams before commencing the examination. This was done to curb impersonation.
Not just that, I had to, again, snap and upload my school’s Identity card before I could proceed to the examination. All these were done inside my room under no supervision. However, these guidelines might not be applicable to you. It all depends on the policies of the scholarship organizers.
In essence, make sure all your examination equipments are ready. Don’t forget to also check your network connection.
#2. Find a conducive room for your exam
Online scholarship exams are mostly taken at home. For this reason, you need to find a convenient spot in your house for the exam.
Choose a quiet but comfortable area in your house. It could be in your room, balcony or even in your garden. However, ensure the spot you choose has enough lighting and ventilation.
During my first online scholarship exam, I was instructed to make a one-minute video of my room. I carried my laptop then tilted in a 360° direction to get all the corners of my room on camera. After that, I uploaded the video and my scholarship exam portal opened.
You might be wondering why? Well, it is to confirm that you are the only one in the room for the exam. This practice is usually carried out to ensure that nobody or materials are close to your aid.
#3. Study past questions
Nobody was born intelligent. Through studying, we gain knowledge and become intelligent. Every successful person has a secret to their success. To become the next successful person, find their success blueprints.
As a student, you should get past questions of scholarship exams. These questions will guide you on how to study. Most of these scholarship organizers repeat past questions to students because they don’t have the time to entirely set new questions.
Study past questions! It is one golden trick to past a scholarship exam. Many students don’t know this. Although, it is not a secret, but a lot of students are too ignorant to discover.
Reading past questions of scholarship exams gives you an insight on how the examination would look like. For me, I was able to leverage this opportunity.
Unfortunately, not all scholarship past questions are readily available. Regardless, if you show interest, you will definitely find some past questions.
#4. Take mock exams
Practice, practice, practice, it doesn’t kill. Take some time to test yourself. After reading for some hours, use at least 30 minutes to set an exam for yourself. It might seem weird, but giving yourself a test is a knowledge booster.
After reading, the best way to remember what you have read is through mock exams. Just playfully set some questions for you to answer. Remember to keep up with time. Even if you don’t, try again and again.
#5. Keep track of time
Time is, no doubt, a factor if you want to pass an exam. You need to make time your best friend when preparing for a scholarship exam. Some exams are very short, (e.g. 30 minutes) with lots of questions to be answered. How do you outsmart time? It all narrows down to practice.
With constant practicing, your brain becomes more active and responsive. Once you build on that, you will notice you can answer twice the number of questions under the same time as before.
#6. Eat healthy
When you over exercise your brain, you need to balance with a good meal. According to (HealthDay News) — ” Eating prompts the brain to release “feel good” hormones, known as endorphins.“
After stressing your brain reading, you need to eat healthy to relax it. Possibly, meditate by listening to Sacred sound healing system (my favorite relaxation music). You can also try out other meditation sounds soothing for your mind.
#7. Avoid too much time on your computer
Despite you need to constantly practice for your exam, try to avoid too much screen time on your computer. Practically, I advise you to study 3 hours at least 5 times a week. Always remember to eat healthy, and rest.
Spending too much time on your computer can affect your test performance. It can also cause sleep problems, back and neck aches, even anxiety. You don’t want to have any complications before your scholarship examination.
How to Prepare for an Offline Scholarship Exam
For some scholarships, applicants are given an offline examination. This happens mostly when the bursary is strictly for citizens of the host country. Such scholarship exams also need preparations.
#1. Know your examination venue
Before your exam day, you will receive a notification from organizers. The committee would contact all selected students to inform them the venue for their respective exams. Once you get the notification, do well to locate your examination venue. You should also visit the venue before your exam/test date.
It is important you locate your examination venue and be familiar with the routes before your exam. This gives you a good advantage by making you punctual at the venue for examination.
#2. Get reading materials
As stated earlier, get your reading material on time. Start your reading at least four (4) weeks before your scholarship examination. Make ready your writing materials, jotter, textbooks etc. for your exam.
#3. Daily reflect on topics learned
After your daily study, reflect on the topics you have read. Give yourself some minutes to grasp what you have been studying for hours. Frequently do this and watch how your retentive memory improves. Remember, don’t overstress yourself.
#4. Apply what you studied to practical use
Constantly applying what you study into practical makes you become conversant with such topics. For instance, after learning language proficiency, practice speaking good English or specified language.
Talk to your friends, relatives and teachers using the new words you’ve learnt. Don’t be shy if you get mocked for your accent. Remember the goal and stick to the plan.
Another instance, when you study logical reasoning. Apply those reasoning to practical use. Before you make a decision, think of the before and after effects. Build on your reasoning ability and watch how you become a genius.
Additionally, apply the following methods discussed in the previous sections to boost your offline preparation for a scholarship exam.
- Study past questions of similar exams
- Test yourself by taking mock exams
- Keep track of time
- Rest well and eat healthy.
What if your Scholarship program does not require an Exam?
If the scholarship organizers doesn’t instruct applicants to write a scholarship exam, then consider yourself somewhat lucky. Don’t rejoice yet, you might be asked to write either of the following;
- A scholarship application letter
- A scholarship essay
- A financial hardship letter
- Motivational letter
- Recommendation letter.
- Study plan. Etc
As a student, you must be able to write out all the aforementioned letters. Remember, practice, practice, practice. The road to success is never smooth. There will always be challenges. However, keep in mind that there are successful people who were once in your position.
Scholarship examinations are the final hurdles to jump when it comes to securing a a free education. After being eligible and selected, a scholarship exam will determine if you truly deserve the award.
Students should learn to approach a scholarship exam in a different manner. It is not a school exam where you pass with good grades. A scholarship exam rewards you with cash prizes and opportunities. It is an exam you shouldn’t ignore for a split-second.
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