All you need to know about cracking international exams

international exams

International exams are standardised assessments that are accepted in many different nations throughout the world. A candidate’s ability in a variety of skills, including language fluency, academic aptitude, professional skills, or specialised subject knowledge, is frequently evaluated using these exams as a benchmark. These exams include, among others, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).

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10 ways to crack international exams

International exams can be a great way to test your skills and knowledge, and to gain admission to top universities around the world. If you are thinking about taking an international exam, it is important to start preparing early and to work hard. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve your goals and crack the exam. Here are some ways:

Understanding the Examination Structure: Every international exam has a unique structure and marking scheme. One must comprehend this structure thoroughly, including the time allocation, different sections, question format, and grading process. This understanding allows for better strategising and aids in avoiding unnecessary mistakes.

Early and Consistent Preparation: “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.” This adage holds true for international exams. Starting your revision early, preferably months in advance, gives you ample time to thoroughly understand the concepts, revisit problematic areas, and get comfortable with the exam pattern.

Comprehensive Material Study: Having the right study material is a crucial element of your preparation. Ensure you have access to textbooks, past papers, and any supplementary materials recommended by the examination body. Study guides and materials published by the exam boards themselves can be particularly useful.

Using Online Resources: With the digital age at its peak, there is an array of online resources available for test preparation. Many websites offer interactive study materials, webinars, mock exams, and subject-specific tools that cater to the demands of different international exams.

Regular Mock Examinations: Practice truly makes perfect when it comes to international exams. Mock tests, past papers, and timed practice questions help in understanding the exam’s layout, managing time efficiently, and identifying strengths and weaknesses.

Seeking Tutoring or Joining a Study Group: Depending on your learning style, you might benefit from individual tutoring, online courses, or study groups. These platforms provide focused guidance, the ability to ask questions, and an opportunity to learn from others’ perspectives.

Maintaining a Healthy Routine: Adequate sleep, proper nutrition, regular exercise, and relaxation periods are essential aspects of any study plan. The mind performs best when the body is well taken care of. Balancing your physical health with your mental preparations can boost your performance on the day of the exam.

Brushing Up on Language Skills: Many international exams, particularly those testing knowledge in multiple subject areas, require a solid understanding of English. Constantly improving your language skills can boost your comprehension and your ability to answer questions more accurately.

Personalised Study Methods: Different study techniques work for different individuals. It could be flashcards, mind maps, or the Feynman technique – find what works best for you and stick to it. Your strategy should focus on understanding concepts rather than rote learning.

Staying Informed and Updated: Keep tabs on the examination board’s official website for any updates, changes, or tips regarding your examination. This ensures you’re always in the know about any potential modifications to the exam’s format or content.

Remember, cracking any international exam requires a blend of hard work, effective study techniques, and a healthy mindset. Make sure to utilise these strategies and approach your exam with confidence and positivity.

Also Read: Tips to Prepare for JEE Mains, Advanced Preparation

Why are International Exams Difficult to Crack?

International exams are difficult to crack for a number of reasons, including:

High Standard: International exams are typically set at a high standard, designed to measure candidates’ abilities against a global benchmark. This high standard often makes these exams more challenging than national or local tests.

Broad and Deep Knowledge Required: These exams often cover a broad range of topics and require a deep understanding of each subject. For instance, the IB Diploma requires knowledge across several subject areas, including languages, sciences, mathematics, humanities, and the arts.

Language Proficiency: If English isn’t a candidate’s first language, they may find language-proficiency exams like the IELTS or TOEFL challenging. Even for non-language exams, a high level of English proficiency is often required to understand and respond to questions effectively.

Time Management: The format of many international exams requires answering a large number of questions within a limited time. Hence, candidates not only need to know their material well but also need to be able to recall information quickly and manage their time efficiently.

Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills: Many international exams test more than just recall of information. They require candidates to demonstrate analytical and critical thinking skills, applying their knowledge to novel scenarios or complex problems.

Psychological Pressure: The importance and high stakes of these exams can create significant stress and pressure, which can affect a candidate’s performance if not managed effectively.

To overcome these challenges, candidates preparing for international exams need to have a well-planned study schedule, comprehensive understanding of the test format, effective study strategies, good time management skills, and measures to manage exam-related stress.

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What’s at stake for cracking international exams

International exams play a crucial part in many students’ academic careers. These exams come with a variety of risks that can have an impact on a student’s school experience and future employment options.

University Admissions: The outcomes of these exams are a key factor in the admissions decisions of many universities, particularly those in the UK, the USA, and other nations. Therefore, a student’s potential to get into their top university might be significantly impacted by how well they perform on these exams. There may be unique exam score requirements for some selective degree programmes.

Scholarships and Financial Aid: Scholarship providers often take into account the scores of these international exams. A student’s chances of getting financial aid for their university studies can therefore be increased by getting a high score.

Course Credits: In some universities, particularly in the US, high scores on AP or IB exams can be converted into university credits, allowing students to skip introductory courses and move directly into advanced classes.

International Recognition: These exams are recognised internationally, which can provide students with more flexibility in choosing where to study or work in the future. A good performance can help a student stand out in a global pool of applicants.

Future Studies Exam Preparation: These tests frequently need a wide range of information as well as the capacity for critical and analytical thought. The abilities that students learn while preparing for these tests may be useful in their future academic and professional endeavours.

Personal Development: Studying for these tests can aid a student’s personal development by encouraging self-control, persistence, and the capacity to handle stress, all of which are vital life skills.

While these examinations are crucial, it’s important to keep in mind that universities take other considerations into account when deciding whether to accept a student. A more complete picture of a student’s talents can be obtained through extracurricular activities, personal essays, and letters of reference, which can all be very important in the university admissions process. However, given the stakes described above, these tests frequently cause a lot of stress for students, so it’s important to strike a balance between studying for them and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Also Read: Quality of Education in International Schools

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