BEFORE I mention a few things to help prepare you for the days after the exams, let me make an important point that you should bear in mind.
Always aim for a score when you enter the exam room.
In fact, aim for a score while studying.
In subjects that you are good at, aim for 80% or even 90%.
That means, if it is an exam out of 50, you should be aiming at getting 40 or more. If you are smart, aim for 45 or more.
But be realistic in setting a target.
That is a good habit to develop. It is part of being goal-oriented – aiming at something or an outcome in all you do.
I believe if you continue to do that you will not only become a very good student, but a good worker too, in that that mentality will be with you wherever you go and influence whatever you do.
If you think a subject is difficult for you, work at getting a 60% or 70%.
Another advantage of setting a target before sitting the exam is that you will not fail it.
In most exams in school, people who score less than 50% can obtain a “fail” grade.
Continue to raise your target as you go from one term (or semester) to another. That is part of progressing in school life.
The ideal target is to one day hand in a perfect paper – that is, getting 100% in a subject that you love. (More about that next week.)
Now, let me warn you even before you complete your exams.
Do not plan to do something silly after sitting your exams.
Do not go out with people who plan to do silly things.
You have a life ahead of you and do not mess yourself up with activities like drinking alcohol, homebrew or doing drugs.
After the exams, go home and be with your family. Cherish them and your time with them.
I know most families may plan on cooking special meals for you, those who completed exams. Appreciate them and their joy of being part of you.
But then, when you think about it, there is nothing to celebrate or get crazy over after completing your exams, because just completing your exams has no outcome.
The fruits of your effort in your studies and writing the exams will come two or three months later, when the selection lists go up for those continuing on to Grade 9, Grade 11 or onto tertiary institutions.
If your name is on one of those lists, then you can celebrate. If not, there is no need to celebrate.
Students all over the world are known for celebrating after their exams with parties. But you do not have to do that by throwing wild parties.
Be sensible with what you do after the exams.
Again, to celebrate does not mean, you go out and get drunk.
(I tell people that my ancestors never drank alcohol and there is no reason why I should. It was not part of our culture.)
Celebrate in the right way – and you can (with the help of your guardians) consider celebrating without alcohol. It is the safest and best way these days.
There are many cases of students who go out partying while celebrating and get involved in something they later wished they had never started in the first place.
Learn from such examples and do the right thing after your exams – and as long as you live.
With that, I wish you all the best in your exams.
And may God bless you too.
Next item: Handing in the perfect paper