Passing Difficult Exams

February 9, 2011  |  Exam Taking, General Tips

Understanding difficult subjects

If you want to learn how to pass difficult exams you need to first revisit your definition of the word ‘difficult’. Don’t be deluded by the word difficult. How many students haven’t had their dreams shattered by this word. How many a men have not lost themselves in the wilderness of their own self delusion merely because the believed that things have an inherent difficulty in them. Too many, that’s for sure.

Difficult words

What makes the word accolade anymore difficult than the word acceptance? Is it the number of letters used? Nope, in this case the latter word has more letters than the former but is viewed as more difficult. Why?

Simply because we have a wrong understanding, that’s why. I had a teacher once who correctly stated: “There are no difficult words – only words you haven’t heard of”. We tend to call the unknown difficult while in reality it is no more or less difficult than that we already know. This is the mindset you need to have before learning new terminology.

Memorize the words and their meaning and then try to use those words in their appropriate setting. Once you’ve used a word or phrase continuously you’ll stop to perceive it as difficult and even worthy of an explanation.

Difficult subject

Now before I dismiss the notion of there not being difficult subjects I do need to state that there are indeed subjects that are perceived as more difficult than others. This we all know from experience. However it is important to understand that although we may view it as difficult someone else sees it as easy. The difference between us and this other person is that the latter has understood the concept and thus finds it easy. If you want to be able to transform a difficult subject to become easy you’ll need to first understand it.

That’s why you should invest a lot of time to pose questions to the teacher in the beginning of such a course. As soon as you don’t understand a word, phrase or concept you need to investigate it further. Don’t leave it to the future because chances are that you will never look into what that particular thing meant and will only later find yourself to be troubled when it shows up on an exam or in a real life scenario.

Do your homework, learn first and it will help you out later.

About the author

ABDERISAK ADAM is an author, blog writer and a PhD candidate in the institution of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. He is also the owner and webmaster of www.study-habits.com, a website dedicated to the discussion of study techniques in the context of higher education. Adam is the author of a number of publications including 'The Study Guide PRO'. You can connect with him through Google+, Linkedin or by submitting a form.


5 Comments


  1. thanks very much

  2. No problem, I’m glad you liked it!

  3. My xam is tomorrow,but i havent read till now.

  4. its a nice article

  5. Thank you Frank for your frank opinion ;).

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