These study tips for Principals’ Test preparation is hoped to help you get going and stay on track.
Give yourself enough time to study.
Last-minute cramming is not the best way to approach an exam. Sort out your time management, set up a timetable for your study. This is the reason why we write down the coverage of the exam and the days on which we have to focus on them. Then organize your study accordingly. You may want to give some domains more study time than others, so find a balance that you feel comfortable with.
Here is the coverage of the December 2018 Principals’ Test:
Domain 1: School Leader
- School Leadership
- Personal and Professional Attributes and Interpersonal Effectiveness
Domain 2: Instructional Leader
- Instructional Leadership
- Creating Student-Centered Learning Climate
Domain 3: School Manager (Governance)
- Human Resource Management and Professional Development
- Parent Involvement and Community Partnership
- School Management and Operations
Train Yourself to Handle Information Overload.
According to Daniel Levitin, a Psychologist, and behavioral Neuroscientist, the pace at which we’re exposed to information today is overwhelming to our brains, which haven’t adapted fast enough to easily separate relevant data from the irrelevant at the speed we’re asking it to. As a result, our brains become easily fatigued, and we become more forgetful. By using principles of neuroscience, Levitin says we can regain control over our minds by organizing information in a way that optimizes our brain’s capacity. We need to:
Rather than carrying around in your head the review items put them on paper. Getting information out of your head and into the external world helps you to see it objectively so you can make decisions about what you will tackle, and in which order. Writing down your list manually also helps to encode the information into your brain through the use of muscle memory. Reading through hard copies is easier than in soft copies.
Make Serious Review in the Morning.
Scheduling your serious review tasks at the beginning of the day maximizes your brain’s resources, and can help you recall and take the time to get it right.
Use flow charts and diagrams. Visual aids can be beneficial when revising. At the start of a topic, challenge yourself to write down everything you already know about a subject – and then highlight where the gaps lie. Closer to the exam, condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams. Getting your ideas down in this brief format can then help you to recall everything you need to know during the exam quickly.
Remember: Multitasking is a myth!
By doing multitasking, what we’re doing is rapidly shifting our attention from one thing to another. This fast-paced attention seesaw, according to neurologists, depletes the brain’s glucose supply – the fuel that the brain’s neurons need to communicate with one another. By doing so, our mind will reach a level of fatigue much sooner in the day and may lower our IQ by considerable points. It is better that we concentrate on one item at a time with sustained attention.
Explain your answers to others.
Just like in a classroom setting, explaining an answer to a question to your co-reviewees will help you to affirm your understanding, get it clear in your head, and also to highlight any areas where you need more work. This is the reason why the Principals’ Test Online Coaches are encouraging you to always support your answer with legal bases, policies, rules, or theories. Not only are you helping your mind to be sharp, but you are also giving the silent readers of feedback comments the idea to assess their judgments to a given problem. You may also have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. As long as you make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.
Practice on old exams.
In our online review hours, you are given practice questions to work on. This will familiarize you with how the actual Principals’ test questions are constructed. These practice tests and mock tests will help you get used to the format of the questions, and – if you time yourself – can also be good practice for making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section.
Take regular breaks.
Studying for as many hours as possible can be counterproductive. Studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, taking regular breaks really helps. Everyone’s different, to develop a study routine that works for you. Reward yourself once in a while.
Observe your school head.
Validate what you have learned in the review by assessing how your school head is handling the daily routine and problems encountered in your stations. This will give you the opportunity to plan your craft when you landed in the same position in the near future.
Plan your exam day.
Make sure you get everything ready well in advance of the exam – don’t leave it to the day before to suddenly realize you don’t know the way, or what you’re supposed to bring. Check all the rules and requirements once the memorandum for the Principals’ Test is out, and prepare the documentary requirements for the online application. Plan your route and journey time to the testing center. If possible, do a test run of the trip. If not, write down clear directions.
Eat healthy foods.
Research suggests that chewing causes an increase in arousal – it helps wake you up. Research indicates that chewing increases heart rate, blood pressure, and cerebral blood flow. Chewing wakes up your brain and allows you to concentrate and focus.
Drink plenty of water.
Remember that being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. Make sure you keep drinking plenty of water throughout your revision, and also on the exam day.
Let God be the source of your strength.
Affirming your selfless motive in taking the Principals’ Test in your daily prayers will help you unload the pressure. Make it a habit to seek God’s help in everything we do and pray to help us to efficiently manage our time so that we may not neglect our loved ones while we prepare ourselves for this major examination.
Good luck future school heads and God bless us all!
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