20 Tips for Students
Note: Suhail Atikah, Nafisa, Muhammed, Imran, Sarnia, Talha, and Faatimah, I hope that the following will help, I did not get to go so far as you in pursuing knowledge that requires exams , good luck to you and to all that are writing exams…. Honestly it is a little weird posting this, as here in SA students have come to the end of their school year…Inshallah May all students all over the world do well. Aameen Thuma Ameen.
1) Turn to Allah by making du’aa’ in any way that is prescribed in Islam, such as saying,
“Rabbi Zidnee ‘ilmaa”
My Rabb! Increase me in knowledge. (Surah Ta Ha 20:114)
History and Significance:
This supplication is taught to Rasulullah (SAW) by Allah Himself in Surah Ta Ha. The verse relates to an instruction not to hasten with Quran before it is completely revealed. While revelation of Quran was incomplete, our Rasulullah (SAW) was instructed to make this supplication. In our situation, when our knowledge is limited about Quran, we should always make this supplication to understand Quran more. If Allah grants us knowledge, whether in the field of theology, science or technology, then we should be able to understand Quran even better. 2) Get used to sleeping early and going to exams on time.
3) Preparing all required or permitted equipment such as pens, rulers and setsquares, calculators and watches, because being well prepared helps one to answer questions.
4) Recite the du’aa’ for leaving the house:
“Bismillaah, tawakkaltu ‘ala Allaah, wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah. Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika an adilla aw udalla, aw azilla aw uzalla, aw azlima aw uzlama, aw ajhala aw yujhala ‘alayya (In the name of Allah, I put my trust in Allah, and there is no strength and no power except with Allaah. O Allah, I seek refuge with You lest I should stray or be led astray, lest I slip (commit a sin unintentionally) or be tripped, lest I oppress or be oppressed, lest I behave foolishly or be treated foolishly).” Do not forget to seek your parents’ approval, for their du’aa’ for you will be answered.
5) Mention the name of Allah before you start, for mentioning the name of Allah is prescribed when beginning any permissible action; this brings blessing, and seeking the help of Allah is one of the means of strength.
6) Fear Allah with regard to your classmates, and do not be affected by their anxiety or fear just before the exam, for anxiety is a contagious disease. Instead, make them feel optimistic by saying good words as prescribed in Islam. Rasulullah (SAW) was optimistic when he heard the name of Suhayl (which means “easy”) and he said: “Things have been made easy for you.” He used to like to hear the words ‘Yaa Raashid, when he went out for any purpose. So be optimistic that you and your brothers will pass this exam.
– Dhikr dispels anxiety and tension. If something is too difficult for you, then pray to Allah to make it easy for you. Whenever Ibn Taimiyyah found something too difficult to understand, he would say, “O You Who taught Ebrahim, teach me; O You Who caused Sulaymaan to understand, cause me to understand.”
7) Choose a good place to sit during the exam, if you can. Keep your back straight, and sit on the chair in a healthy manner.
8) Look over the exam first. Studies advise spending 10% of the exam time in reading the questions carefully, noting the important words and dividing one’s time between the questions.
9) Plan to answer the easy questions first, then the difficult ones. Whilst reading the questions, write notes and ideas which you can use in your answers later.
10) Answer questions according to importance.
11) Start by answering the easy questions which you know. Then move on to the questions which carry high marks, and leave till the end the questions to which you do not know the answers, or which you think will take a long time to produce an answer or which do not carry such high marks.
12) Take your time to answer, Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Deliberation is from Allah and haste is from the Shaytaan.” (Sahih al-Jami, 3011)
13) Think carefully about the answer and choose the right answer when answering multiple-choice questions. Deal with them in the following manner. If you are sure that you have chosen the right answer, then beware of insinuating whispers from the Shaytaan. If you are not sure, then start by eliminating the wrong or unlikely answers, and then choose the correct answer based on what you think is most likely to be correct. If you guessed at a correct answer then do not change it unless you are sure that it is wrong – especially if you will lose marks for a wrong answer. Research indicates that the correct answer is usually that which the student thinks of first.
14) In written exams, collect your thoughts before you start to answer. Write an outline for your answer with some words which will indicate the ideas which you want to discuss. Then number the ideas in the sequence in which you want to present them.
15) Write the main points of your answer at the beginning of the line, because this is what the examiner is looking for, and he may not see what he is looking for if it is in the middle of the page and he is in a hurry.
16) Devote 10% of the time for reviewing your answers. Take your time in reviewing, especially in mathematical problems and writing numbers. Resist the desire to hand in the exam papers quickly, and do not let the fact that some people are leaving early bother you. They may be among the people who have handed in their papers too early.
17) If you discover after the exam that you answered some questions incorrectly, then take that as a lesson in the importance of being well prepared in the future, and not rushing to answer questions. Accept the will and decree of Allah and do not fall prey to frustration and despair. Rasulullah (SAW) said: , “If anything befalls you, do not say, ‘If only I had done such and such.’ Rather say, ‘Qadar Allaah wa maa sha’a kaan (the decree of Allah and what He wills happened),’ for saying ‘if only’ opens the door for the Shaytaan.” (Sahih Muslim and the first part of this hadith was mentioned above).
18) Cheating is haraam whether it is in foreign language tests or any other tests. Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Whoever cheats is not one of us.” It is wrongdoing and it is a haraam means of attaining a degree or certificate, etc., that you have no right to. The consensus is that cheating is a kind of cooperation in sin and transgression. So do without that which is haraam and Allah will suffice you from His bounty. Reject all offers of haraam things that come to you from others. Whoever gives up a thing for the sake of Allah, Allah will compensate him with something better. You have to denounce and resist evil, and tell the authorities about any such thing that you see during the exam, or before or after it. This is not the forbidden kind of slander rather it is denouncing evil which is obligatory.
19) Advise those who buy or sell questions or post them on the Internet etc., or who prepare cheat notes. Tell them to fear Allah, and tell them of the ruling on what they are doing and on the money they earn from that. Tell them that the time they are spending in preparing these haraam things, if they spent it in studying, or answering previous exams, or helping one another to understand the subject before the exam, that would be better for them than doing these haraam things.
20) Label extra pages clearly and attach them to your exam booklet.