Praise be to God and peace and blessings be upon our beloved Messenger and upon his family and companions.
The Muslim student puts her/his trust in Allah when facing the tests of this world, and s/he seeks His help whilst following the prescribed means, in accordance with the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
“The strong believer is better and is more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive to attain that which will benefit you and seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless.” (Saheeh Muslim, hadeeth no. 2664)
Among those means are the following:
- Turning to Allah by making du’aa’ in any way that is prescribed in Islam, such as saying,
Rabbiy ishrah li sadri wa yassir li amri. Wahlul ‘ukdata min lissani, yafkahu kawli
O my Lord, expand my chest and make things easy for me
اللهُمَّ لا سَهْلَ إلا مَا جَعَلتَهُ سَهْلا وَ أنتَ تَجْعَلُ الحزْنَ إذا شِئْتَ سَهْلا
Allahumma la sahla illa ma ja’altahu sahla, wa ‘anta taj-alul hazna idha shi’ta sahla
O Allah! There is nothing easy except what You make easy, and You make the difficult easy if it be Your Will.
- Sleep and rise early.
- Reciting the du’aa for leaving the house:
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَلَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أَضِلَّ أَوْ أُضَّلَّ أَوْ أَظْلِمَ أَوْ أُظْلَمَ أَوْ أَجْهَلَ أَوْ يُجْهَلَ عَلَىَّ.
Bismillaah, tawakkaltu ‘ala Allah, 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 Allah. 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).
- Always begin in the name of God. Say Bismillah.
- Ask your parents, family and friends to make du’aa for you. Make du’aa for them as well.
- 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. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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 fellow classmates will pass this exam.
- Remembering Allah, as dhikr dispels anxiety and tension. If something is too difficult for you, then pray to Allah to make it easy for you.
Whenever Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) found something too difficult to understand, he would say, “O You Who taught Ibraaheem, teach me; O You Who caused Sulaymaan to understand, cause me to understand.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Answer questions according to importance.
- Take your time to answer, for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Deliberation is from Allah and haste is from the Shaytaan.” (A hasan hadeeth. Saheeh al-Jaami, 3011).
- 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.
- Write the main points of your answer at the beginning of the line, because this is what the examiner is looking for, and she may not see what she is looking for if it is in the middle of the page and she is in a hurry.
- 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.
- 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 Allaah and do not fall prey to frustration and despair. Remember the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “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 Allaah and what He wills happened),’ for saying ‘if only’ opens the door for the Shaytaan.” (Saheeh Muslim, and the first part of this hadeeth was mentioned above).
- Remember that cheating is haram. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever cheats is not one of us.” Do without that which is haram, 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.
And ALWAYS remember that this life is temporary and the exams you have are not an end, but a mean. It is the actions you have prepared for the Hereafter, and the questions of the examination in the grave, and the deeds that will save you on the Day of Resurrection that count.
We ask Allah to make us succeed in this world, and in the next. We ask Him in his Mercy to allow us to be among those who are victorious and saved in the Hereafter, for He is the All-Hearing Who answers prayer.
May Allah give us all tawfiq. Good luck!
Adapted from this source.