Motivation brings you the wanted results

The importance of the Finnish matriculation examination has increased, because of the quota for first-time applicants. For many, entrance exams are another option to get a degree place in a university. Still, there are a limited number of places available and competition is hard when trying to get into the best universities.

Motivation is in a key role when you are trying to succeed in exams. You can find plenty of information about how to prepare for the matriculation examinations or entrance exams from the internet, but those things come as second on the list. I think nothing is more important than inner motivation, which gives you the energy to work hard and achieve your dream degree place.

Here are three points, which I thought were the best to find my motivation when applying to Aalto University. Disclaimer; These may not work for everyone, but at least I hope it will give you some ideas on how to find your own motivation.

  • A Clear goal which you can achieve

The first thing you need to do is to set a clear goal which you can achieve. It can be a certain grade, for instance, laudatur or magna cum laude in matriculation examination. It can also be a degree place for example at Aalto University. Most important thing is that you can really achieve the goal, but it is challenging enough.

When you have a clear goal, write it on a paper with big letters and put the paper somewhere where you can see it every day. For me, the place was next to my bed. For someone, it might feel a little bit too pressing, but it helped me to remember my goal every time I woke up.


  • Use your time wisely

You have only limited time when studying for the exams, so you should use the time wisely. Prioritizing things is crucial, and you should do only things that help you to achieve your goals. There are many ways how to get the most out of your limited time; planning a timetable, counting effective working hours and self-discipline.

Many times people come up with things that prevent them from studying, but really you should turn your mindset around – you can’t do other things because you need to study. For me, it meant that I needed to tell my friends that I can’t see them so often because I was concentrating on studying. Even if one of my friends said humorously that we wouldn’t be friends anymore if I wouldn’t get the degree place, they encouraged me to do my best.


  • Use the internet and social media to support you – not against you

Internet and social media are on the best ways to waste your precious time. I recommend muting all notifications, and additionally taking your phone as far as possible from yourself. This way you won’t be so much disturbed, and your focus stays on the matter. Trust me, people will call you if the thing really needs your attention.

After all, especially social media can give you some extra boost if you use it in the right way. You can start following some interesting organizations that give you concreteness to support your motivation. Aalto University and Aalto University Student Union (AYY) are good examples of what you can add to your following list.

And when watching cool photos for example on Instagram you can ask yourself: Do I want to read these same books again next year or do I want to be there in the photos?

Antti Pentikäinen
Information and Service Management

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