If the thought of the upcoming exams has you in a serious tizz, take a step back, a deep breath and check our tips and advice on how to get through it without losing your head.
1. Know your enemy – find out as much as you can about the exam
How much is the exam worth to your overall mark in the subject, what type of exam is it (for example, multiple choice, essay, open book, take-home), will there be a choice of questions or tasks?
2. Sort out your subject material
Check you have all of the handouts, put your notes in order, read over any course outline or subject guide. Write your own summaries of each textbook chapter or section of the subject guide. Getting all your gear together makes it easier to find what you need while you’re studying.
3. Ask for help and don’t feel bad about it
Speak to your lecturers, family members, friends and fellow students. If you’re feeling really stressed you might also find it helpful to speak to a counsellor.
4. Review past exam papers
Get your hands on any old exam papers from the subject and familiarise yourself with the structure and format. You can get past exam papers from your teacher or lecturer or
your school or university library. When reviewing, practise answering the questions within the specified time limits.
5. Take regular study breaks
None of us are superhuman, so it’s important to realise that you can’t maintain an optimum level of concentration without giving yourself some time to recover from the work you’ve put in. This can take the form of a 10-minute walk, a trip to the gym, having a chat with a friend or simply fixing yourself a hot drink. If it feels like procrastination, then rest assured that it’s not: taking regular short breaks not only help improve your focus, they can boost your productivity too.
6. Eat healthy
Everybody knows you should eat breakfast the day of a big test, but what you eat a week in advance matters, too. Eat a balanced diet that includes fruit and vegetables. When you study, your brain consumes glucose, so take a five-minute break every hour to let your body produce more fuel for your studying. Eating a healthy snack is very beneficial and can make a significant difference (almonds, fruit, and yogurt are good choices).
7. Don’t cram the night before
Cramming is the worst thing you can do before an exam. Most likely you’re going to forget what you’ve learned AND miss out on sleep which is essential before writing n exam. The part of our brains that deals with memory is more active when we sleep, so even if you spent all night cramming information into your head, chances are you won’t remember any of it. Insufficient sleep also messes with concentration and your ability to make decisions, meaning you won’t be focused for that final. Get plenty of rest instead.
8. Keep your cool
Fronting up to an exam can be nerve-wracking, but here are some tips for staying calm:
Don’t talk too much to other students before the exam. Try to get there with time to spare so you don’t arrive all rushed.Make sure you have a decent breakfast. Listen to some inspiring music on the way to the exam. Wear your lucky shirt or bring a lucky charm
9. Do it your way
There are tons of tips on studying but finding what suits YOU best will lead to your success.
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