The time has come for many of you to sit important exams in the next couple of months. It can be a very stressful time and the pressure is high but it’s important to keep yourself as calm and focused as possible to succeed. Here are some tips to help prepare for your exams.
1. Organise your notes
I find it very useful and helpful to have my notes organised in terms of subject, module and my knowledge on that topic. For example if you know topic X very well but topic Y is your weakest, then prioritise topic Y and put it at the top of your notes. Colour-coordinate your notes, for example, highlight all the key information in yellow, formulas in green, dates in pink etc.
2. Give yourself plenty of time to study
This is very important, a lot of students think they can cram important information a few days before the exam but it is not a good idea at all! This will make you more stressed and more prone to forgetting crucial details. Give yourself plenty of time to study and enter the exam hall with no regrets.
3. Study with peers
Studying with peers can be very helpful. You can bounce ideas off of each other and gain a new perspective, there may also be someone who knows a topic better than you and vice versa. Plus studying in a group is more fun and it gives you an opportunity to socialise whilst being productive. Be careful it doesn’t turn into more fun than studying though.
4. Make flashcards
Flashcards are really good to carry around with you especially if you are travelling. It also teaches you to summarise your revision topics and is a good way to note down important formulas and points etc.
5. Get family/ friends to quiz you
Make it a fun event, get your family to host a quiz night and ask you questions about your topic. It’s not only fun but also a great way to remember the things you learnt.
6. Talk to your family/ friends/ pets/ mirror about your answers
If you have to explain certain theories or topics in your exam, talking to someone about these topics is a really great way to learn. When you are talking to someone about your answers, it reinforces your learning, and it sticks to your brain.
7. Do past papers
Although not all past papers are the same as the question paper you will complete, it is still a great way to get a feel of the types of questions asked, what could be asked, the standard, the types of answers they looks for, the amount of detail they need and the marks certain questions get. It’s also good to practice the past papers in a timed environment, this way you can see how well you perform under those circumstances and how many questions you can answer.
8. Create a study timetable
Having a study timetable is a great way to balance your revision. It allows you to create time for subjects you are weakest in whilst giving you time to study for other topics. Without a timetable, some may find themselves focusing all their time on one topic.
9. Eat well
Although it may be predictable, a good diet during revision and your exam period is very important. You want to be eating healthy and satisfying meals to fuel your brain instead of sugary junk that only gives you a short term supply of energy. Eat plenty of healthy nuts, fish, chicken, wholewheat carbs, fruits and lots of healthy fats.
10. Drink plenty of water
Similar to the point above, it is important to keep yourself hydrated to ensure your brain functions well. Some students turn to coffee and redbull to keep them awake and give them the energy to study, however these are extremely unhealthy and too much sugary drinks can cause a very painful lapse.
11. Get plenty of rest before big day
It may be tempting to study till dawn before your big exam in order to cram every information, but it is vital you get plenty of rest. Without sleep, you will not be able to concentrate and will waste your hours of revision.
12. Keep calm
Not going to lie, it is very hard to keep calm during exams. The stress is huge and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do well. However if you’re panicking or anxious, your performance will be affected. If you feel yourself slipping out of your calm state, take a few moments to take a deep breath and centre yourself. I promise you, this makes a huge difference!
I hope the above tips prove helpful to you all and I wish you the very best for your exams.