Preparing for exams can be a daunting experience. But here are a few handy hints to make the practice easier.
The weeks leading up:
1. Sit a practice exam under exam conditions one week prior to the real thing
This will enable you to identify gaps in your knowledge and give you sufficient time to work on these.
2. Set aside one hour a day of focused study for your exam
This concentrated work allows you to experience the frame of mind crucial for the exam in the days prior.
The night before:
3. Don’t cram!
Cramming does nothing apart from confusing and frustrating an already anxious student. If you have done all the correct preparation in the weeks leading to your exam then there is no reason to try and learn an excess of information the night before.
Instead, direct your focus to something other than the subject – read a book, watch a movie or even play a computer game!
4. Get sufficient sleep
It sounds like a no-brainer but many students struggle with sleep the night prior to their test. Cramming again will not help with sleep so it is important to focus on an activity other than study the night before in order to minimise stress levels.
On the day:
5. Try not to speak to fellow pupils about the subject
It may be hard, but if you have already done the work then there is no use in listening to the thoughts of another student who may or may not have studied the same way as you.
6. Use reading time wisely
You’ve probably heard it time and time again but reading time is critical to identify the questions that will be easy and those that will require more time. Completing the less challenging questions first will allow you more time to tackle the harder problems later.
7. Wear ear plugs
This is a personal preference. There is nothing more annoying than someone tapping their foot or clicking their pen while you are trying to work. Ear plugs can easily remove these frustrations.
8. Take a breath
Give yourself ten seconds of breathing time before starting the paper, or anytime you get stuck. Ten seconds of your exam time will not make a difference to your overall score and will allow you to obtain peace of mind when you have lost it.
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Remember, the only person standing in your way is you, and you are always capable of much more than you think if you put in 100%!
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