Exam season is definitely going to come round quicker than expected, with only 6 weeks to go, it’s looming on the horizon. Now is the time to sit down and plan your exam preparation for the coming weeks. We’ve put together a few pointers to help you:
1. Organize your study space, do you have enough room? Are all distractions out of the way? Is your chair comfortable? Focus is key!
2. Give yourself enough time to study, leaving it to the last minute is not the best approach. Set out a timetable for your study, write down how many exams you have and the days on which you have to sit them. Then organize your study accordingly, some topics may need more study time than others, so find a balance that works for you.
3. Revise topics rather than questions and make sure that you understand the material you’re revising — we can only remember what we understand!
4. Hiring a private tutor or joining an after school program can really help if you’re struggling to get to grip with a topic.
5. Tests have shown that you can remember what you write up to 5 times more as compared to what you read, so make sure you write down notes as you’re revising.
6. Visual aids can be really helpful when revising, so consider using flow charts and diagrams. At the start of a topic, challenge yourself to write down everything you already know about a topic – and then highlight where the gaps lie. Closer to the exam, condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams. Getting your ideas down in this brief format can then help you to quickly recall everything you need to know during the exam.
7. One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice taking past versions. This helps you get used to the format of the questions, and – if you time yourself – can also be good practice for making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section.
8. Keep away from junk food! You may feel like you deserve a treat, or that you don’t have time to cook, but what you eat can really have an impact on energy levels and focus. Keep your body and brain well-fuelled by choosing nutritious foods that have been proven to aid concentration and memory, such as fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries. The same applies on exam day – eat a good meal before the test, based on foods that will provide a slow release of energy throughout. Sugar may seem appealing, but it won’t help when your energy levels crash an hour or so later.
9. Finally, drink plenty of water. Being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best.