Now that you’ve done all the hard work of revision, it’s time to let yourself shine and show the examiners what you’re made of. But the res a few things that all too many students overlook when getting ready for an exam. Here are a few tips to make sure your taking the best you into the exam hall.
If you’ve done the revision, you won’t need to. Trying to squeeze in extra information at the last minute runs the risk of pushing out the information you’ve already retained. You’ll be more focused on the information you memorized the night before, and less focused on all the other stuff you’ve revised the preceding weeks.
Sort yourself out the night before
Waking up and realizing you have no pens or pencils to take to the exam, or that your calculator is in breach of the regulations will stress you out more than is necessary. A bit of nerves can help focus you, but he name of the game is calm as possible.
Make sure you have everything you need for the exam the night before. Pack your bag, make arrangements to meet friends prior to the exam, and pick out the clothes you’re going to wear so the morning will be as hassle free as possible.
This is one I always overlook. Wearing jeans in a long exam is not a good idea. You get very sweaty, uncomfortable, and they’re quite tight meaning you’ll need more toilet breaks. Sounds simple but the less your concentrating on being comfortable the less distracted you’ll be.
Get the Blood Flowing
If you have time do some light exercise the morning of the exam. Even if this means a brisk walk to the exam hall, it will release endorphins which will lower stress and help you concentrate on the task at hand.
Get a good breakfast. I’ve never been a breakfast person but it is so essential. Sugary cereals and coffee are probably a bad idea. The last thing you want is to come down off a sugar or caffeine rush half way through your exam.
Instead try something with high carbs like oats, for a slow and steady release of energy.
Start Your Engines
Getting your brain in gear before the exam will save you time once the clock starts. Try a bit of light reading for your next exam or the morning paper to get your comprehension ticking over.
Often, I can concentrate on little else outside of the upcoming exam, so I make very broad notes on some cards and read over these. You’re not cramming, just revisiting things you’ve already thoroughly revised.
Even with all the above tips, my concentration lasts about 25 minutes at best. Take a bottle of water and, if you’re allowed, snacks. Give yourself realistic momentary breaks to compose your thoughts and keep yourself on track. But make sure not to take 3 litres of water in with you. You don’t want to off to the toilet every 15 minutes!
Get There Early
Leave yourself plenty of time to arrive and sort yourself out. Again, rushing into the exam hall at the last minute causes unnecessary stress. Meet up with friends before you go in. You can provide mutual support and encouragement, and it will take your mind off the nerves.
Afterwards, reflect on how you think you did. You’ll never be able to tell until results day but you can think about your revision process and change anything you didn’t like in the future.
Now the summer is yours to do with as you please, but allow us to make a few suggestions. Keep learning! It’ll put you in great stead for next year, so read widely and think about summer camps where you can sharpen your wits and put yourself ahead of the pack in future.