Sunday, 17 May 2015

How to Survive Exams

So, I got my timetable for my summer exams a few days ago and as it turns out, they’re starting next week *severe panic sets in*. If like me, you were effectively trying to forget that end of year exams were actually a thing, you’re probably wondering how on earth are you going to survive the coming weeks. Well, I have compiled a list of things that should help you survive the exams and hopefully you’ll pass with flying colours!

Make a Timetable If you don’t know where to start study, start with making a timetable. Write a list of the things you need to have revised before the exams start, then get out a calendar and sort out what items on your list will be studied on which days. But be realistic. If you have 5 days until the exam, you’re not going to get 2 years’ worth of coursework studied. Prioritise the topics that are most likely to come up or things that you are unsure of and just go from there.

Use Past Exam Questions Try to get familiar with the style and wording of the questions by doing past exam questions. The exam is probably going to be compiled of past exam questions or something very similar so it’s a no brainer to practise some of these beforehand!

Feeling Uninspired? Recently, I’ve started following a few dedicated study blogs on tumblr (studyblrs!) and seeing other peoples study spaces or even their beautifully hand written colour coordinated notes crop up on my dashboard has inspired me to crack on with my own work! If you feeling allergic to all these study and exams, just take a glance through some of these blogs and you’ll find that some of these people manage to make studying look fun (who would have thought?)!

Get Your Diet Right No one wants to be feeling lethargic during exam time, so we need all the energy we can get, right? Well, possibly wrong. It may be your instinct to reach for the cans of Red Bull and bars of chocolate during exam time, to ensure that your energy levels are top notch, but these kinds of foods tend do the exact opposite. High-sugar, high-energy foods give us an instant boost of energy but then they leave us in a slump feeling tired and drained later on. And you do not want to be in a slump half way through your exam! To combat this, try to eat foods that give us a slower, longer realise of energy. These include: porridge, wholemeal bread, apples, beans, nuts etc. Anything that is labelled as low G.I. is good.  It may be useful to also include some “Brain Food” such as oily fish (salmon, mackerel) and nuts as these contain unsaturated fats which are really good for brain functioning. I read an article today that said that if you drink a glass of orange juice every day for 8 weeks, you may increase your cognitive function by 8%. I mean, it’s worth a try! Also make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day to make sure that your brain is in tip top condition!

Don’t do a post-mortem So, you’ve just finished the exam and the first thing do is head straight to your friend to ask them what they thought of it. Stop. The exam is over so there is no point talking about it. If you do decide to dissect every inch of the paper, you’ll only upset yourself by thinking that you should have done x, y and z differently because everyone else got a different answer. It is fruitless to keep thinking and worrying about the exam once it has finished. No amount fretting will change your result so you might as well put it out of your head and spare yourself the grey hairs!

Don’t stress The final and most important tip for surviving exams is don’t sweat it. Exams are there to challenge you, not break you. They are not the be all and end all. Life will go on even if you don’t get the result you were hoping for. Just give it your best shot and roll from there.

Now, if only I could stop procrastinating and actually take my own advice…

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