As the exam season creeps up upon us like the monster in the closet we all feared as kids, most of us are probably a nervous wreck (for obvious reasons!). Exams are important; they determine what direction you’ll take in life, and it’s more than necessary to take them seriously and fare well in them. While we have to agree that exams can be nerve-wracking and the stakes are high, this exam fever isn’t some leech that you can’t get rid of. We’ve got some tips and tricks for you so that you can ace your next highly important exam… without your fears holding you back in any way.
Start your preparations early on
We can’t stress enough on this point. It’s important that you open your books at least a month prior to your exam dates if you really want to not only achieve the grades you want, but also retain the information you study (so that it can benefit you when you’ll actually have to recall what you learned back in school). Not only will you be able to write your exams without breaking a sweat, you’ll also save yourself a lot of last-minute cramming and chaos that could otherwise occur a couple of days before the exam.
Revisions, revisions and more revisions
The human brain is notorious for its lack of memory for things that you ought to remember, like your textbooks. That’s why revisions are extremely necessary. By revisions, we don’t mean learning new material (that’s what our last point was about). But instead, we mean recalling the material that you’ve previously learned. Starting your revision period two weeks prior to your exam is ideal, as it helps keep the information that you’ve recalled fresh in your memory space. Effective revision strategies will help make your revision period fun and extremely easy to cope with, rather than making them boring and a source of never-ending stress.
Some great revision techniques
If you find revisions repetitive, tedious and boring, these techniques might help make them more enjoyable for you. Don’t forget to take breaks once in a while! If you sit at your desk for hours at an end, flipping aimlessly through your textbooks, then no wonder you’re going to hate revisions. Try taking a 10 minute break after 20-30 minutes of studying and feel a difference immediately!
Also, try studying with a partner or a group. Having more people to study with will give you a sense of calmness, as you’ll have someone to share your adversaries with. Even better, you’ll also be able to cover more material quickly. Try keeping a study group to a maximum of three people though, since having more people will cause one thing to lead to something else.
Finally, if you’re an artsy type of person, try taking notes and making flash cards. Writing things down from your memory will help you retain the information better. And, if you enjoy working with paper, you can have fun decorating and making doodles on these notes when you’re not in the mood of studying or are taking a break.
Use the day before the exam to your advantage
Don’t waste the last twenty-four hours before your exam panicking and causing a ruckus. If you’ve studied well, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Spend this time carefully packing your exam materials, lest you forget some important bits of stationery. Solve some previous year question papers while also timing yourself to practice your handwriting and writing speed (and also get a hang of writing the actual exam). Avoid caffeine, and make sure that you go to bed early so that you can wake up on the big day all fresh, energetic and ready to take on the challenges of the exam!