Produced by Louis Sherman
BSc (Hons) Applied Geography
Exams, whether SATs, GCSEs, A-Levels or at university, are stressful, exhausting, but well worth it in the end. Exams are usually that final barrier to freedom, relief and success, especially the summer ones which are taking place right now. Exams are key, and so here are a few tips to keep you relaxed during them and successful throughout (hopefully).
- Keep calm
Without doubt exams cause stress for all of us and it can be easy to say ‘stay relaxed’ but it can actually be a lot harder to do that in real life. As hard as it sounds, staying calm can simply be taking 5 minutes away from your revision to just breathe and clear your mind. Even in exams, if you start to panic at a question you don’t know, do not let it frazzle you; just stop, breathe and think.
- Eat well
It seems a clichéd thing to say, but just eating well can make you feel better inside and out. Stay hydrated, eat a lot of fruit and veg and keep your body functioning as best as it can so nothing stands in your way!
- Get outside
When revising, even going for a 5 minute walk can make a big difference. Just stretching your legs and getting some sun on your skin can make you feel refreshed and ready for a few more hours of revising.
- Create a revision timetable
A balanced revision timetable means you can revise all your different subjects equally and get away from one subject and onto another, keeping things fresh and hopefully stopping you from getting bored.
- Revise your favourite things
If you love certain aspects of a subject remember to revise them most and best, the reason for this being you can write a great answer about something you know and love instead of just an OK answer on something you may know, but find very boring.
- But don’t forget about those more boring things!
Saying that, don’t just revise things you love. Make sure you have that balance so you do have key facts that you can flesh out during an exam if you are forced to write about something you hate.
- Stay positive
For me, this is the key point, more important than any others. I remember when I was doing my A-levels, so many people went into exams with negative mind-sets saying they were going to fail, but what’s the point? Thinking like that doesn’t achieve anything; instead why not go in feeling like you are going to do the best you can? Go in saying you are going to fail and you probably will, but if you start positive you can get through anything.
Exams can be beaten – you just have to keep up the hard work and the positive mind-set. Whatever you are planning to do or go on to, I wish you the best and hope that with these tips you can get through your exams calmly and successfully!
By Louis Sherman
Good advice, but I think learning technique is important.
I’ve tried all sorts of memory techniques and the best I’ve found is the active recall and distributed practice method. A fantastic resource for this is http://mem-note.com – it’s the only way I can make complex information stick in my head.