Written by Leyan Yucel
BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism
That dreaded time of year is nearly upon us again…exam season. For a lot of people, exams can cause stress, nerves and a lot of anxiety, but it doesn’t need to be that way. By properly preparing for your exams you can have more confidence in yourself and eliminate those feelings of stress. Here are just a few things I do to prepare for my exams which might help you get in the zone and smash those feared tests.
Make a plan
The first step you need to take is to make a plan of action. Creating a timetable is a great way to stay on track and schedule in your revision in the lead up to your exams. Plan in a certain number of hours per day (with breaks in between of course!) and try your best to stick to it. Having a structure like this means once you have completed your hours of revision for that day you can just chill and relax. This is a lot more productive than sitting for hours trying to do work and not getting much done.
Don’t leave all your work and revision to the last minute. This will only stress you out and means you probably won’t feel prepared for your exams when it gets to the big day. By starting early it means you can do a small amount every day and build it up so that you don’t have to cram the day before.
Find your study space
For me this was the library. I found it easier to focus on the silent floor away from any distractions where I could really concentrate on what I was doing. For you this might me the desk in your room, a table in your kitchen or even going out the house to a coffee shop where you can sit and work. Try and avoid doing work in bed – as tempting as it might be to stay all cosy it’s likely that you wont be able to focus and it’s not great for your posture either.
Know your subject
Make sure you have read your exam specification and then make a list of all the areas you need to cover. If you’re not sure about what knowledge you will need for the exam then check with your teacher, tutor or even your friends. Highlight the areas you don’t know very well and make sure you focus on them because there’s no point revising things you already know.
You can make your revision more interesting in many different creative ways. Using flash cards, creating colourful mind maps or even making up a song are just a few methods you can try to get that revision drilled into your memory. Get your friends and family to test your knowledge by getting them to pick a random section of your revision knowledge and ask you questions about it.
Finally, don’t put pressure on yourself and take plenty of breaks so you have time to relax in between doing revision. At the end of the day, it’s only an exam and your mental health is extremely important so don’t stress yourself out.
So those are my revision tips for you! I’ve used many of them over the years but different things work for different people so find the method that suits you. There’s nothing left for me to say apart from good luck and go smash those exams!