The exam period can be a stressful, messy time, but it needn’t be. Here’s some tips to help you prepare in the lead up to, on the day of, and during your exams to stay on top of it and keep anxiety at bay.
Before your exam
– Eat healthy food and avoid liquids high in sugars and caffeine
– Drink enough water each day; dehydration puts your body under unnecessary stress
– Monitor and stick to good sleep patterns; aim for seven hours of good sleep and try to get to bed before midnight
– Exercise regularly; it helps with energy levels and reduces stress
– Don’t isolate yourself from friends and family, people are good stress release and support factors
– Time out to limit overwhelming feelings: take some time to rejuvenate, recharge and clear your mind. Treat yourself to something you enjoy!
– Don’t get up too early to cram as you may run out of energy
– Have a healthy breakfast
– Arrive early (approximately 20 minutes, so you are not rushed and stressed)
– Avoid nervous classmates – it’s contagious!
– Briefly glance through summaries/note cards
– Take deep breaths and have positive thoughts
During your exam
– Maximise your time by reading instructions and questions carefully
– Allocate the time for each question in advance, according to the marks given
– Jot down words or ideas for each question to stimulate ideas
– Start with the easy questions, as this increases confidence, jumpstarts your thinking and triggers your memory
– If you get stuck, move on to the next question and come back. Sometimes you will remember one thing while you are concentrating on something else
– It’s OK to take time to pause and refocus. Take some deep breaths
After the exam
– Don’t stew over your answers
– Pat yourself on the back for getting through it, and celebrate!