Countdown to Your Exams!

Exams last over a period of two or three weeks in most cases. They normally come after a term or year of study, it is your chance to show how you have benefited from your course and what you can do in a few hours. Exams don’t just assess you. They assess the quality of your course. Everyone wants you to do well. If you have attended class well and done your assignments properly, had feedback and asked your teacher/tutor how you can do better, then exams can come in as just another part of the course, nothing exceptional. Exams are are certainly not the end of the world.

Exams can’t eat you. Neither can they drink you. In fact, they can’t do anything to you at all if you don’t let them. Exams only test one kind of intelligence – intellectual intelligence – on a particular day for a certain amount of time.

Exams serve as practice for working under the time and pressure constraints of the real world in order to meet deadlines. Preparing for exams as well as the exams themselves gives you practice in planning, prioritizing and creating goals in order of importance. You can challenge yourself to successfully maneuver within the time and space exams and exam preparation occupies so that these become a support rather than a constraint..

4 - Tips for Last minute preparations

1. Sleeping.

Getting seven to eight hours sleep each night, ideally beginning at least one hour before midnight, sets you up well, mentally and physically, to cope consistently with the demands of the exam period. It’s important to maintain a sleeping routine , as this makes you feel calmer and more secure. Without proper sleep, you won’t function at your best.

2. Eating.

A balanced diet is more important than ever to maintain your energy levels and immune system. It is very important not to skip breakfast, especially when you have long morning exams. Boiled eggs for breakfast are quick and easy, or porridge will also give more energy and nutritional value than ordinary cereal or bread. Don’t forget your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Bananas are good to take into exams for a burst of energy along with some  water so you don’t get dehydrated – the main cause of headaches and tension.

3. Socializing and Exercise.

You can combine socializing – meeting with friends – with other activities like sports, going to the gym, cycling or walking, sharing a meal, watching a film, especially on Friday nights or at the week-ends, when you have more time to relax to keep your brain power active.

4. Revising.

If you can arrange to do your final revision for each exam several days or a week before you have to sit it, you will find any last minute revision is much more focused.

Wherever possible, build in some reflection time to help you pace yourself and allow your mind to mull over the issues. You will find some remarkable ideas will pop up to the surface of your conscious mind as a result. There’s plenty of extra capacity in your brain, so use it. Most of us only use about ten per cent of our brains. Reflection allows the brain to add on and extend the topic of the reflection by tapping into other related areas which your conscious mind may not have thought of.

Planning last minute revision needs to take into account what gaps you have available after you’ve sorted out sleeping, eating and socializing. You may need to do your main last minute revision for a certain exam one week before you have to sit it, with just an hour or so free the day before or on the day of the exam itself.