Drowning in exams? Miss Cumbria reveals her top tips
So a lot of you will be in the exact same position as me round about now… EXAM TIME! Exams are a really stressful thing for the vast majority of people (unless you’re some kind of super-human) whether you’re sitting SATs, GCSEs, A Levels, IB exams, B Techs or exams for your job/apprenticeship!
Hopefully you’ve all been nice and organised with any studying, and that its well under way, but for those who aren’t quite as prepared as they’d like to be, here are some of my top last minute revision/exam/results day tips…
1) KNOW THE SYLLABUS
Make sure before you sit down to revise, that you know what it is exactly that you need to know (cut out an unnecessary bits of information) the space in your memory is far too precious!
2) GET EVERYTHING YOU NEED TOGETHER AT THE START
Any stationary, notebooks, textbooks, notes, past papers, drinks, snacks etc. Get everything you need in one place before you start working to avoid wasting time and making excuses to stop every 10 minutes
3) DON’T PUT IT OFF
“Procrastination” is the technical word for it, but either way don’t do it! The stuff on your desk doesn’t need rearranging, your bedroom has been messy for years so it can survive another few hours, the snooze button isn’t as appealing as it seems and put your phone down! Sit down at a proper desk (don’t try and work in bed) and just get on with it.
4) TAKE BREAKS
Contradicting the previous point slightly, but taking short breaks every couple of hours when revising is good for you and your brain! Revising non stop will eventually just wear you out and while you may be reading or writing, chances are none of it is actually sinking in and will be forgotten about by the next day.
5) MAKE NOTES
Don’t just read your notes, nobody is actually “that kind of learner” you have to write stuff down, it is a real basic principle of how to revise! But at the same time, don’t spend too long making your notes long pretty, they don’t need to be a work of art! By all means colour code (I am a huge fan of colour coding) but not if doing so is going to take 3 hours instead of 30 minutes – yes it can happen…
6) PRACTICE PAST PAPERS
For most people, this has proved to be the most effective way of studying (this is my go to revision method ESPECIALLY for maths), not only does it make you recall your knowledge, but it gets you used to how things might be asked in the real thing.
7) MAKE A “CHEAT SHEET”
Reassure yourself a little the night before the exam by making a cheat sheet with only the few absolute need to know/the things that are worrying you on a single flash card. You can look over it just before you go into the exam hall as a last minute reminder (just don’t forget to put it down before you go in).
8) GET THERE WITH TIME TO SPARE
Wake up early so that you’re not rushing and have plenty of time to eat a well balanced breakfast and drink plenty of water (dehydration is a huge concentration killer), before leaving home make sure you have everything you need and head to the exam hall with plenty of time (don’t forget to go to the toilet on your way).
9) USE THE TIME GIVEN
Read all of the questions carefully before you begin to answer them, too many marks can be lost by a small misread of the question, usually because you’re panicked and rushing. Don’t spend more time than you planned on a question/section because you might run out in later parts and leave any that you are really struggling with until the end (I usually fold over the corner of the page so I can go back to it), and don’t forget to use every minute of the exam to answer questions and to review your answers.
10) STAY POSITIVE
Try and get a positive attitude and keep yourself motivated. Stress can lead to mistakes so relax, take deep breaths and remind yourself: At the end of the day, it is only an exam.
11) RESULTS DAY
Results day can be particulary stressful, so make sure you know how it works and what to expect. Some people will be getting the grades they hoped for; unfortunately others won’t so be sensitive! It’s good to be proud of your achievements (I know I was after my GCSEs) but don’t gloat. Don’t go alone, no matter which way it goes for you, it’s better to have someone to celebrate with or to have a supportive shoulder to cry on. Do not panic even if you didn’t get the grades you were hoping for, you still have options, just take a deep breath and talk to your parents/teacher/career advisor/anyone else that could be helpful.
Lots of Love, Luck and Best Wishes,
Jordan – Your Miss Cumbria x