You may be approaching exam season. Whether that’s your GCSE’s, A-Levels, university or something entirely different altogether. Maybe you’re taking a job-related exam or even your driving theory test. Regardless of what you’re studying for, exams can raise stress levels but we’re here to provide some tips on revision, managing your workload and looking after yourself.
With the increase in digital media, YouTube is becoming an educational platform for all. 1 in 5 teenagers are using ‘study tubers’ to help them revise for their GCSE’s. These videos are providing tips and revision material for a wealth of teenagers. Some of these may be directed at young people, but with a quick search you’re bound to find something relevant to your own studies!
Exams can bring out the worst in you, especially if you don’t deal with pressure and stress very well. You may feel like your friends, family or tutors have high expectations which can further the panic, stress and pressure.
Our top tips
- Identify what works best for you. Each individual is different – you most likely will have a different learning style to your friends. There are 7 different ways of learning! Discovering how you learn best will increase your likelihood of succeeding. Know your ideal working environment, for example some students can work in coffee shops with background noise whereas others may need to work alone and in silence. Whatever works for you, do it!
- Don’t cram. You’ve heard stories of students cramming their course content the night before. For a few, this may be an effective way of remembering content, but most likely not. It will affect your sleep quality and that’s the last thing you need the night before an exam. Sleep is important! Cramming doesn’t help you retain information and rereading your notes isn’t enough. When you’re stressed it’s harder to remember information, so cramming may actually be useless to you.
- On the other side of cramming, spread your studying out over a period of time. You can prepare by knowing when your exams are and setting yourself a study schedule in the run up to the date. This might be a few weeks before the exam or over a longer period of time. This method of study works against procrastination because you work in small, manageable chunks. Rather than working for a dreaded 4 hours in one day, work in small increments of 30 minutes daily.
- Keep healthy. This may sound simple and cliché to you, but we all know how easy it is to reach for biscuits (or other unhealthy snacks) whilst you work – it’s comfort food. But if you want to maximise your studying potential and brain power, healthy snacks are the way forward. Some brain foods include eggs, peanut butter and fresh fruit. Houmous and carrot sticks is one of my favourites!
- Take breaks. This is so important for your physical and mental well-being. Go for a walk, stretch your body, grab a snack or read a chapter of your book. Do something that takes you out of the studying mindset for 10-20 minutes. Doing this will help re-energise your brain, meaning you’ll go back to studying with a clear mind!
Studying for exams may seem scary, but eventually it’ll be over and you can start planning for the next stage of your life. And try not to think about your results. There’s nothing you can do in the meantime, it’s out of your control so try focus your attention on other projects and events.
Remember, if you need help, ask for it!