If you are in grade 12 your school career is more or less something of the past. Very soon you will start with the mock exams and after a short break the final exams will commence which is your passport to a new beginning. Something you have been looking forward to for the past 12 years. So it is very important that you don’t trip over the last hurdle. In this post I am giving you 10 tips on how to prepare yourself mentally and physically for these all important exams.
- Give yourself enough time to study
Don’t leave it until the last minute. While some students do seem to thrive on last-minute ‘cramming’, it’s widely accepted that for most of us, this is not the best way to approach an exam. Set out a timetable for your study. Write down how many exams you have and the days on which you have to sit them. Then organize your study accordingly.
- Organize your study space
Make sure you have enough space to spread your textbooks and notes out. Have you got enough light? Is your chair comfortable? Are your computer games out of sight? It is important to get rid of all distractions, and make sure you are comfortable to stay focus.
- Use flow charts and diagrams
Visual aids can be really helpful when revising. At the start of a topic, challenge yourself to write down everything you already know about a topic – and then highlight where the gaps lie. Closer to the exam, condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams. Getting your ideas down in this brief format can then help you to quickly recall everything you need to know during the exam.
- Practice on old exams
One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice on previous exam papers. This will help you to get use to the format of the questions and making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section.
- Explain your answers to others
Parents and little brothers and sisters don’t have to be annoying around exam time! Use them to your advantage. Explain an answer to a question to them. That will help you to get it clear in your head, and also to highlight any areas where you need more work.
- Organize study groups with friends
Get together with friends for a study session. You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. As long as you make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.
- Take regular breaks
While you may think it’s best to study for as many hours as possible, this can actually be counterproductive. Studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, taking regular breaks really helps. Everyone’s different, so develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, start early before taking a break at lunchtime. Or if you’re more productive at night-time, take a larger break earlier on so you’re ready to settle down come evening.
- Snack on ‘brain food’
Keep away from junk food! You may feel like you deserve a treat, or that you don’t have time to cook, but what you eat can really have an impact on energy levels and focus. Keep your body and brain well-fueled by choosing nutritious foods that have been proven to aid concentration and memory, such as fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries. The same applies on exam day – eat a good meal before the test, based on foods that will provide a slow release of energy throughout.
- Plan your exam day
Check all the rules and requirements. Make sure you get everything ready well in advance of the exam – don’t leave it to the day before. If you make use of public transport, make sure that you leave enough time for any eventuality.
- Drink plenty of water
As a final tip, remember that being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. Make sure you keep drinking plenty of water throughout your revision, and also on the exam day.