How to deal with exams...

Hi guys,

Bit of a different post from us today but with exam season coming up (I know I certainly have a lot!) I though that I would share with you some tips which I love and use.

Give yourself plenty of time
Whilst doing my GCSE's revision was not really an important thing to me and luckily I could naturally learn pretty much everything during the lessons and then just mop up the little bits I didn't understand. However, when I then went on to study for my A-levels I carried this mind set on, even though most of the time I didn't understand what we were doing. This left me two days before the exam constantly revising and hating myself for it.

To combat this I decided to start early and I found this definitely helps. If you know that you have an exam in about a months time then start revising for it and do an hour or a topic a day. This allows you so much more time to process what you are learning and go back to it if you still don't understand. Doing this really helped me, not only with learning my stuff, but also for time management and working my exams around other assignments.

Use colour and don't write too much
When making notes I find that using coloured pens make it so much easier to read over my notes afterwards. The reason for this is that I can write the most important things in colour and they are much easier to pick out when reading through them, allowing me to quickly find the important bits.

Also don't write too much. I know this may seem odd but when faced with a huge paragraph we tend to skim read it and not take any information in. For my exams I buy cue cards or flash cards so that I can write a few sentences about each thing and this makes it so much easier for me to remember.

Watch videos on YouTube
Now when I say this I don't mean a make-up tutorial or something, I mean lectures or educational videos. Taking notes in class is all well and good but sometimes when you look back over them they may not make sense or you may not remember what the teacher was talking about at that time. I have found that by watching YouTube videos on certain topics or theories I learn so much more and make sense of what it is I am trying to learn. This may not work for everyone, but next time you are reaching for your textbook to look something up try YouTube first to see what you think, sometimes it can help so much more than a book.

Set small targets and reward yourself
I have spoken about this point before in my procrastination post (which I will link here) but I find this a great thing to do when trying to revise. Setting small targets makes them more achievable and will make you feel great when you meet them. Also rewarding yourself will give you chance to have a small break without feeling guilty about having one. My favourite thing to do was reward myself with an episode of a series I was watching at the time. So I would set a target to learn a certain topic, or write 300 words of my essay, or to even read a couple of chapters of my textbook and then I could watch an episode. Having breaks gives you a chance to digest what you have learnt and to also give your brain a small break as the human brain's attention span only lasts approx. 20 minutes.

Drink lots of water
We all know that water is good for us but it is scientifically proven that drinking water during exams will increase our grade by 5%, so it is a perfect excuse to get more water in to our bodies. Water is also said to relieve anxiety which is a big factor we have to deal with when taking exams. I always found it really useful to have a water bottle in exams as it helped to keep me concentrated and it also allowed me time to take a tiny break whilst having a drink which again helped to give my brain a quick break and then regain full concentration.

Have "wind down" time
The night before a exam I know that it seems really important to try and fit in as much revision as you possibly can, however most of the time you end up doubting yourself as you come across things you don't know, and then once in bed you lie there for ages going over stuff. To combat this I set a time to finish revising and I have a relaxing night. I normally go over my notes for an hour and then pack all my stuff away in to my bag so that it is prepared for the next day, have a relaxing bath, get in to my pj's and watch a film. For some people this isn't possible as they may feel like they are wasting precious revision time, but I find that it helps me wind down so that I can have the best nights sleep possible.

I hope that this helps any of you with your upcoming exams and do let me know how you deal with exams.

Thanks for reading,



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