How to Prepare for an Exam

This simple guide will help you deal with the stress of revision and prepare you for exam day. 

First of all plan your time effectively. Draw up a timetable before you begin your revision and set yourself a routine. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that you have to get through so break the modules down into smaller sections and work through them one at a time. 

Remember to build regular breaks into your timetable as trying to focus on your work for long periods of time is inevitably going to leave you de-motivated and hinder your revision. Try working through the morning, stopping for lunch, and then continuing for a few hours in the afternoon. You’ll find that it’s an effective way to cover a lot of material without wearing yourself out too much. 

Make sure you start your revision early. Don’t leave everything until the last minute and then end up cramming the night before, because ultimately you’ll end up panicked and forget everything you’ve covered. As mentioned before, break it up into smaller chunks and work on them one at a time. Do little and often. You’ll do the same amount of work but be in a much better frame of mind and so be more likely to remember it.

Be kind to yourself. Exams are stressful. Even the most level-headed people end up getting flustered when the pressure is on. Therefore it is important that you take care of your body. Try following these three principles:

1. Sleep – try and get at least 8 hours of sleep a night during the exam period. Work during the day, sleep during the night. Also, have an early night on the evening before the exam.

2. Diet – we all know the virtues of having a healthy, balanced diet but this is even more important during exam time. Oily fish provides Omega-3 fatty acids which is great for the nervous system. If you are not, however, a fan of fish then flaxseed oil provides a good, vegetarian-friendly alternative. Other brain-foods include blueberries, tomatoes and pumpkin seeds.

3. Exercise – getting regular exercise will help you keep your head clear and allow you to release any tension that has been building up in your body.

Finally, remember that everyone is different, what works for one person may not have the same effect on another. Also, on the day of the exam, prepare yourself properly. Wake up in plenty of time, fuel yourself with a good breakfast, check that you have all of the equipment you require and most importantly, get there on time!