Top 7 Tips for Exam Preparation

Exams are looming. After all the stress, ups and downs and changes to school term schedules, online learning and uncertainty, exams are still upon us! Do not let yourself fall into the trap of anxiety or fear during this time. Read our top tips for getting yourself prepped and geared up to turn that exam stress into exam success!


1.Get a Head Start

The minute you receive that exam schedule, get to work. Plan to prepare. Get out that calendar or whip up your own schedule with dates and note down and plan what you will be studying when.

Divide your subjects into weeks and days and mark down which chapters and topics you need to focus on. This is the first step to feeling organised and in control, which is a great alleviator when feeling the pressure that comes with exam time.

If you can start early and get into a routine of studying and revising, this will save you a ton of late nights and last minute cram sessions closer to the actual exams. Studying early may not be the most fun, but the results will speak for themselves.


2. Get Enough Sleep

The number one factor for exam success, apart from physically studying, is catching those Z’s. It is a proven fact that sleep deprivation causes a loss in brain functioning, concentration and emotional well-being. All of which are key factors when it comes to staying focused and having a positive mindset with your studies.

Each late night and every hour of missed sleep ads up big time. “Sleep debt” is a real thing and you need to avoid it, especially now. We completely understand the allure of late night Netflix, but making sure you get adequate rest and are able to get up early the next day and fully function is vital when it comes to your studies.

Avoid the all-nighter cram sessions, the late night caffeine and snacking to stay awake as you try your utmost to remember what you read about a few days ago. The aftermath of all this only leads to a drop in memory, lack of focus and missing out on results you could have attained.


3. Find yourself a Study Buddy

Many hands make light work, right? Right! When it comes to exams you need all hands on deck. Enlist the help of a private tutor to help you achieve those straight A’s.

A private tutor is a proven way to get the extra assistance and confidence boost you need in order to do your very best. Tutors are not only able to recap your work with you, quiz you and coach you on how to correctly answer your questions, but they will also teach you handy little tricks and tips to ensure you get all those allocated marks on that exam paper.

Contact a tutoring company that knows their stuff, such as Turtlejar Tutors, and receive that extra bit of help from an experienced, professional tutor who knows that they are doing and how to help you do your best.


4. Get Those Buns Moving & Stay on Track

It is pretty inevitable that you will reach for the sugar when you are under pressure and studying late into the night. However, this does absolutely nothing for either your body or your brain. Quite the opposite. All those extra empty calories at night sit around your belly and leave your brain sluggish. Stop it. Now.

Rather than grab the goodies, get your butt moving and go for a walk or take a study break and shoot out for a run or a cycle. The best time to get your heart rate up is in the mornings, so pull out those running shoes and hit the pavement or take the dog for a brisk walk. You will be left feeling refreshed and ready to rock and roll with those textbooks and notes. The fresh air will do wonders for your cognitive functioning as well and raise your happy hormone levels too; all gearing you up towards a productive and successful day.


5. Change up Your Study Space:

Having the right environment to study in is as important as studying itself. In order to take in your work and retain information, you need a quiet serene space where you will not be distracted or disturbed by others. However, sitting in the same space day after day is also not the most stimulating.

Switch up your study space and work environment by going to a friend’s place to quiz each other or simply go and find a quiet spot in your local library. You can also create an entirely new space for yourself in your home, so that you can keep those juices flowing. Make sure that you change up your work space every few days and you will avoid feeling stifled and uninspired. Please ensure as well that those around you, such as family members, know that when you are working you are not to be disrupted. Another important tip is to take a study break at least once every 90minutes so that you can take a breather and get some air.


6. Munch down on Superfoods:

Ever heard of the term “feed your brain”? This is so true. Choosing healthy snacks over sugar laden, carb filled bad foods, is the right way to go. Don’t grab those choccies and cookies, reach for the fresh fruits and nuts and brain foods when you are in study mode and feed your brain.

Some great alternatives and better choices are foods such as nuts, bananas, blueberries, avocado, fish, oranges, strawberries, oats, eggs, dark chocolate and fresh snacks such as carrot sticks and hummus or cucumber and tuna.

Resist the temptation to chow down on unhealthy, greasy foods during the exam period, however comforting they may be. Choosing healthier options will not only leave you feeling fuller for a longer period of time, but will also keep your sugar levels stable, whereas all that caffeine and sugary snacks only cause spikes and drops in energy levels.

When it comes to caffeine, try to avoid drinking it too late in the day as you will not have a decent night’s rest, and rest is key when it comes to functioning for your exams.


7. Approach Each Subject Differently

Each subject that you have to write has its’ own set of requirements and way in which you should approach the exam paper. The manner in which you study and break down each subject will go a long way when it comes to exam day. For example, your English literature paper will be tackled in a completely different manner compared to your Life Science paper. Ensure that you apply this to your physical studying too.

Practice answering essay questions in the correct format and maths or sciences you can tackle with diagrams, picture and mind maps to get that info memorized. When you prepare each subject in the same way that you will answer it on exam day, you will feel mentally and emotionally ready to ace things all the way.

Start to incorporate these tips into your daily routine from the start of the new term and you will be guaranteed to achieve your best!