The time immediately before an exam is usually a tense and nerve-raking period. After months of build up, revision, endless studying and mock papers, the time has finally come to walk into the exam room. The last few days before the exam are especially stressful – meaning it’s easy for revision and studying to go off track.
To help you stay calm, avoid cramming and walk into the examination room with confidence, try our healthy approach to last minute studying with these useful tips:
- First of all don’t cram
This one is not so much of a do as a do not – don’t fall into the trap of frantically cramming for your exam the night or a couple of nights before. You won’t retain the information and all that will happen is you’ll make yourself tired and stressed for the exam itself.
- Stick to your usual methods
Hopefully, you’ll have been revising for a while before the eve of the exam looms. It’s important to stick to the same methods and timetable you have become used to in the last few days before your exam to ensure you stay calm and really make the most of the remaining time before the exam itself. The methods and study habits that have served you well this far are equally important immediately ahead of the exam so stay true to your routine and what has worked for you thus far.
- Go over your summaries
Rather than trying to re-digest months of revision notes and full text books, use this period before your exam to review your bulleted summaries and mind maps. The summaries will allow you to consolidate the things that you already know, refresh your mind on key facts and help you to feel more confident in all that you have already learnt. Trying to re-read an entire text book won’t.
- Enlist a little help
If you have study cards set up, enlist a parent or sibling to help you by asking you a few questions from your existing cards. Simply pick a few at random and sit quietly without distractions. If necessary, make a few notes of any key facts or dates that you need to refresh your memory on.
- Get an early night
A good night’s sleep is really essential to performing well in your exam and doing justice to all of the revision and hard work you’ve put in to get this far. Set a strict deadline for closing out your revision session the night before, leaving enough time for a nutritious meal, an hour or so of downtime, some light exercise and a warm bath or shower before bed. Allow yourself at least eight to ten hours of sleep and get an early start (though not too early!) on the day of the exam so you have ample time for breakfast and getting to school without rushing and feeling stressed.