Think of the Bigger Picture
Remember that whatever the outcome of an exam is, you always have the opportunity to keep moving forward. Exams are not the be all and end all of whether you’ll go on to be successful. In fact many have failed their exams and have gone onto be wildly successful. Do not panic or allow anxiety to set in. If you do, it can make it difficult to prepare for any exam. Remember your goal and target as you prepare for your exams. Your goals, your dreams, your life, are a bigger picture than the exam itself.
Start preparing early
Don't put off preparation until the last possible moment. While some students appear to thrive on cramming at the last minute, it is widely acknowledged that this is not the ideal strategy to prepare for an exam. Early preparation will allow you to concentrate and organise your thoughts. In the early stages of your preparation, make sure you:
Create a revision timetable
Make a schedule for your studies to assist you to manage your time. Make a list of how many exams you have and when you have to take them. Then plan your research accordingly. You may wish to devote more study time to some exams than others, but try to strike a comfortable balance.
Get into good habits
One of the reasons for starting early preparation for exams is to avoid and curb bad study habits like procrastination, cramming, etc.
Create a study friendly space
Make sure the space you want to study in is comfortable for you. If music helps you study better, background music might be a great idea. To concentrate, some people may need everything and everywhere to be perfectly clean and organised, while others thrive in a less organised atmosphere. Do what would make your space friendly and comfortable for you. Set your chair right, arrange your books the way you want, dim or raise the light, just don’t feel uncomfortable in your study space.
Creativity is essential in exam preparation. Think of what works for you or what can make studying easy for you. Here are a few suggestions:
Use flow charts, diagrams, and colours to stimulate your brain
Flow charts, diagrams, and colour charts stimulate your brain and help you in recollecting what you have read. Challenge yourself to write down what you already know about a topic at the start of the topic, and then emphasise where the major points are by highlighting them in different colours or make your notes into one-page diagrams as the exam approaches. Rather than paragraphs, use a flow chart to trace the ideas as you prepare for your exams. Visual help is important for exam preparation.
Organise study groups with friends
Reading and studying with your friends makes revision more lively and interesting. You may be able to explain certain things better, and vice versa – it’s a win-win for everybody. Organising study groups with your friends might be one of the most effective ways to push yourself in preparing for an exam. Just make sure you and your friends stay focused and pay attention to studying.
Watching tutorial videos can be a great creative aid for any exams. Sometimes we find videos easier to understand and it can be easy to recall a picture from a video during an exam.
Health is not overrated. An unhealthy person would find it difficult to prepare for any exam. Watch and monitor your health when preparing for exams, in your bid to be super prepared don’t put your health at risk. Aside from regular exercise, you can also:
Take regular breaks
Studies have indicated that taking regular breaks is beneficial to long-term memory retention. Because everyone is different, choose a study schedule that suits you. Depending on your schedule, take long or short breaks in between studies. This would help your brain and body to relax and function better. Rome was not built in a day, you cannot cover everything in a day. Pause your study and relax or unwind in your scheduled break time.
Eat healthy and nutritious food at all times, especially when preparing for an exam. What you eat tells a lot about your health. As much as possible, avoid junk food, don’t take too much sugar, not even the sugar-rush it induces is worth it. Eat well, and eat healthily.
When preparing for an exam, sleep and rest well. Take at least seven hours of sleep the night before the exam you are preparing for. If you are sleep-deprived, you cannot be mentally well-prepared for any exam. Exams are meant to assess your capacity to think critically, and if you don't get enough sleep, you might not be able to do this.
Get some fresh air
Take a walk, get some fresh air. Do not stay cooped in your room all day studying. Fresh air does wonders for your brain and your health. And remember, a little extra vitamin D never hurts anybody. Try not to feel bad about spending your time outside on a fresh air break instead of huddled and bent over your textbooks.
Not all kinds of food would help your brain, especially when you are preparing for an exam. Choose nutritious meals that have been shown to improve your ability to pay attention and memory. Some examples of brain foods are fish, almonds, seeds, yogurt and blueberries.
Finally, remember that drinking water is important to your health. Water helps both your body and your brain to function properly. Make sure you drink plenty of water when preparing for an exam.
There are different ways you can prepare for your exam, but make sure you start your preparations early, stay healthy as much as you can, and be smart and creative in your preparations.