This time of year, is possibly the most stressful part of your education! That could possibly be because you have exams around the corner. Feeling anxious, nervous and worried is very common and everyone has been at this stage once upon a time.
When I was completing my GCSE’s I always had an issue with being organised. So, I decided to make a timetable which helped me plan my revision time. It can be a struggle to stay focused because you can be easily distracted. A revision timetable is a great way to help you plan wisely and focus your efforts in order for you to revise efficiently and achieve your highest possible grades.
Think of this as your first stepping stone to success.
My top tip is to find past exam papers and practise doing a mock exam. Do it under strict exam conditions (so no TV, phones or a cheeky google) to get used to the time constraints and the intensity of focussing on the exam without distractions or being able to ask for help. This will help you develop and improve your exam skills because you will have an understanding of how the exam questions are written.
Once you have completed the mock exam download the mark sheet and see how you did (no cheating). It will also help you identify areas where your knowledge of the subject is weaker, giving you a goal for further revision.
Whether it’s asking your parents, teachers or another member of your family, asking those ‘silly’ or ‘simple’ questions could be the difference between earning an A or a C in your exam. If you’re stuck and need some more help, stay behind at school so you can go to a revision session. Remember no question is a silly question!
Feeling stressed is a common issue when the exam period is lurking. If you get stuck or you are finding the pressure too intense take a break: get a drink, look through social media, go for a walk, play some sport or have a game on FIFA, anything that helps you relax. Taking regular breaks helps your brain have time to rest, giving you the ability to concentrate better on those facts and figures.
Cramming 10 hours straight of revision won’t help you achieve the best grades, so make sure you know when to revise, use your revision guide to help you plan breaks.
Your break should include a little snack to kerb your hunger and give you a boost. Revising can be a very demanding time although so can your tummy if you haven’t eaten! Don’t go to the shop and fill yourself up with unhealthy snacks that are high in sugar; have some fruit, nuts or a glass of water to help fuel your concentration levels.
Sleeping is the key to success. An average student needs around 7.5 – 9 hours a day to be fully functional. During the exam period, you need to try and get into a routine, set an alarm and stick to it. Just think once you’ve finished your final exams you can lounge around and sleep at midnight. That’s your ‘chill time’!
Having the right equipment for both revision and the exam is important, being prepared will help you to feel calmer! So, make sure you have at least 2 pens and 2 pencils; that are sharpened. Remember you will need those all-important accessories too: a rubber, ruler, scientific calculator and for some extra brain power, a bottle of water.
The idea of bounce is to bounce questions and exam related information of your friends that you may see in the upcoming exam paper. Walking to the exam hall can be an emotional rollercoaster and you may feel nervous. Everyone handles stress in different ways, but if you go in calm and collected you will be able to focus on the task at hand.
While walking to the exam hall, why not fill the time by questioning each other on topics that may come up in the exam. If you or your friend answer incorrectly explain to each other where you went wrong. You could earn a couple of extra marks in the long run.
When I did my mock exams, I used to rush through it thinking it was a race to then realise I have over a 1 hour left of the exam. Sitting there being bored in nothing to be proud of and it could also lead to getting the answers wrong, simply because you rushed. You may want to get the exam over and done with quickly, so you no longer have to think about it, but rushing isn’t the answer; thinking about your answers is far more important than being the first to finish.
If you get stuck on a particular question, take a deep breath and move on to the next, revisit the questions you had difficulty with at the end, that way you won’t use up your exam time on one or two questions, ensuring you have time to complete. Make sure you always double check your answers during the exam and at the end and make sure you use your time wisely.
No matter what happens in your exams there are plenty of paths whether you get A’s or if you get a lower grade than expected, there will always be an option for you, from apprenticeships through to college or university.
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