The Exam Scare: How to prepare and do well

With final exams looming over us, it is often easy to become overly stressed and anxious and not do well. Here are some techniques that can help you prepare properly and do well in your exams:


  1. Study SMART:

The most important, and the often ignored, aspect of exam preparation is the importance of planning it out. Effective study is insured by delegating chunks of your time to certain subject areas every day, so that you have the chance to study them thoroughly, rather than cramming up the night before the exam, and jumbling up all the concepts in your head. Organise yourself; pull out the planners and folders, de-clutter your study space, and get going!

  1. The 50-10 method:

Intense study sessions are a very common part of exam preparation, whether at library or at the comfort of your home. However, it is very common to sit in one place for hours, and slowly loose focus while staring blankly at your textbook. A lack of inactivity and movement often leads to this lethargy (not to mention the various health problems associated with sitting in one place for extended periods of time). Therefore, make sure to always take a 10-minute break after every 50 minutes to refresh your mind (and keep the blood flowing in your legs).

  1. Find out what method of learning works best FOR YOU:

Some people learn by writing down notes, while some learn through the aid of visuals and graphics. The most important step in preparation for exams is to identify what type of learner you are, or what type of learning style works best for you, in order to increase your productivity and ability to absorb and assimilate information.

  1. Be Healthy:

The urge to give into unhealthy snacking during this stressful time is quite strong, but one must take care to maintain a healthy and balanced diet and drink lots of water, in order to get in all the nutrients our body requires. Moreover, do try to get in at least 30 minutes of gym or any other form of physical activity, as it will greatly refresh your brain and help you study properly.

  1. Try to arrange group study sessions:

Everyone has a different intellectual capacity, and group study can help you benefit from the knowledge ad capability of your peers. It can help you identify where you’re going wrong, inform you of important study recourses, and help you discuss and brainstorm on any questions you find difficulty in.

The Exam Day-

  1. Get proper sleep:

It is very common for students to pull all-nighters to study for an exam the next day, and if you are doing this, here’s the bad news: it’s not helping you in anyway, rather it makes you more lethargic and unable to do well in your exam. Therefore, try to get in at least 6-8 hours of sleep the night before your exam, so that your brain is able to function properly the next day.

  1. Close your books before the exam:

Another very common habit for students is to sit outside the exam halls till the last minute, revising from their books and revision cards. This only makes you more anxious, and completely messes up your thought process, so that all the chunks of information are still jumbled up when you start writing your exam. So, close your books at least 50-30 minutes before your exam is set to start and relax! You know what you know!

  1. Have breakfast!

Try to get in a light but healthy breakfast (even if you’re like me and eating early in the morning makes you nauseous); it is the most important meal of the day after all. This will help you start your day right and will leave you in a position to undertake your exam attentively and properly.

  1. Have a chat:

Try talking to your friends and Relax! Being overly anxious is NOT going to help you…


Good luck!

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