The exam season is guaranteed to bring some sort of stress to all students and it is essential that it is approached in the most productive and healthy way possible to promote wellbeing and success. Everyone combats exams and revision differently, from the up all night on ten cups of coffee approach, to the yoga and colour coded study schedule technique. Below are five top tips for revision, if you are a student think which techniques you could implement in your own study methods, as a parent or teacher, consider what you could share with your young academics.
Follow these five tips to keep revision demons under control and achieve your best on the day.
1. The dates of your exams are out so you know where you are going and what the topics are, so write that timetable! Planning your time allows you to factor in all the content you need to learn, regiment your days and use those valuable hours as productively as possible. Be sure to schedule in regular short breaks which help to focus the mind, such as five minutes in every 40.
2. You will need to start at some point so get up and get on it! Keep to the early start and timings of your schedule for maximum productivity. Giving yourself more time in the day will help you polish off the set work and put you in a good place before your mind begins to wander towards the evening. Supporting this early start with an early night is essential, as this will allow you to wake up fresh and ready to learn. Avoid electronic devices in the hour before you go to sleep, avoid caffeine and sugary snacks towards the end of the day and drink plenty of water to help you drift off easily.
3. Find the right environment where you will not get distracted. Be honest, is Starbucks with your mates really a good study space? You need a quiet area, free from interruptions such as a library. Set yourself up at a desk because you are going to be studying hard. The coffee table in front of the TV or propped up in bed is not going to be productive. Put things within reach, including healthy snacks and drinks, as this will reduce the likelihood of you convincing yourself you absolutely have to pause for your millionth cup of tea this hour.
4. If you were building up to a running race instead of an exam, you would go to a local track and practice the route, timings and technique until you got really good. Transfer this approach into exams. Doing lots of practice exam papers familiarises you with the format of tests, the wording of questions and the time limits, so when you sit down in that exam hall, just like a runner on the starting line, everything seems a little less daunting.
5. Being positive and kind to yourself is an immensely important element of exam preparation. Everyone has a wobble at some point, wherein they doubt themselves and their ability. Remind yourself how hard you have worked, how much you know and keep that head up. Working relentlessly can heighten stress and fatigue which makes worries creep up, so reward yourself and balance work and play in a healthy way. If you have been at the books all day go out and see your friends, you have earned it!
Teachers - are your students feeling the pressure? Take a look at our Youth Mental Health First Aid course. We also run we run Mental Health Workshops for Schools and Senior Mental Health Leading Training For Schools.