Exam Survival Guide
Exam season, dreaded by pretty much everyone, even the nerds… Pressure, stress, and the realization that you really should have attended your lectures. But fear not guys, I have some handy tips of the trade to get you through the next few weeks, and, hopefully come out with a result at the end of it
Revision – tools needed: flashcards, pens, lots of pens – assorted colours, highlighters, notepad, laptop. When starting off, I tend to highlight printed lecture notes or copy them from a laptop screen to a refill pad, make sure to actually read what you’re writing and not just do a rushed scribble. Make it aesthetically appealing to look at, personally, I hate/cant read pages full of blue or black biro, it just looks wrong. So funk it up, I like glittery gel pens, but they may not be to everyone’s liking The final day of study, try not to cover any new material, but to look back at what you have written, and make flash cards to jog your memory, they’re easy to glance at just before an exam too
Sleep – so there’s that recommendation of 8 hours sleep, from scientists, they kinda know what they’re talking about.. You really should try and get anough sleep so your body and brain have the physical and mental strength to continue on all throughout exams. The only time I haven’t gotten my 8 hours, or near enough to it during exams, was for a management accounting exam last year, I got 5 hours before that, and I crashed and burned afterwards. Don’t do it to yourself. Also, when studying, everyone finds their own rythym, some study better late into the night, others study better early in the morning, so work this out, and you can form a good sleeping pattern. Tip – studies show that the peak time for working with numbers is in the morning.
Food – during exams, this is one of THE most important elements in life. You need to eat properly and look after yourself by getting essential nutrients. A high carb, high protein diet is advised for energy and strength. Oily fish provides Omega 3 – a ‘brain food’, so eat it! Chicken, pasta, green veg, peas/beans/lentils should all be included as regular food options. Every morning I have a fruit smoothie with tofu added to it for protein (Tofu is Soya bean curd – literally pure protein), if your not gone on this idea, try some protein powder instead. I’d also advises taking Vitamin C supplements to prevent getting run down.
Boosts – As a crazy healthy eater, this is my one fault, Lucozade… But, I’d only ever advise it when you really need a quick boost. You should be able to funstion with the correct amount of sleep and a balanced diet without energy drinks, but realistically, around exams, we all drink them. Berocca is a dissolveable tablet, orange flavoured, containing various vitamins as well as being a performance/energy boost. Lucozade is my energy mineral of choice, currently half price at Tesco, FYI…
Clothes – could possibly go against previous fashion blogs, but my recommendation here is to always wear cotton clothes anytime your sitting an exam. This fabric allows your skin to breathe/better air circulation helps remove and absorb body moisture(ie, when you don’t know an answer and your sweating under time pressure, cotton helps), its also a hypoallergenic/non-irritant, so for anyone whos skin gets a bit stressed, go for cotton. Wear something comfortable like a loose tracksuit.
Chewing gum – just a fun fact for you all, chewing gum is said to improve concentration during exams, so take some in with you. Remember, don’t chew loudly, it will really bug your neighbor!
Exercise – this should always be built into your lifestyle, so definitely don’t stop during exams! After a workout,you actually feel more energised, so its a great time to study. If you feel yourself getting tired/bored, go out for a walk, go for a swim, dance, whatever your into, just do it. It will waken you up (brain & body), and, its part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Keep fit!
Until next time,
Best of luck to everyone sitting any type of exams!