Here’s some advice on last minute exam preparations as the clock ticks down …
You know you should have got started with your revision some time ago but with 24 hours to go, unless you invent a time machine, you need to make the most of the time you have left. Even if you have been studiously putting in the time revising, these last 24 hours can still make a difference.
Procrastination time is over – so stop wasting time and get down to work as soon as possible. Wake up, grab some breakfast, and get started as soon as possible. The sooner you get your revision under-way the better your chances of getting it all done and maybe even being able to relax later on in the day. Getting started early, while you are still fresh is always a good idea – but especially when time is against you!
Get rid of distractions
Before you actually hit the books, make sure to cut out any potential distractions. Turn off your phone, avoid social media and tell your parents, siblings, and friends to leave you alone to get on with your work. There is nothing worse when you are just getting down to revision than having someone interrupt your train of thought and waste your time.
Reading isn’t enough
Just sitting and reading through your text books is not the best way to revise. Instead you will want to try and actively engage with the material you are studying. Try past papers (if you have any), write and re-write notes, create some flash cards containing some quick reminders that you can take with you on the day of the exam. You might also want to do some work with friends, watch relevant TV programmes, listen to a pod cast, or use other techniques to help you take the information in. Using different study styles (reading, writing, listening, etc) will help to better cement the information in your brain.
Take a break
Don’t try to do too much in one sitting. Even with time at a premium, your brain can only take in so much information at a time before you become tired and learning less effective. Take short breaks of five or ten minutes every hour or so – just getting up and stretching your legs while you grab a drink or a snack can be enough to let you reset your brain and stop you wasting time by studying when nothing is really going in!
With your exams looming it is all too easy to get despondent. However stress is not going to help you get through the exam, so instead take some deep breaths, stay calm and remain focused. While your exams may seem important right now – what’s the worst that can happen anyway? Resits? While not ideal, they are far from the end of the world – keep things in perspective and stay positive.
The night before the exam make sure you have everything you will need for the next day – including spare pens and any other equipment (calculator, for example?). You don’t want to be stressing yourself out on the day of the exam trying to find the things you need to take with you. Finally, make sure you get a good night’s sleep – playing off extra revision against sleep is rarely worth it – you are better off making sure you are well rested before the exam.