Smooth exam preparation: 6 tips

This is a Guest Post: Tips for better exam preparation with no anxiety

It’s no secret that exam sittings are the most stressful time of the year. Exams are for evaluating your theoretical knowledge and practical skills, but more often than not it tends to be extremely emotionally and mentally taxing. No one wants to get a nervous breakdown during your coursework writing presentation. So how can you make this process more smooth and relaxed?

1. Start your preparation well before your exam sittings start.


Everyone understands that the best solution is to be a very diligent student all academic year around, but we won’t talk about unrealistic expectations here. If you want to keep your nerves safe, start your preparation at least three weeks before your exams start.


2. Correct approach to preparation methods


Sometimes you spend all day preparing, reading and taking notes and trying to memorize things… only to realize later that you don’t really remember anything. You feel like you do need to get some rest, but you are running out of time. The issue here is your approach to exam preparation. If you only focus on one piece of learning material, reading it over again and again, your tired mind will find it really hard to memorize something else.
What can help you is the correct time management method. Divide your learning material into separate blocks and work on each of them for 25 minutes. As soon as your timer goes off, take a short break (about 3-5 minutes), distract yourself with something and then get to work on the next block. Take a longer break after every four blocks (15-30 minutes). Frequent breaks will help your mind work more actively.
It might also help if you work on each block in a new place. For example, read an article at your desk, then make yourself some tea during a break and write down some notes after that (it would never hurt to improve writing skills, right?), then read a book sitting in a chair… and so on and do forth.

3. Speaking of notes


You can do crib notes of course, but not to cheat at your exam, but as a way to secure yourself. Don’t download anything of that kind online – just write them yourself like they did in good old times. The thing is while you are writing a crib note, you help yourself memorizing the information it contains, even if it’s several pages from your text book. This is a good writing advice; remember that you shouldn’t go using crib notes at your exam or you can get in trouble.

4. Bad luck
You know how it often happens: if there’s something you failed to learn for your exam, that’s exactly what they’ll ask you about. The best solution would be this: if you can’t (don’t have time) for learning everything, at least try to skim it.

5. The day before your exam is the day for relaxation


Have you been learning diligently many days in a row, reading, making sure you have all it takes for better writing, for example for argumentative essay writing, checking your knowledge on this and that? Then you’ve deserved a relaxing day. Go outside, meet some friends, do some expressive writing in your blog – just do something you like. Whatever happens on the last day before your exam, it’s better to give yourself a day off. Let your brain process all that information you’ve put into it.

6. Get into the right mood


If you’ve finished preparing and can’t think of anything you could miss, talk to fellow students and discuss your upcoming exam. They might have some interesting ideas you could use.
Your mood when sitting an exam is very important. Be confident; smile when you talk and never fall silent: whatever they ask you, you must always be ready to give some answer.

The most important thing is to convince yourself that you will cope with this perfectly. Can it even be any different? Best of luck!

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