Exam Preparation Tips for the Modern Student


Be Good to Your Body

Treating your body like a study machine includes fuelling it sufficiently as well. Assuming you can fly through exams on little sleep is about as smart as planning to pass without knowing the topic. An average of eight hours sleep is required for your body and brain to function at exam-warrior level.

Delicious, nutritious brain food will fill up your bod with all the vitamins and minerals needed for optimum performance. Throw in 30 minutes of exercise and the all-important two litres of water each day and you’ll be feeling tip top!

Organise the Ultimate Study Space

Textbooks? Check. Calming environment? Check. iPhone? Che… hang on a minute. The ultimate study space requires ultimate study vibes and zero distractions. That means no phones, no games – just you, your best concentration face and the books.

Play some music in the background if you struggle to study in silence. Though make sure it’s something you can focus to, and keep the volume down. Party time is after exams! Everyone learns differently, so find out what works best for you and stick to it.

Cramming = Bad

Reviewing your subject notes the night before an exam is perfectly fine, as long as the study part has already taken place. There’s a difference between memorising something and actually knowing the topic, and the latter is the only sure-fire way you’ll know the answers to your exam questions!

Be sure to make a note of when your exams are, and leave plenty of time for study leading up to each one. You’ll feel more confident on the day, which is better for your focus than rushing in while simultaneously stressing about how you’ll do.

Find Study Buddies

Whether it’s a classmate sitting the same exam or your little brother, running through your notes out loud can help information sink in. Get them to quiz you, or try explaining your answers to them to ensure you fully understand them yourself.

Either way, utilise the people around you to your advantage during this crazy time.

Avoid Stress at All Costs

For those who become stressed or overwhelmed easily – and even those who don’t – it’s important to surround yourself with positive people and environments in the lead-up to your exams. It’s hard to concentrate while flustered, and if you can’t concentrate, how do you absorb all that information during your study sessions?

So steer clear of negative Nancy up the road or the inner-city buzz if you’re not into crowds. Whatever helps you stay calm – do that.

Be Prepared for Exam Day

Rushing around like a headless chook is not ideal on the morning of your exam. To begin the day with clarity and focus, prepare yourself the night before. Gather everything you will need for your exam from a calculator to your water bottle.

Allow for traffic congestion and other issues that may surface, and try to arrive with plenty of spare time so you can settle in – calm and ready to dominate!

Take a Break

Staying fresh and alert is more helpful than pushing through sore eyes, writer’s cramp and brain fades. A little breather here and there can recharge you enough to finish the exam with a clear train of thought.

If you encounter a question you don’t know the answer to, stay calm and take a few deep breaths. Move on to another question if you need to – there’s no law that says you have to answer them in order – just don’t panic. Panicking has a tendency to muddle your thinking, which is the last thing you need in an exam.

Don’t Dwell

When ‘pens down’ rolls around, remind yourself that you did your best in the situation at hand. There’s no point worrying about how you went, since that’s about as productive as eating soup with a fork. You’ll find out in due course. In the mean time, go and do something fun to reward yourself. You deserve it!