Exam Prep

Exam Prep

Screen Time

 I pondered about this for a while and I thought this was the most important topic to put first. We all use devices to stream content, to keep in touch with family and friends and of course to learn.

But too much screen time or screen time at the wrong time of day is counterproductive.  Personally I limit my online time after 7pm, I set a dark filter on all of my devices after 6pm and my phone is out of reach in the kitchen from 8pm until I get up the following day.  Sleep is one of the most important elements of “doing well in the exams” and staring at a bright white screen is not helpful in getting a good night’s sleep. 

After 7pm turn your screen off, read a book, go for a walk and listen to a podcast or just relax. 


Ten Tips for Exams

  1. Answer the correct number of questions
  • Read all instructions carefully
  • Answering a question even roughly will give you more marks than not answering it at all and more marks than perfecting the previous answer.
  1. Answer the question asked
  • Not the question you think you were asked
  • Not the question you wish you had been asked
  • Pay attention to the question rather than writing everything you know about…..
  1. Take your time
  • Give yourself planning time
  • You don’t have to spend the whole time writing.  You can spend time thinking
  • Good exam answers are not always long answers
  1. You can’t memorise everything
  • Any exam is not a memory test, it is asking for your understanding of what you have studied
  • It is also your opportunity to stand back, reflect on and connect the material you have covered over the year
  • You will not fail if you don’t remember a particular reference
  • Once in the exam concentrate on what you know not what you don’t know and be creative if you need to
  1. Practise previous exam questions
  • Look over previous exam papers to identify patterns in questions
  • You can see how general or specific questions are likely to be
  • You can either practise writing answers to time or practise planning answers (perhaps a more efficient use of time)

  6 Don’t panic if you think you’ve gone blank

  • Take your time
  • Keep breathing
  • Brainstorm or just write random words/doodle rather than sit frozen
  1. Learn to use your breath
  • Using your breath can soothe and calm you
  • It is impossible to be relaxed and anxious at the same time
  • Focus on breathing out rather than breathing in, breathing out smoothly, slowly but without strain
  • Feel your breath flow through your body from the crown of your head to your feet and through the floor so you ground yourself
  1. Take care of yourself
  • Make sure you get enough sleep
  • Use strategies to sleep – and even if you don’t sleep much the night before the exam, you can still perform
  • Keep a balanced diet
  • Keep up regular exercise, even simple walking
  1. Don’t talk about the exam before or after
  • Talking to others about the exam immediately before isn’t likely to be helpful.  Others’ anxiety can be infectious.  Everyone prepares differently
  • Talking about the exam afterwards is also probably unhelpful.  There can be many different approaches to the same question.  Once your paper is handed in, let it go
  1. Give yourself a treat after the exam
  • Once the exam is over give yourself time to do something you enjoy as a reward: sit in the sun, have a coffee, go for lunch with friends, watch TV, go to the cinema, listen to music
  • Let go of the exam – enjoy the present moment rather than dwelling on the past