With the end of the year exams around the corner, you may already feel the pressure. ‘Don’t let the looming exams turn you into a nervous wreck. Take a deep breath and follow these tips to get you through the exams’, says Monique Harrisberg CEO of The Stress Clinic an affiliation of The Voice Clinic, situated in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.
There are ways to make your life less frantic during this period so that you can perform at your best. Remember cramming, an exam trade mark is not going to do your brain or nerves any favours. ‘That’s why it makes sense to start planning for your exams as soon as you receive your exam timetable,’ says Dr Judy Jaye, training development manager at The Stress Clinic in Johannesburg.
Determine the amount of work you have to cover, the time that it may take you to do so and set up a study schedule.’ Your best bet is to set four weeks aside for studying and two weeks for revision. This will give you ample time to internalise your study material and ask for help with difficult subjects or topics. Divide your study material for each subject into bite-sized chunks and allocate them to specific hours or days on your schedule. Although tempting don’t make your least favourite subjects, your last priority, says Dr Jaye.
Plan your time, draw up a realistic schedule and stick to it. Include some relaxation as it is not healthy to have your nose in your books all the time. Break up your time with short breaks.
Don’t be unrealistic you have a good idea of what you are capable of. Being realistic about your results will help prevent you from being disappointed when the results come.
Avoid alcohol or recreational drugs , that is not the way to deal with your stress right now. Also try not to drink too much coffee, the caffeine won’t help you to concentrate.
Revise methodically; simply reading long swathes of text is not going to help you remember facts and figures. Write out important dates, facts or passages, use lots of coloured pens and underline key phrases. Go back over these notes a day later and a week after that. Your memory will be better and you will feel more confident about your exams.
Test yourself or get someone to test you on your notes, regular testing means that you remember facts better and any gaps in your knowledge can be picked up in good time and that makes the actual exam a lot less stressful
Stick post its with key facts and phrases on these and stick them around your room, after a while these facts will sink in.
Ignore your friends, not entirely of course. Don’t use them as a benchmark know yourself and know what you have to do, you are in this for yourself.
There is a great source of support available all you have to do is ask. Ask a teacher if you don’t understand a particular topic or there is always your mom and dad or siblings.
Remember exercise is a great way to give yourself a break and to max out your concentration span. A 15 minute jog or a brisk walk is all you have to do.