Exams are fast approaching, stress levels are climbing – if there’s one thing that shouldn’t suffer though, it’s sleep. Here is our tried and true exam routine to help you defeat the bane of every university student.
Early to bed, early to rise
It’s inevitable you’ll be studying late into the night before exams, but it’s better to get to sleep at a reasonable hour and make up that extra hour early in the morning.
Neurology Professor Cliff Saper exhorts “Go to bed at midnight and do your hour of studying at 7 a.m. It makes more sense to do it then, rather than between midnight and 1.am.”
Aim to get on a sleeping pattern that will have you working optimally during exam times. If your earliest exam is at 9am, and you’re waking up at 10am, try and jig this for exams. Most important – sleep well before your exam! Aim for 7-8 hours to ensure you’re “well rested.”
Replicating exam conditions
When doing practice exam papers, replicate the conditions as closely as possible to sitting the real thing. Find a different space from your usual study area, have no distraction, time conditions, and if you’re used to exams in REB, then maybe turn the air-conditioning on.
Reading the Paper
Everybody tells you this, and yet it’s still one of the leading causes of lost marks in exams. Exam pressure can play tricks on your mind, and send it racing. Read all questions at least 3 times, enunciating each key term to ensure you’ve understood the question. To prove this fact, think about the how simple some past exams papers have seemed, when read away from exam conditions.
Make sure you’re hydrated for exams. Studies in the UK have shown a glass of water before an exam can lead to a 10% improvement in marks – we’re not sure about that (still better to be safe than sorry).
Don’t know the answer, but have some ideas? Remember, your examiner is looking for ways to help you pass. Jot down some dot points, and prove to them you’ve got some understanding as what the question is asking. Focus on what you know. Read the subject syllabus and find out what the main outcomes from the subject are suppose to be – use this to help form answers for questions your not sure about.
Take 3 of these if you get stuck. Seriously! Watch the power of 3 deep breaths in helping you refocus and restart your brain. A rich supply of oxygen to the brain is super important when under stressful situations. So don’t forget – Deep Breaths!