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Tips for Preparing for Exams

As much as we all dislike them, exams are an important indicator of how well you understand the subject material that you have learnt – this is your own personal journey.  Get your mind right for those exams, reduce your stress and anxiety and increase your self-belief.

Take a look at these tips leading up to mid-year exams:

  1. The single most important thing that you can do is be prepared! Time management and planning play a key role. Give yourself the time you need to cover the work and a manageable plan and work schedule that you can stick to.  Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic expectations for yourself – rather make an early start and break the work up into bite sized chunks and goals.  Don’t make the mistake of leaving things to the last minute and prevent cramming which does not benefit long-term memory retention.
  2. Create a place for study – somewhere quiet where you will have minimal distractions. Keep your workspace tidy and organized with all your materials easily accessible
  3. Understand your personal learning style – we all have a particular way of learning that works best for us. Some people are visual learners (learn through seeing); auditory learners (learn through listening); or kinaesthetic learners (learn through doing, touching & experiencing).  You may be a combination of these styles.  It helps to understand which one you are and there are several online tests that you can do to determine this.
  4. Study past papers. Exam worries often arise from a fear of the unknown so it helps to have a realistic idea of what to expect.  Unfortunately past papers are not all that easy to find.  You can sign up for a service like worksheetcloud (at that will provide you with on-line revision worksheets at an annual fee.
  5. Get a study buddy. A like-minded individual that shares your level of motivation and commitment is good to have for support.  You can prepare tests for each other.
  6. Organize your notes with lots of subheadings, bullet points, mind maps and flow charts to make your learning more productive. Too much written material can be off-putting.
  7. Maintain positive healthy state of body and mind – ensure that you are getting enough sleep and good nutrition as a starting point. Fresh air and exercise is also great to keep you fresh and energized. If you feel good in the build-up to your exams, the chances of performing well are increased.  Cultivate a positive attitude

Exam stress need not always be negative – it’s designed to prompt you into action, so use it to your advantage. In small amounts stress will encourage you to work harder, and think faster. Just don’t let it build up too much and go easy on yourself as you enter exam season.

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