Tips For A Stress Free Christmas Exam Season

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Sophie Coffey
Sophie Coffey
A self-confessed shopaholic with a severe bookshop obsession.

Tis the season for Christmas…….exams!

These seasonal exams are much less festive than their name might suggest but they can be a stressful time.

As the last bit of your preparation gets underway here are some top tips to help you banish those nerves both before and during the exams.

Alternatively, if it’s your first bit of preparation don’t worry, there are tips for that too!

These are some important things to take note of before Christmas exams begin.

Put It Into Perspective

This is one that sounds so much easier than it really is, however, if you are able to put things into perspective it makes a huge difference. These exams may seem intimidating and daunting but at the end of the day they really are just guides to help you work out your strengths and weaknesses in each subject.

Don’t Panic If You Haven’t Prepared

There have definitely been papers that I have turned over wishing I had studied more but trust me, it is not the end of the world.

If you are guilty of leaving it all to the last minute there are still a couple of options. Ask your teacher if they can highlight any important sections for you or speak to friends and siblings to help with more complicated sections. Remember, as well, that the effort you have put into homework, classwork and tests over the last few months will all stand to you.

Plan Your Study

Planning out your intended study especially in the last few days coming up to exams is well worth doing. At this point it can be tempting to just open a chapter you haven’t revised yet and speed read it in its entirety line by painful line. Use your time wisely and focus on the really important sections as opposed to writing detailed and beautiful notes that you won’t have time to study.

Choose Sleep Over Cramming

This is another really tempting one I know, but if you stay up too late none of what you study will matter. The stage of sleep REM is what allows your body to process information. Without it, the facts that you have spent your time trying to memorise aren’t sticking in your mind.

If you’re really determined, set yourself an alarm for slightly earlier the following morning as the sleep you get before midnight is more beneficial than any shut eye gained after 12am. Weird right?

Prepare Any Necessary Materials

The absolute last thing you need the morning of an exam is a panic over a missing calculator or ruler. Prepare all the stationary or equipment you may need the weekend or night before. Avoid relying on one single pen or a sharpened to an inch pencil to get you through the week of the exams.

The hard parts and study are over so don’t let things like nerves get in the way of showing off your hard work.

Always Read The Question

This sounds obvious but there is nothing more frustrating than losing marks simply because in the panic of the exam you misread the question. This is especially true if you know the correct answer to the question.

Don’t Ignore The Instructions

The directions are there to help you and they are just as important as the questions that follow them. There’s no point wasting time hastily scribbling out rushed answers to six questions if you only needed to answer four.

Keep An Eye On Timing

Some exams are more time pressurising than others. Take note if you are spending too much time on one section. You can always leave space and come back to it later if you have the time.

Don’t Leave Blanks

Even if you are convinced that your answer is wrong write something down on the page anyway. While you definitely won’t get marks for a blank space you might be surprised by how many attempt marks you could receive for your answer.

And Finally…

Take a deep breath and remember that a percentage on a page does not define you.

Have you any tips for Christmas exams?

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