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Posted on: 29/11/2017

Preparing for your exams

Mock Exams 4th – 14th December

It’s the first week of December; minds are turning to Christmas and colder weather; why then do so many teenagers across the country have to go through Mock Exams?

We all know GCSEs and A Levels are in the summer, why do we have to do these now?  Well, the truth is summer exams feel like a millennium away for teenagers, so some will only start to really work hard after Easter.  By having Mock Exams at the end of the first and longest term, students have a fantastic opportunity to focus their attention and put in maximum effort earlier on.  We all know the more prepared you are the less stressed you will be and the better the opportunity to shine in these all important exams.

  • Preparing for exams: Ten Revision Tips

Give yourself the best opportunity with these top ten study tips.  Try not to let the stress get you down.  Remember: you've got this!

  • Plan ahead

Don't leave it until the last minute. While some students do seem to thrive on last-minute cramming, it's widely accepted that (for most of us) this is not the best way to approach an exam. To help sort out your time management set up a timetable for your study. Write down how many exams you have and the days on which you have to sit them. Then organise your study accordingly. You may want to give some exams more study time than others, so find a balance that you feel comfortable with.

  • Organise your study area

Make sure you have enough space to spread your textbooks and notes out. Have you got enough light? Is your chair comfortable? Are your computer games out of sight?

Try and get rid of all distractions, and make sure you feel as comfortable and able to focus as possible. For some people, this may mean almost complete silence, for others, background music helps. Some of us need everything completely tidy and organised in order to concentrate, while others thrive in a more cluttered environment.  Think about what works for you, and take the time to get it right.

  • Use pictures, flow charts and flash cards

Visual aids can be really helpful when revising. At the start of a topic, challenge yourself to write down everything you already know about a topic - and then highlight where the gaps lie. Closer to the exam, condense your revision notes into one-page. Getting your ideas down in this brief format can then help you to quickly recall everything you need to know during the exam.

  • Try past papers

One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to try taking past versions. This helps you get used to the format of the questions, and - if you time yourself - can also be good for making sure you spend the right amount of time on each section.

  • Talk through answers with others

Parents and little brothers and sisters don't have to be annoying around exam time. Use them to your advantage. Explain an answer to a question to them. That will help you to get it clear in your head, and also to highlight any areas where you need more work.

  • Organise a study group with your friends

Get together with friends for a study session. You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. As long as you make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.

  • Take regular breaks

While you may think it's best to study for as many hours as possible, this can actually be counterproductive. If you were training for a marathon, you wouldn't try and run 24 hours a day. Likewise, studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, taking regular breaks really helps.

Everyone's different, so develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, start early before taking a break at lunchtime. Or, if you're more productive in the evening, take a larger break earlier on so you're ready to work into the night.

  • Snack on brain food

You may feel like you deserve a treat, or that you don't have time to cook, but what you eat can really have an impact on energy levels and focus, so keep away from junk food. Keep your body and brain well-fuelled by choosing nutritious foods that have been proven to aid concentration and memory, such as fish, nuts, seeds, yogurt and blueberries. The same applies on exam day - eat a good meal before you come into school, based on foods that will provide a slow release of energy throughout. Sugar may seem appealing, but your energy levels will crash an hour later

  • Plan your exam day

Make sure you get everything ready well in advance of the exam - don't leave it to the day before to suddenly realise you don't know what you're supposed to bring. Check all the rules and requirements, and plan your route and journey time. Work out how long it will take to get to school for the necessary start time - then add on some extra time just in case.

  • Drink plenty of water

As a final tip, remember that being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. Make sure you keep drinking plenty of water throughout your revision, and also on the exam day.

Good luck!

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