It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for all those except students, that is. Christmas exams and assignments are just around the corner, and it’s like you don’t feel too prepared for them rn.
The good news is – there’s still time! You may not have opened a book yet, or maybe you have but the information just isn’t absorbing in your brain, don’t worry.
So you haven’t studied yet?
The exams are looming and you haven’t done a tap. You’ve got months/years of stuff to revise and quite frankly the thought is giving you The Fear. But fear not! Here’s a list of our top tips, giving you the ultimate study guide to get you through the upcoming exam season!
We know the stress…
If you’ve got exams coming up right now you are probably thinking Oh. My. God. You shouldn’t even be reading this. You should be above in that bedroom chained to your desk, your eyes going blurry from over-kill of information, and the heat from your desk lamp making you even more flushed than you were when you got not yet another panic about how much there is to do.
You’re probably wishing you could go back to September, plan your study guide again and take everything nice and handy, allowing all those facts to sink slowly and satisfyingly into that already bulging brain. But unless you have some time machine in your garden shed, it ain’t going to happen. Some girls in your class are quite obviously studying like mad yokes and don’t they just love texting you all about it? “Well, I’ve already done all my poetry” one particular brain box will say smugly, while you sit there thinking “It’s over”.
We’d love to start telling you off by “Don’t panic” but we’re assuming those sweat patches under your arms were a sign that you’re in a bit of a state, so it’s a bit late for that. However, with our advice, we are hoping that you can clear your mind enough to focus on all the information in a logical and calm manner. We don’t mind telling you that by fifth year we were so inundated with facts that we couldn’t think straight, so if it’s happening to you, read on. We have compiled a guide to help you at least get your head together and gain some calm perspective. Now breathe….
It’s easy to get so caught up in the hysteria of exam pressure that you forget the most logical of details. You think you need to know every single textbook back to front to have all the possibilities covered. What you really should be doing now is getting to know the past papers. They’ll give you an insight into how you should answer the questions, how each answer is marked, and what you should be revising.
For each subject you study, you should check past exams for similar questions and then answer them. This is a great way for recognising trends in questions ie; how regularly similar questions are asked.
If you have a quick look at how papers are marked, this will help you see what the examiner is looking for in your answers. Knowing how each area is marked will help you revise the most important areas.
Time yourself on sample answers. Not only are you training yourself to complete them in the correct time, you are getting to know type of question that could come up, and this will only build your confidence. By the time you get into that exam you’ll be raring to go!
Top 5 Revision Tips:
Set goals but make sure they are realistic. If you know you can achieve something you are less likely to freak out about it.
Revise in sections. Break up each subject into sections that you can look at frequently. Follow this by actively revising. Use a pen and paper to write down the main points and answers, then check if you’re right! Just reading is not a good way to revise.
Grasp the main idea, then work downwards with the details. Having a logical knowledge of what something is about is most important. Once you understand a subject the details will come much easier.
Use a system. If you can’t find things, and your notes are all over the place, this will NOT help you feel in control of you study. Start with a simple filing system. Get your subjects, folders and notes organised immediately. Have a separate folder for each subject, and keep a ‘current’ folder to keep track of what you’re working on.
Relax. If you set aside certain hours to study, and you stick to them, then you won’t feel guilty about watching TV or hanging out with your mates. You should study for around four hours on weeknights (including homework) and at the weekends set aside a whole day when you don’t have to study at all. For example, you could do it like this:
Mon-Thurs: 5-7 pm homework then an hour for TV and 8-10pm Revision
Friday: 5-7pm homework
Sunday: 2-5pm revise or 6-8pm revise