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Exam Tips

Got a big exam or test coming up? Stressing out? Well never fear! Our exam tips will help you get through it.

Lets start with studying

It’s a good idea to start studying for your exam as early as possible, don’t leave it all til the last minute. That’s gonna make you way more stressed out and you probably won’t be able to take in what your trying to learn.

  • Clean your desk – this might sound like procrastination, but you’ll find it easier to study if your work area is clean and clutter free.
  • Make a plan – draw up a study calendar, this way you can work out how long you need to spend on each subject, and factor in breaks and some time off too.
  • Find out what’s on the exam – try to get as much information as possible on the content of the exam, ask your teacher, they’ll probably have a good idea of the kinds of questions.
  • Practice makes perfect – do as many practice exams as you can and try doing some under exam conditions so you get used to them.
  • Try active reading– You’re more likely to take in what you read if you’re taking notes while you read, check out these tips on active reading.
  • Get some exercise – exercise releases endorphins in your brain that make you feel good and reduce stress.
  • Get enough sleep –  don’t stay up all night studying, you won’t be able to absorb as much information as when you’re well rested.
  • Relax – make sure you give yourself time to relax and do things you enjoy, this will make you more productive when your are studying.
  • Don’t cram – it might seem like a good idea to stay up studying the night before the exam, but you probably won’t take much in. Try to have a relaxing evening and go to bed early so that you feel well rested for the exam.

You can also check out our post on reducing study stress to help you get through to exam day.

The day of the exam

Exam day can be super scary and stressful, but there are ways you can make it a little easier.

  • Get a good night’s sleep – you might be feeling anxious the night before, but try to go to bed early if you can. Check out the Smiling Mind meditation app to help you relax before bed.
  • Eat a nutritious breakfast – you may feel a little queasy on the morning of the exam but try to eat a healthy breakfast that will fill you up like muesli or baked beans.
  • Use your reading time – read through the whole exam if you can, and think about the questions you know how to answer.
  • Plan your time –  try to plan out enough time to answer each question, if you get stuck on one move on to something else and come back to it if you have time at the end.
  • Stick to what you know -get the easy questions out of the way first, then go back to the harder ones.
  • Take a deep breath – If you are feeling overwhelmed or stumped by a question take a few deep breaths to calm your self before trying again.

Reachout and Youth Central have more great tips to help you get through exam day.

You might feel a lot of pressure to do well in exams, but remember it’s not the end of the world if things don’t go so great. Although it might seem like it, one exam is not going to determine the rest of your life. If you have a goal you are working towards, there are always other ways you can make it happen if you don’t get the results you were hoping for.

If you’re feeling stressed out by your study try talking about it with a friend or someone else you trust. It will probably make you feel better and they might have some great tricks to help you cope. You can also call Kids Helpline or chat online with a mental health professional at eheadspace.