Staying calm and focused this term will be half the battle. However, as well as revision, there are some other things you can do to improve your exam performance, and therefore exam success!
Stay hydrated – We are advised to drink around 2 litres of water a day, and this is especially important during warmer weather. Water supports a number of chemical reactions in the body, and improves our brain function, making it easier to digest and remember the information that you have revised throughout the day. Take a bottle of water in to each exam, and regularly take sips to stay hydrated and improve exam performance and concentration.
- Maintain good energy levels – Try and avoid consuming too many high sugar treats, including sweets and chocolate, especially during a revision session. Try and opt for foods which will provide a high source of energy for a sustained period of time. This could include houmous with vegetable dips (e.g. carrot or cucumber sticks), apple crisps, dried fruit or flapjacks, or even a fruity muffin. Be inventive with your snacks, and try different flavours and foods to make them more exciting during a dull study session.
- Sleep well – Sleep is our body’s essential time to digest information and rest, so make sure you get your recommended eight hours a night at least. Warm milk or herbal tea just before going to bed will improve the quality of your sleep. It is also suggested to avoid caffeinated drinks up to 3 hours before sleeping. Through improving our protein consumption we can obtain an essential hormone called melotonin. This hormone is known to have sleep-inducing effects.
- Boost your immune system – The last thing you want during an exam is a cold! Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to get the essential vitamins and minerals you need to fight off the germs. If you’re susceptible to coughs and colds, try taking a daily Vitamin C tablet (available from any supermarket).
- Take a break! – Suffering from fatigue or ‘burn out’ reduces motivation which makes revision even more difficult. Make sure you take regularly breaks, even just for 10 minutes, to rest your eyes and your brain and start a-fresh again. Although you want to cram as much revision in as possible, in the evenings, read a book or magazine to detract your mind from it. Exercise will help clear any stress or anxiety by burning off energy, and will clear your mind ready for your next study session – even a 20 minute walk will help, or a session in the gym.
Overall, focus on your exams, but support your work and revision with a healthy, balanced lifestyle; this will improve your concentration and ability to retain information. Use exercise to de-stress and once you have finished an exam, don’t dwell on your answers – you cannot change anything at that point so forget all about it and start concentrating on your next exam!
I wish you all good luck in your exams – I hope some of these tips will help you! Just remember, there isn’t long to go and then you have a long summer break ahead of you – start making plans now so you have something exciting to look forward to!