Today I am just doing a quick post all about the dreaded exam time that is looming over a lot of us right now. This post is perfect for anyone who is doing GCSEs, A-Levels, University Exams or if you have children going through them.
As soon as Easter is over, the stark realisation that exams are super close comes crashing down on your head. There are ways, however, to not let yourself get drowned in the paper and in the stress. These are a few hints and tips on how to keep your cool during exam time. These are tips that I’ve picked up over the years of being a student and I personally found useful. They may or may not work for you but you can rest easy knowing that we are all going through it.
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Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
Your progress is your progress. You move at your own pace and you revise and study in the best way for you. It’s hard not to be jealous of those people you seem to be dealing with the workload and the stress really well. However, look at these people and think of them as a duck. On the surface of the water they look cool, calm and collected but under the water their legs are kicking and swimming like crazy.
By not comparing yourself to others, you focus on yourself and your progress. Sometimes group study can be just as harmful as it is beneficial. If someone knows more than you, it doesn’t mean they’re better. You’ll get there, just give yourself some extra time. Not everyone will get the same grade. Some people have a natural academic ability that means they instinctively understand how to structure an exam essay or can remember lots of information quickly. Some people, like myself, really have to work hard to get to that level.
During my GCSE’s I compared myself to others in my class and it led to me getting jealous of their progress and punishing myself if I didn’t do as well in a mock exam etc. Don’t let yourself be like that. As soon as I removed myself from that head space, I felt so much better!
So yeah, don’t compare your revision techniques or progress to other peoples.
Find Your Happy Place
Where you study is so important. You have to study in a place that nurtures you and makes you work harder. For me, that is not the library. I can write an essay in the library, but revising there just isn’t for me. I just find it to cramped and hard to focus. I like to spread my stuff out and talk myself through things. Usually, I revise in my room at a desk and find that environment really works for me. Another place I like to revise is in a coffee shop. If I can find a big enough table in a quiet cafe, I am good to go for hours. Although I can’t read out loud to myself, I can make more noise than I can in the library. For me, the coffee shop revision shifts happen in the early morning. It motivates me to get up, get ready and start revision.
Finding your revision happy place is so important and you can only find it through trial and error.
Teach yourself to not be disheartened by your grades. The amount of work you put in and the time you do so will reflect in your grade. If you don’t work hard or put the effort in then you are allowed to be a bit annoyed at yourself if you don’t achieve the grade you want. HOWEVER, if you worked to the best of your ability and really tried then you must be proud of yourself. Even if the grade isn’t what you wanted, measure your success on effort and commitment.
This is easier said then done. Try not to put emotional attachment on a number or letter and attach that emotion to your effort. If you put in 100% then you know you did all you could. Being fully prepared means you are successful. Sometimes it’s just not your day or not your paper. Just be happy with yourself.
Seek Help If It’s Too Much
If you find yourself feeling really sad or unmotivated. If you don’t want to leave your room or you feel ill with stress: seek help. Exam time is super stressful for all of us but if you find yourself not coping with the stress please talk to someone. We all channel stress in different ways and some people don’t channel it at all. There is so much support out there for you to access. Your educational institution should have these networks for you to use, you just have to ask.
Here are some links to places and sites that can help you deal with the exam stress!