Like many of you, I have exams coming up in the summer. I am sitting my A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths. Here are 5 tips, I have learnt throughout my exam journey…
1) GET ORGANISED - Remember a tidy room makes for a tidy mind. If you have your bedroom (or whatever room you are studying in) tidy and well organised in folders with all your books etc, in clear and distinct piles in line with subject and even specific exam paper, this will help you revise more methodically. It will also stop you getting easily distracted and help to focus your mind. If you find yourself getting distracted at home, why not take a trip to your local library?
2) PLAY CLASSICAL MUSIC There are lots of studies about how playing classical or instrumental music gently in the background whilst revising, keeps your brain focused. Listening to music with lyrics, can mean you are focusing on the lyrics rather than the work at hand. I like to listen to the Spotify Playlist: Piano in the Background. The song Dismantle By Peter Sandberg, is also a favourite whilst revising.
3) MAKE FLASHCARDS I find making flashcards and constantly testing yourself is the best way to memorise information and processes. Just making notes is not enough, simplifying information and then constantly testing yourself to make sure the information is cemented in your brain, is the best way to learn.
4) PAST PAPERS! PAST PAPERS! PAST PAPERS! I think the most important part of revising, as even if you know all the information having good exam technique is essential to get a good grade. Nothing prepares you better for exams than doing as many past papers as you can get your hands on. Most of these can be downloaded from your exam boards websites. At the start of your revision you can do them looking at your notes where you need to. As the exams get nearer I try and sit them in real exam time so I get a feel of the time constraints and the amount of time I have to finish.
5) TAKE BREAKS There is varying advice on how many hours a day you should spend revising, do what works effectively for you, There’s no point revising for 5 hours if you’re too tired and spend half the time procrastinating, 2 hours effective revision is better than 5 hours of heart hearted work. So make sure you take plenty of breaks and keep well hydrated.
So, to ride or not to ride in the run up to exams? I know a lot of students turn their horse and ponies out for the early summer months or maybe even put them out on loan. It is probably not a good idea to commit to lots of shows and competitions in the run up to your exams, as these can be very distracting and time consuming. But I think if you can, it is good to keep riding a little to keep your brain fresh and it can help you to manage stress. A hack out midweek or on a Saturday morning could do just the trick to help clear your head.
Best of luck in your upcoming exams, and be sure to have an amazing summer!