It’s the day before the exam. Months of hard work is finally going to be put to the test. Revision is meeting its end. Now is the time to calm the nerves and give it all you’ve got! But how to do it?
We are giving you a list of highly effective tips on what to do in those crucial 24 hours leading up to the exams.
A day before the exam
Have a plan: Just a day before exams, it is common for students to go into a revision frenzy. But hold your horses and plan the entire day appropriately. Understand what you need to learn, instead of cramming in the whole syllabus at a go. Here is how you can plan your day.
- In the morning before you begin your revision, spend half-an-hour working out the topics that you need to study and allocate time. Study accordingly.
- Go through the main points in each topic. Check your memory against your exam notes and flashcards. Use some memory tricks such as creating mnemonics (For example, Never Eat Shredded Wheat to remember north, east, west, and south in clockwise) or anecdotes to remember what you have studied.
- Solve question papers from previous editions of the exam.
- Play it safe. No athlete wears new shoes on the day of the marathon. That’s a key rule to win. So, don’t try anything new a day before the exam. Your study technique, the food you eat or the way you write – stick to your regular ways.
- Even if you are in the nick of the time, make sure to take study breaks every 40 minutes of your study session. This helps in retaining the information for a long time.
Remember, don’t have intense study sessions a day before the exam.
Pack your bag for exams in advance
Preparation is the key to success. This is also elemental to not feel stressed out on the exam day. So, make sure to keep all the materials you will need ready for the exam. Have extra pens, pencils, erasers, and other necessary exam tools (such as a calculator, ruler, compass) packed in your backpack.
Know your exam location
If your exam location is in any location other than your own school, ensure that you know the place at least a day before the exam. Know the route of your travel, your mode of commute and the estimated time of travel. If you are taking the exam in your school itself, make sure to know the seating arrangements and in which classroom you will be sitting. This avoids last-minute confusion.
Get a good night’s sleep
You should never cram in new information a day before the exam and you should definitely skip the all-nighter. According to a 2014 study conducted by Ghent University and KU Leuven in Belgium, students who had at least 7-8 hours of deep sleep on the night before the exam scored higher than the students who slept 6 hours or less. Other studies also proved that sacrificing sleep for studies can be counterproductive.
Sleeping for at least 7 hours on the night before the exam forms new connections in the brain cells. This ensures your brain retains the information you have studied.
Set an alarm for the next morning:
Set an alarm or maybe even multiple alarms spaced across 10-15 minutes. This is a good idea in case you snooze through the first alarm. Three alarms will stop you from accidentally oversleeping. But if you are still unsure about waking up on time, ask someone to check on you by a certain time. This greatly reduces the risk of being late to the exam.
On the day of the exam
Wake up on time
Exams are taken seriously and they should be rightly treated so. Prepare yourself appropriately for the important morning so that you don’t fall short of your capability.
Get up on time. Allow yourself an ample amount of time for a healthy breakfast and reach the exam hall well before exam time. Remember the mantra – it is better to be extremely early than being tardy. Reaching the exam hall at least 30 minutes early helps you get comfortable with the surroundings, calm your nerves and embark on the exam journey with beaming confidence.
Eat a power-packed breakfast
Even if you are not a breakfast person, eating a healthy and filling breakfast is essential before taking up the exam. According to a study, students who eat breakfast perform significantly better in the exams than those who skip it.
Food fuels your brain. A power-packed breakfast consists of the following: a good source of protein that creates alertness, whole grain carbs for sustained mental energy and veggies for maximum brainpower. If you are pressed short of time, make a quick protein shake or smoothie and gulp it down.
The baseline is that no matter how nervous you are about your exams, you shouldn’t skip a filling and power-packed breakfast!
Avoid panic talks
Although the exams are staring straight into your eyes and can be intimidating at times, don’t panic.
Don’t discuss the study topics with your peers in the final moments leading up to the exam. When you reach your exam location, walk straight into the exam hall and occupy your seat. Refrain from any panic talks. During exam time, it is best to sit by yourself rather than indulging in last-minute panic meetings with your friends.
A quick review
Reviewing your study material is the first thing you should do in the morning. Go through the formulae, flashcards, exam notes or practice essays one last time. Skim through all the important concepts. For subjects like English, it is important to know the name of key authors or critics and their arguments. Try to recall such important information.
Be positive and do your best
Attitude affects exam results. Keep a positive attitude and have the confidence to excel in the exams. Take a few moments before the exam and remind yourself that you are well-prepared to give your exams all you’ve got! At the same time, be aware of the fact that exams are not the only make-or-break factor of your life. Give it your best and leave the rest.
Exams can be intimidating but with the help of the above-mentioned tips, you can ace them like a pro!