Summer is within reach, it’s so close we can almost taste it; but before we are free to enjoy the British sun ☀️ lunch outside 🥪 and evenings in the garden 🍻 we need to get through, for most of us, the dreaded exam season. Whether it’s your own exams or someone you care about, this time of year can be tough, long days, sleepless nights and the stress of not getting the grades you want/need for the next step.
Let’s start with, you are not alone. Many others are in the same shoes right now, whether it be GCSE’s, A-Levels, Undergraduate or Postgraduate, the feeling is all the same, anxiety, stress and worry are just a few of the feelings I felt when the exam period came around. Secondly there is still time for you to get your books in a row, we’ve got your back, keep reading for our top do’s and don'ts this exam season 📝
Things to do:
Planning is key when it comes to revision, just like you would have a timetable at school, map out what and when you plan to revise specific subjects/topics and stick to it. It can be really easy to get distracted and procrastinate during revision sessions, left to our own devices it can be hard to get off Netflix or out of that TikTok hole of scrolling through video after video. Having a schedule that allows for this downtime will help you focus when you need to, so don’t forget to plan in breaks, these are just as important.
Take Regular Breaks.
Which moves us nicely onto breaks, add these into your revision timetable and just like studying try to stick to it, taking a 10-minute break every hour can really help boost your productivity when it comes to revision 👍 Use this time wisely, get outside, stretch your legs and don’t forget to eat, you need to fuel your brain 🧠 it’s going to be working really hard. Listen to your body, if you are reading the same thing over and over again, it is probably time to take a break, drink a big glass of water and stretch it out 🧘♀️
Yes! I said it, Studies have found that short naps during the day can help with memory and retention, this study found napping improved alertness and increase positive mood, taking a 40–45-minute nap allows for 30 minutes of sleep, resulting in a midday refresh and learning and mood improvement. With that in mind, I'm off for a quick power nap 😴
Trying to study or take an exam on an empty stomach is not the answer, however nervous you are, you have to eat, plus there’s nothing worse than having your tummy rumble in the exam hall 😣 Eggs are a great choice to start the day, try and avoid sugary foods like chocolate or cereal as these will give you a sudden burst of energy but then leave you hanging and the last thing you want is a crash in energy during an exam.
Eat Lunch & Snack.
Afternoon exams can be the worst, you’ve got all morning to procrastinate and cram all you can, one thing you can do is eat a balanced lunch, hunger and exams do not mix well, so do yourself a favour and plan ahead.
Healthy Snack ideas
- Popcorn (unsweetened) for fibre while you are sitting for long hours
- Apple or bananas with peanut or almond butter
- Hummus and cucumber, peppers or carrots
- Dark chocolate (It has some caffeine and is good for focus) but bare in mind:
90% has 7% sugar
85% has 15% sugar
70% has 30% sugar so try and stay to 85% and above.
Staying hydrated to help reduce tiredness. Try drinking a 250ml glass of water every hour for hydration, this can be tied in with having regular breaks, every time you have a break make sure you grab a glass of water too 💧
Stay alert with these drinks
Green tea or matcha for late night or early revision to sharpen the brain and support retention of information- making you sharp and efficient.
Make it Fun.
Get creative with your revision materials, try using flashcards and flow diagrams to map out notes, rather than trying to memorise pages and pages, and add some colour so key components stand out and are memorable.
Organise Your Study Space.
Where you study is really important, a stressful environment will naturally rub off and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Find somewhere calm with good natural light where you can spread out and get things in order.
Everyone Learns Differently.
We are all different in how we learn and study, what works for you may not work for your friend. Some of us like quiet surrounding, whereas others may do better revising with friends, find what works for you and own it.
Drink Tonic 🍊
Tonic Daily immunity has all the vitamins, minerals and plants your body needs to get you through the exam period and help prevent you getting run down. Put it somewhere you can see it in the morning so you remember or add it into your revision schedule 🤩
Try Not to Do These:
Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself.
Don’t freak out the night before an exam and stay up all night revising, smashing energy drinks, you’ll feel awful in the morning, trust me! Hopefully by following the above tips you won’t be in this position but if you have left it to the last minute, don’t start panicking now it won’t do you any good. Look over key points, get a well-balanced meal in and get to bed early. You’ll perform better if you are rested.
You won’t need to put your life on hold if you plan accordingly. Make time for your friends at the weekends, the likelihood is you are all going through the same thing, and we all need a bit of normality especially at such a stressful period in your life. Speaking about worries and concerns with your friends and family can help ease anxiety around this time so don’t be afraid to reach out.
Be Too Hard On Yourself.
Do your best, that’s really all you can do. Remember it might feel like it but it isn’t the end of the world if it doesn’t work out. There are always opportunities to take exams again or go down an alternative route, speak to your teachers, they are there to help.
We've Got You and You’ve Got This.