EXAM SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR STUDENTS

Work out a routine

Exam survival guide has been developed by eye Q to help you create a routine that suits you and gives you some work and play. Pencil in your study times and make sure you make time for some physical activity to offload stress and clear the head. If you work out your free time, and download eye q exam survival guide you won’t feel guilty about it.

Mentor Me
Why not play it clever by getting yourself a mentor. It could be a cousin who did their exams a few years ago, a brain box of a neighbour or a family friend, but having someone on your side you can talk to, can make all the difference. You benefit from their experience … looking back, how would they have done it differently?

Fuel the Fire
Add fuel to the fire … Give yourself the best chance of performance by giving your body the nutrition it needs. See exams nutrition sheet.

Balancing Act
All work and no play will drive you demented! Reward yourself with good breaks between study sessions, get out of the house and do something that will make you forget all about it.

Water the Garden
While the comforting cups of coffee might be tempting, try to opt for water or top up with natural teas such as Chinese tea, or herbal tea.

Fish for Brains
Stock up on your Eye Q Fish Oil, especially if you don’t eat much fish, to ensure your diet is rich in Omega 3 and 6.

Cram can mean slam
Shut that is! Too much cramming pre-exams is often the cause for students turning blank on the big day due to sensory overload, so try not to cram by studying in excess.

Sit like a king or queen!
As boring it sounds, sitting well will allow energy to direct itself through your body, stopping you getting sluggish. Make sure your posture, chair and desk height are working with you, not against you.

Tackle one task at a time
If you are under tension, even normal tasks can seem like to much to handle, we become overwhelmed by worry and simply can’t do anything. Try not to think about the mountain to climb and focus on one set task at a time. Remind yourself that a seemingly helpless situation is only temporary.

Tick tock on the clock
Each time you study, clearly specify the work you intend to complete and set yourself a given period of time in which to complete it. Don’t become a “clock-watcher” – they sit in the room quite happily, just so long as they spend sufficient time “at the books”. Learn to work against the clock by specifying clearly what work is to be completed within the time.

Score a goal
It is estimated that only about 4% of the world’s population set goals, and they are all success stories! So write down your goals about what you’ll achieve in your study session – this will bring you along.

Best of luck from Eye Q
Should students or parents be worried about the effects of exam stress, they should contact teacher, parent, who can advise or refer you to a school career guidance counsellor or GP.

EXAM SURVIVAL GUIDE – STRESS MANAGEMENT

Exam anxiety is:

        • excessive worry about upcoming exams
        • fear of being evaluated
        • apprehension about the consequences
        • experienced by many normal students
        • not mysterious or difficult to understand
        • manageable by following a plan of helpful suggestions

Four main areas which can contribute to your exam anxiety are:

Lifestyle issues:-

        • inadequate rest
        • poor nutrition
        • too many stimulants
        • insufficient exercise
        • not scheduling available time
        • not prioritising commitments

Information needs:-

        • strategies for exam-taking
        • academic information such as course requirements, lecturers’ expectations, exam dates and exam location
        • knowledge of how to apply anxiety reduction techniques while studying before any exam

Poor Studying Styles:-

        • Inefficient: inconsistent content coverage; trying to memorize the textbook; binge studying; all-night studying before exams
        • Ineffective: reading without understanding; cannot recall the material; not making revision notes; not revising

Psychological Factors:-

        • feeling little or no control over the exam situation (rather than knowing and applying exam strategies)
        • negative thinking and self-criticism (rather than being one’s own best friend)
        • irrational thinking about exams and outcomes
        • irrational beliefs “If I don’t pass, my (family/boyfriend/girlfriend/friends) will lose respect for me”; “I will never get a Degree.”
        • irrational demands “I have to get at least a 2.1 or I am worthless.”
        • catastrophic predictions “I’ll fail no matter what I do—there’s no point.”

EXAM SURVIVAL GUIDE STRESS-BUSTING TIPS

Believe in yourself. If you prepare for the exams properly you should do fine, meaning that there is no need to worry excessively.

Don’t try to be perfectIt’s great to succeed and reach for the stars, but keep things in balance. If you think that “anything less than a 2.1 means I’ve failed” then you are creating mountains of unnecessary stress for yourself. Aim to do your best but do recognise that none of us can be perfect all of the time.

Take steps to overcome problems. If you find you don’t understand some of your course material, getting stressed out won’t help. Instead, take action to address the problem directly by seeing or talking to your Tutor or getting help from your classmates.

Don’t keep things bottled up. Confiding in someone you trust and who will be supportive is a great way to alleviate stress and worry.

Keep things in perspectiveThe exams might seem like the most crucial thing right now but, in the grander scheme of your whole life, they are only a small part. Interrupt negative thoughts with positive ones. Examples:  “I can do this”, “I will do my best”, “I can pass this test”, “I will focus only on the question in front of me.”  “I have done it before, so I can do it again.”  Actively challenge your irrational thoughts. Life will be worth living regardless of this exam. Respect yourself for taking this course and getting this far, regardless of the outcome.

Plan your study time. Too much material + Too little time = Anxiety.  Plan your studying with regularly scheduled study sessions about 50 minutes long separated by 5 – 10 minute breaks.

Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Anxiety increases when one feels tired, run down and overwhelmed. Overall resilience depends on one’s physical and mental health, which can be strengthened by:

        • enough movement and exercise (vs. couch potato lifestyle)
        • balanced life (vs. over-stress)
        • positive thoughts/beliefs (vs. self-defeating thoughts/cynicism)
        • health focus (vs. self-neglect)
        • replenishing nutrition (vs. junk food)
        • regular and adequate sleep (vs. late night lifestyle)

Get accurate informationCheck your School Handbook and get an understanding of the grading procedure. If you don’t understand, ask. Well before the exam, make sure you know where it will be held, the start time, how long it will last, whether extra time will be allowed. Ask your Lecturer any questions like when the marks will be available, what materials can or should be brought into the exam room.

Get yourself into exam modePractise on sample tests in the textbook or study guide. Look at past exams. Ask for suggestions from your Lecturer what to expect in the exam, what course materials should be emphasised, how to prioritise study time for the course.

Plan. Rest well the night before the exam. Plan to arrive at the exam location early. If you can pick your seat, choose one away from the doors, windows or other distractions. Plan to monitor the time during the exam so wear a watch or sit where you can see the clock. Plan to wear layers of clothing so you can adjust your need for more warmth or coolness. Check out the examination room ahead of time if you can.

Avoid bad things. Give coffee and other stimulants a miss the night before the exam or on the day of the exam. Avoid anxious or talkative students. Avoid other people or things that may disturb your self-confidence, focus and level of relaxation. Definitely avoid arriving late.

TIPS FOR THE REVISION PERIOD

Leave plenty of time to revise so that you don’t have to do last minute cramming. Giving yourself adequate time will help to boost your confidence and reduce any pre-exam stress as you know you have prepared well.

Develop a timetable so that you can track and monitor your progress. Make sure you allow time for fun and relaxation so that you avoid burning out, but avoid drugs and alcohol.

Take a short break as soon as you notice your mind is losing concentration. Make yourself a sandwich. You will then come back to your revision refreshed. Be careful that you don’t reward yourself during your break with five minutes of TV or checking your e-mail or Facebook. A few minutes can easily turn into an hour before you know it.

Experiment with alternative revision techniques so that revision is more fun and your motivation to study is high. Try mind-mapping, use multi-coloured index cards, get yourself an assortment of highlighter pens.

Don’t drink too much coffee, tea or fizzy drinks; the caffeine will ‘hype’ you and make your thinking less clear. Eat healthily and regularly; your brain will benefit from the nutrients. Don’t give in to a Saturday evening of binge drinking, either!

Regular moderate exercise will boost your energy, clear your mind and reduce feelings of stress. Try out some yoga, pilates, tai chi or relaxation techniques. They will help to keep you feeling calm and balanced, improve your concentration levels and help you to sleep better.