Tips & tricks to ‘crush’ your exams
It’s that time of year again, with end of year exams fast approaching and high school students all across Australia beginning preparations for the biggest few months of their schooling careers.
Just the word itself, “exam”, is often enough to stir up those deep-rooted feelings of dread and anxiety, and we begin to find ourselves in a state of panic just thinking about it.
Don’t worry the team at Beyond are here to help! We will provide you with simple techniques & practices that you can use to boost your energy levels, sharpen your focus and break down the scary concept of “exams” into a much more approachable and conquerable task.
Failing to plan, is planning to fail
Break up your tasks into smaller, more achievable goals. Dedicate yourself to achieving two or three smaller parts or sections of a subject. Write a list with dot points of the areas you need to cover for each subject, and tick them off as you get through them. In doing so you will not only feel like a load has been taken off your shoulders, but your concentration levels will be higher in short-sharp bursts, allowing you to get more done in a shorter period of time. Another good method is to set yourself a 30 minute timer, put all distractions aside, and work your way right through a unit until the buzzer sounds.
Move your body!
Exercise is essential around a busy study schedule, not only for a huge range of health benefits, but also to rest your eyes from the computer, move out of your seated posture and let the information you have read be processed and committed to memory. Go for a run or bike ride, grab a friend and shoot some hoops or kick the footy, or simply just take the dog for a walk – get outside, get some fresh air and get moving! The release of endorphins will leave you feeling refreshed and more focused when you next take yourself back to the books.
Your best study position is your next position
It seems the longer we spend sitting down, the worse our posture gets, and thirty minutes in a sedentary position is all it takes for our muscles to physiologically adapt and shorten. Move around your study area regularly, talk about tricky concepts out loud while you wander, circle the room or even better – stretch! Constantly moving in and out of your seated study position can help reduce the likelihood of headaches and muscle soreness, and even promote more activity in the brain! When you do need to be seated, ensure your chair is upright, screen is at eye level, and your elbows and knees are roughly at 90 degree angles with feet flat on the ground.
In with the good, out with the bad
When tasks start to feel like they’re building up.
When you feel you’re running out of time.
When you feel like it’s all becoming too much.
Simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breath for a few minutes is enough to dramatically lower your heart rate, relax your nervous system and elicit a calming response throughout the body that will suppress any feelings of anxiety or stress, allowing you to productively get back on task quicker and more efficiently. You can try adding in other practices around your breathing such as yoga or meditation, but often just centring yourself and focusing on your breath is just as good.
Breathe well, and breathe often.
Time to get to it!
The practices outlined require no financial investment, no equipment and no time to set up – it’s all about building good habits.
Incorporate these simple principles into your daily revision routine and take note of how rapidly your concentration levels, productivity and information retention increases, and your anxieties and nerves decrease, ultimately leaving you feeling refreshed, in control and able to maintain a higher level of output for a longer period of time.