How to best prepare for Exam Season


Chiara Böhnke, Writer and Editor in Chief

Exam season is fast-approaching Marymount students and as much as we may be at a stage of denial, it is key to figure out the best strategies to prepare for the upcoming exams. Although procrastination and avoidance may feel like the best option to deal with stress initially, we all know that this is not a sustainable and healthy way to cope. Below I’ve listed some tips and ways in which you can best prepare and ensure that the stress doesn’t become too overwhelming!



Plan your time (and don’t forget to schedule breaks)
Making a detailed plan ahead of time can ease the anxiety and pressure of daily planning during a stressful time. It also makes studying more manageable and provides you with a chance to take some breaks, giving your brain some time off. It has actually been scientifically proven that allowing your brain to rest, improves memory and further enhances your performance abilities. Studies have shown that taking breaks helps to maintain a more consistent high performance and reduces severe stress. Trust me, as irrelevant as a ‘study schedule’ may sound right now, you’ll thank yourself for making one later, because that way you feel more balanced and have a reference point.

Find ways of studying that work for you
There is no right or wrong method to study and everyone has individual needs. Some may find it easier to rewrite notes from previous classes, whilst others may prefer flashcards or watching videos. Think about what has worked well for you in the past and how you can apply this to a current assignment or your exam preparation. Try to implement active learning: test yourself on material as you’re revising and explain the most challenging topics to friends or family to consolidate your knowledge.
Also, don’t be afraid to switch up your study space. Maybe the ambience at a coffee shop is what you need to write your notes or find a space outside to actively revise.

We all know and have heard plenty of talks about the importance of sleep. I don’t want to repeat myself, but sleep is vital for your well-being. When we are stressed about approaching deadlines or tests, we tend to sacrifice sleep in favour of last-minute cramming. Being sleep deprived, especially during a season of exams reduces your ability to learn and memorise things effectively. Make sure to add sleep into your schedule and routine, to effectively work to your full capacity.

Go outside
If you feel stressed or can’t focus, give yourself a break and get some fresh air. Taking a walk, either alone or with others clears your head and can make such a big difference in terms of studying effectively. If the weather (particularly here in the UK, where it tends to fluctuate greatly throughout the day) doesn’t allow you to go outside, open the windows and let some fresh air in!

Ask for help
The earlier you begin to revise the more time you will have to actively ask your teachers questions and get clarifications or materials regarding the topics you’re struggling with. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or classmates for help either. They may have a useful or simple way of explaining a complex concept or a different method for remembering an acronym you’re struggling with.

Pace yourself
Don’t try and study for all your subjects in one night. This can quickly lead to burnouts, anxiety or feeling overwhelmed. Split the material into topics and review it in stages to fully absorb all the information at hand. The night before an exam, write out a few key ideas to look over before the exam in the morning, to actively recall the information.

Create acronyms
Breaking down certain topics, especially within the Sciences, through creating acronyms, phrases, rhymes or even short stories can be a fun and useful way to memorise difficult concepts. No matter how silly this method might sound to you, it’s really helpful in remembering the key concepts and ideas of certain topics.

Exams are stressful, there’s no denying the fact, and whilst it’s really important to manage your time well and efficiently, make sure to take care of yourself. Find ways of studying that work best for you and will save you the most time and energy to earn the best results that you can. Don’t allow other people’s stress to influence you or your own wellbeing, because at the end of the day, your best is different to someone else’s best. No one is the same and everyone has different strengths and areas for development!


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