We’re hurtling towards the end of the academic year and for many senior school students, that means exams. Eeep! But stress less honey child because Remedy’s got your back with some common sense advice to see you through. Let's DO this!
You’re not alone - remember to reach out for help
Loadsa people have been through the stress of end of year exams so there’s plenty of TLC and advice available. You just need to remember to reach out if you need to! Don’t go into a hidey-hole and turn into a hermit. Find a friend! The whole business of revision, study and exams can be full of overwhelm so make sure you have someone you can blow off steam with – a trusted person who you can debrief to. You may also need an adult on hand if it all gets a bit too much or if you have a particular problem you need support with. Make sure you approach teachers for advice and support, they do this year in, year out and have seen it all!
ID your goals
Are there particular subjects you need to nail to maximise your score or get into the course of your dreams? If so, make sure you prioritise the exams that matter the most and prepare accordingly.
Know what you’re heading into
Clarify the content and format of the exam, take as many timed, practice exams as you can and aim to begin studying at least one month in advance. Have a plan of attack. There are loads of university sites that have online studying and learning resources. Check out Monash University or UNSW.
What are your 'power hours'?
Are you a morning person or a night person? ID the time of day that works for you. When are your energy, focus and motivation at their highest? Feeling a bit meh? Rather than push on through, take a short break to avoid feeling overwhelmed or demotivated. Hop tip: study doesn’t necessarily need to be long slabs of interrupted time tucked away in a quiet room. You’re not a monk! Ten, 15 and 30 minute chunks of time on the train, waiting in a car or for the bus can all be used for study.
Who said study had to be boring? Consider working with a partner to make mind maps, do quizzes, bounce ideas and questions off each other. Don’t be afraid to mix up your study environment as well. Did you know that studying in different places can actually improve the amount of information you retain? A change is as good as a holiday right? So mix it up. Study outside if it’ a nice day, go to the local library one day a week. Perhaps you’re great at English, but need help with Maths? Pair up with someone who’s great at Maths and needs help with English to coach each other in your weaker subjects.
Take a break
You know that feeling when you’re reading and over the same problem, question or section of text? That's your brain saying 'ENOUGH! Time for a break!' Go outside, get some fresh air or even chat to someone about what you’re studying – this will help you retain and recall information better. Take a ten minute break every hour, stretch, go outside, grab a drink or a snack – but try to stay away from the socials!
Turn off, remove distractions and avoid multi-tasking
Speaking of socials, it’s pretty easy to procrastinate when you have social media, games and the internet so readily to hand. Make a pact with your mates, download a blocking app and agree on a set period of time to stay off the socials. Multi-tasking is another shocker that’s actually proven to reduce your productivity and drop your IQ. Focus, focus, focus!
Avoid last minutes panic and cramming by drawing up a revision schedule that makes best use of your time in the lead up to exams. Try to be digitally organised as well – this means having all your resources and study materials neatly and clearly filed in drives on your computer so you can find what you need quickly.
Go for snacks like fresh fruit, popcorn, yoghurt or nuts to keep you going throughout the day. Avoid cakes, biscuits, lollies and choccies. Sure, you’ll get an initial boost of energy and sugar rush but you’ll be left feeling a little flat and sluggish. Sustained good energy is what you’re after. Try hummus and veggie sticks, banana and peanut butter rolled up in a wholemeal tortilla or even avo on wholemeal toast!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Dehydration can make you feel lethargic, snappy and knackered. All of which can affect your concentration making it more difficult to study and perform at your best. Keep your liquids up with herbal tea, water or a Remedy drink of your choice. A coffee or Remedy Good Energy every now and then is OK but don’t rely on caffeine to get you through all-night cramming sessions. Aim for a steady pace rather than last minute swotting!
Catch some zzzzs
During deep sleep or REM your brain consolidates and processes the information you’ve learned during the day, strengthening neural connections and memory. The more REM stages, the greater amount of information is stored in your noggin! Aim for 7.5 hours a night and 9 hours on days where you’ve spent preparing for exams.
An oldie but a goodie - you are not your result
Once you’ve made it through your exams, keep you options open. If your first choice in terms of further study doesn’t seem right or you didn’t get into the course you wanted – don’t freak out – there are plenty of opportunities to explore once you’ve finished high school. If you’re not feeling university or if they’re not offering a particular subject you’re into, switch it up. Sometimes study paths and careers paths aren’t linear! There are plenty of paths to university and some of those are through practical and hands on options through TAFE.
Good luck from Team Remedy!