With exams looming and a growing feeling of helplessness, it is easy to become overly stressed and disheartened with the whole examination process. However, now is not the time to panic! Now is the time to grab revision by the horns!
As far as we can tell it's never too late to start revising (perhaps the morning of the exam is cutting it a little close!).
1) Draw up a revision timetable (experts now advise a 20 - 25 minute study session followed by a 5-10 minute break). Try to change the revision subject with every session, i.e. don't study the same subject for six hours in a row. This apparently helps retain more knowledge and reduces boredom.
2) Make lots of good quality revision notes which utilise bold headings and colours to differentiate between varying topics. This helps the brain compartmentalize a subject, making it easier to retain in memory.
3) Be sure to do lots of past papers. These are a great way to revise and to practice presenting information in the correct way, required by the relevant examination board. These can usually be downloaded for free from the relevant examination body.
4) Physical activity is extremely important for revision (or at least it can be a big help!). Decide what time of day is best for you and get exercising! Some people prefer to exercise later in the day as this helps them with getting to sleep. Others swear by a morning exercise regime as this helps them concentrate for the rest of the day. Whatever time of day best suits you, the benefits of the exertion will be the same ; increased levels of energy, better cognition, reduced stress levels and better stamina. This is all possible due to the hormones released and regulated during exercise, including a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol and an increase in the "happy" hormone serotonin.
5 ) It has been demonstrated that exercise does increase the size of the hippocampus, a part of the brain closely involved with memory. Keep all those facts in!
6) Food and sleep are important as always, especially so during exam periods! Your brain is a nutrient hungry machine and requires constant feeding. As at any point, quality nutrition equates to brain food which equates to better recall and improved concentration.
7) Don't panic! This may seem like obvious advice but did you know that stress can severely impair mental cognition and retention of information. Remember that plenty of people still go on to do well despite poor exam results! So stay relaxed if possible. Remember - exercise helps incredibly with reducing stress levels!
8) Believe in yourself, you can do it!
We wish you all the best of luck!
The Bushgear Team