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How to boost exam performance

Nico McCord

Got a big test coming up? Preparing for exams? Take a look at our top eight tips for success and you’ll be feeling calm, collected and in control in no time.

1. Organise your study time

Find the place where you work best – the kitchen table, your bedroom or the study – and make sure it’s set up to how you work best. Whether that’s silent, with some background music, or somewhere in between.

2. Take time off

Your brain needs some time off too, so factor in some down time. It could be taking a walk around the block, watching an episode of your favourite episode on Netflix or hitting the gym.

3. Form a study group

It can help to work together with others who are studying for the same exams – you can share knowledge and help each other with complex topics.

4. Explain your answers to others

This one works particularly well if you can find someone who knows nothing about the subject. If you can explain your answers to others, in a simple to understand way, and they get it, you’re in safe hands, if they don’t, you might want to brush up on the way you explain yourself.

5. Eat good food

Go for brain food – bananas, blueberries, avocados, oily fish – or eat the food you enjoy, either way, make sure you’re eating.

6. Do past papers

Make sure you try a couple of past papers – they can really prepare you for the question format and style. You could also time yourself to make sure you spend the right time on each section. Don’t forget some questions could be compulsory and other sections worth more marks than others, so make sure you check what you’re asked to do.

7. Get a good night’s sleep

When you sleep you’re giving your brain much needed time to reset and get ready for the next day of revision, so try not to burn the candle at both ends and get your eight hours a night.

8. Be prepared

Make sure you know when you’re going, your journey route, what time you need to be there and any resources you need to bring with you. Factoring in extra time to get there and packing your bag the night before will both help you feel more relaxed. Eating a healthy breakfast – and avoiding a sugar hit – will also be helpful.

So, you’ve made it to the exam room on time, time to relax and take some deep breaths. Try to avoid comparing notes with others, you’ll only stress yourself out. Good luck – you’ve got this!

Read our related blog: Why IT professionals need soft skills

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