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How to get a first in an exam!

(or at least do better than you thought)

No one enjoys exams. No one. But there are ways to ensure coping with them and doing well is not a complete impossibility. In fact, UnCOVered is glad to bring you some great tips that’ll have you worry-free and feeling prepared in no time.

Planning and organising

Planning always makes things a lot less stressful. Knowing when it’s time to knuckle down and when it’s time to relax makes your day much more bearable and productive. A useful thing to have is a revision chart that you can follow. It could show revision slots in your day, goals that you’ve made, key dates and times and things to keep in mind. The most important thing is to stick to it and try and make every day count.

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Don’t cram

The method of trying to take on all the knowledge you need in one night, or ‘cramming’, rarely works. At first it sounds like an easy option but you’ll probably soon find stress, headaches, confusion and a caffeine crash are to follow. Start the process early and split your revision into manageable chunks (use a timer!). This way you can avoid any extra rushing or last-minute-panic.

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Have a break

Your brain is a fragile thing, so ensure you give it plenty of breaks. You can often find a hardcore revision session will leave you with a headache and concern as to whether you’ve learnt anything at all. Give yourself a chance to unwind and digest what you’ve just read, even if it’s just to walk around for five minutes. Your brain will thank you in the long run.

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Stay calm

The stress associated with exams is usually the reason we dread them so much. And while it’s much easier said than done, the best thing you can do is stay calm. Walking into the exam room with a panicking head full of fears is really just going to hold you back from giving it your best. Your thoughts will flow much better from a calm mind. Try looking up relaxation techniques online and practicing them. Also, remember not to put too much pressure on yourself, your grade is made of many assignments over a long time. One exam is only a small portion of the whole thing. Win, lose or draw, your life will carry on.

Take care of yourself

It’s imperative that during stressful times, such as the exam period, you continue to take good care of yourself. It’s easy to fall into a routine of fast food, late nights and energy drink binges but your mind and body won’t perform at their best. Get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, eat healthily, go out for some fresh air and stay positive. All of these things are really important to regulate your mood, hormones and energy levels (all the fun stuff that comes with being young). Make sure you don’t take that for granted.

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Form a study group

A problem shared is a problem halved, so meet with friends from your course and revise together. Study groups are popular due to the variety of ideas and techniques each individual can bring to the table. Even the simplest idea could be the difference between finding a revision strategy that really works or not. You should embrace them all. Not only that, the support of your peers can become a real necessity, especially in the last few days.

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Find what works for you

Everyone learns differently, whether it’s through reading, listening or undertaking a task. Find out what style you respond best to and make it work for you. Want to learn by writing the answers onto a cake and eating it? If that’s what works for you then do it! Once you do realise what works, you’ll find things you could never remember suddenly stick a whole lot better.

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If it all goes wrong

If you do think things have gone completely wrong, don’t forget you have other options. You can re-sit exams and assignments to achieve a passing grade, or retake a semester to improve overall. However, if you follow the tips we’ve provided and put the effort in, we’re sure you won’t have anything to worry about.

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Good luck!

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