Write answers on back of hand… Create secret method of communication with friends… OK, OK! We’ve lied a little bit here – we don’t advocate cheating so there aren’t really any ‘exam hacks’! However, what you can do is take the following steps to ensure that you’re in tip top shape come exam day!:
As tempting as it might be to stay up all night cramming every last bit of information possible into your head, being well rested and getting a good night’s sleep before your exam can make the world of difference to your actual performance. Getting plenty of sleep makes it easier to recall stuff (vital for exam day!) and also helps to retain information that has recently been learned.
2. Test each other
People learn best in lots of different ways, however, one that is almost guaranteed to work for everyone is to test and be tested. Find someone who can test you on your subject matter, then swap over and tell them everything you know about a particular topic. Teaching the information to someone else and acting as the subject expert can greatly reinforce it in your head.
3. Practice tests
While you can’t really recreate the pressurised conditions of the exam room, you can still practice completing mock exams to a time limit. There will be a wide range of past exam papers for most subjects available online, along with the answer papers for each one. These are great for testing your knowledge and learning how answers should be structured, plus, you may also find that a question similar to one you’ve practiced comes up in your actual exam!
4. Eat well
Lots of research has been done into whether eating different foods can improve or hinder brain performance. It’s commonly agreed upon that staying well hydrated and eating protein-rich foods can lead to greater mental alertness, improve your concentration and boost energy levels. Nandos for breakfast, lunch and dinner anyone?!
5. Clear notes
Some exams allow you to take a certain amount of notes into the exam room with you. If this is the case for you then make sure to write out the most important things you think you’ll need, clearly and coherently. It’ll save precious time when you know where to find each piece of information and exactly what each point means.
6. Plan your time
When you get into the exam room the first thing you should do is read through the whole paper. If it helps, you could also go over any key points with a highlighter. Once you’ve read through the paper, take a moment to plan how much time you should be spending on each section. Remember to allocate more time to the questions which are worth more marks!