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How to Prepare for your Exams

Published by Afterschool.my on Aug 11, 2023, 09:53 am

By: Siti Hajar Mohd Zulkifli

The exam process can never be stress-free. All of the preparation leading up to the big day, followed by the wait for the results, can be just as stressful as the exam itself. Despite the fact that we have only recently returned from vacation and are still in vacation mode, the end of the semester is rapidly approaching. That means tests and exams are on the way. It's impossible to get rid of them, whether you like them or not. Even though you'll never feel truly relieved during exam season, there are some strategies that can help you cope with stress and anxiety.

The first step when it comes acing your test is to always review back what you have learnt in the classroom. There are multiple ways that you can do it, for instance, memorising notes, listening to lesson audios, flashcards and even tutoring. As time passes, our memories fade. That is why it is critical to review information on a regular basis. The more valuable or complex the information, the greater the effort required. It is crucial to go over everything you have learned. When you review information, you are bringing it back to mind and strengthening your brain's connections. You are starting to move from short-term to long-term memory. The more times you review the information, the easier it is to recall it, and the information becomes more long-term. You will never forget the information if you do not act quickly!

Next, it is a common belief that it is best for you to jam pack everything you have learned. However, this could not be further from the truth. While studying by itself is a crucial step in acing your test, one must remember that just like how our body gets tired from overexercising, our brain is not an exception to tiredness. Students oftentimes overwork themselves by studying non-stop with the mindset that there is no such thing as over studying. It is common knowledge that students are always associated with sleep depravity. Bear in mind that when we are sleep deprived, our focus, attention, and vigilance deteriorate, making receiving information more difficult. Not sleeping is your worst enemy! When we think of productivity or effectiveness, we usually picture someone who is actively working rather than resting. Rest, on the other hand, is an important part of working well. Breaks, such as going for a walk or exercising, improve our alertness, focus, and motivation. They can help you avoid procrastination and decision fatigue. They help us be more productive and even creative. Working without taking breaks for an extended period of time can lead to burnout.

 Did you know that healthy minds live in healthy bodies? Never forget your breakfast. Ever heard of the saying ‘ Eat breakfast like a king’? Never underestimate the power of a good and healthy breakfast. According to research, students and pupils who eat breakfast perform better in exams. Slow-release carbohydrates, such as whole rolled porridge oats, whole grain bread, or low-sugar muesli, provide slow-release energy for the best breakfast. Add protein-rich food, such as milk, yoghurt, or eggs, to feel fuller for longer. Aim to include a portion of a food rich in long-chain Omega-3 fats, such as smoked mackerel, on exam day, as they are thought to have brain-boosting properties. Even though you might feel really nervous and anxious, make sure you eat a healthy and delicious breakfast on the day of the exam (or any other day). A nutritious breakfast fuels your body, balances your blood sugar levels, and speeds up your metabolism. Your brain requires water, fat, glucose, and vitamins to function properly. An iced coffee, doughnut, or energy drink will not suffice.

Be sure that you know how to organise your time and yourself. Preparation is all about the timing. Doing things at the last minute is not much of a preparation now is it not? Exam preparation is all about taking your time. Rushing things out will only lead to unnecessary stress. While some students appear to thrive on last-minute cramming, it is widely acknowledged that this is not the best way to approach an exam. Create a timetable for your studies to help you manage your time. Make a list of the exams you have and the dates you have to take them. Then plan your research accordingly. You may want to devote more study time to some exams than others, so strike a comfortable balance.

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