It’s make or break; the end of the world. If you don’t pass this exam your whole life is going to one long succession of failures. It probably feels like that even though reality is probably a lot less harsh. The problem is that if you attach so much significance to an exam it is highly likely that you will extremely anxious about it. Anxiety will only hinder your ability to perform as well as you can. Here are some simple tips on how best to beat those exam blues.
Have a Plan: If you were looking for some kind of magic trick that was going to make you pass your exam without working, then you are probably in quite a lot of trouble. Exam anxiety has a lot of its foundations in the simple fact that people don’t prepare enough or in the right way for their exams. You need to have a plan; make a studying timetable and stick to it. A little bit of organisation will give you structure and this in turn will allow you to feel as though you have more control of the process.
Meditate: It might seem a bit out there and new age for those who have never tried it before but meditating is a great way to get focused on a task and to feel comfortable with it. A simple mediation allows you to take time out from your studies and assess things objectively. You allow your thoughts to flow unhindered and you gain a little perspective over the situation. A great facet of the meditation process is that within the calm of the meditation you can visualise yourself actually taking the exam. In your mind’s eye everything goes smoothly and you pass with flying colours. You start to feel good about your possibilities and the anxiety just lifts automatically.
Get a lot of Sleep: It is a cliché and not a helpful one to accept that all exams must involve the person sitting them to suffer sleepless nights due to last minute cramming. This is the easiest way to increase not reduce anxiety. A fully prepared person will have had a full night’s sleep before any exam. By following your study programme properly there is no need for this last minute panicking. You work out what you need to do, when you are going to do it, and when you are going to rest. Once you accept that you have done as much as you can, you will rest easy and the exam will also seem significantly less stressful.
Eat Well: Before an exam you need to think of your mind as being in a similar situation that your body would be if you were going to run a marathon. For this reason you need to provide it with all the right foods. Many big companies now sell brain foods that claim to give you a boost when eaten. They do work but the best method is to always follow a healthy diet full of those foods that help your brain function the best. Anything rich in Omega3 fatty acids is great, as are nuts, berries, and tomatoes!
One key thing to accept and understand is that this exam really in not the end of the world, no matter how much it might seem like that now. You may end up studying perfectly and getting the exact questions you were expecting, or you may skip over one seemingly insignificant topic to find that the exam relates mostly to that very same topic.
There is always an element of luck involved. The best thing you can do is prepare yourself properly and work to make the chance of fortune be as minimal as possible. Follow the tips above, hit those revision books hard, and everything is just going to work out real fine!
York Notes – Chapter summaries and revision books on English Literature