Dare to focus on the positive
We’re going to start this list with something a little controversial. How about instead of looking at exams as being wholly bad, associate what you are revising to a good memory or a happier period of your life. Through associating these positive connections your brain finds it easier to learn and retain the information for the exam. For example, try revising for less time, only an hour a night and then move on to do something else, and take some down time. You can’t retain information if you are stressed and anxious about what you are learning. Think of it this way; instead of getting worked up about what you don’t know, just show off everything you do know!
Tackle your negative thoughts
It’s natural to catch yourself worrying about the exams, so don’t beat yourself up about it. Rather than trying to avoid how you are thinking and feeling, tackle it face on.
Take some time to jot down the thoughts that you’re having. Are they realistic thoughts or are you catastrophising? Once you know why you are worried about an exam and have faced the thoughts head-on you can come up with your own solutions, and create a counter-argument as to why you can do this! Why not look at our tips for dealing with negative thoughts.
Remember, you are not the only person feeling like this. Take some time to talk about how you are feeling – this could be a friend, family member, or even one of us here at OTR. You might find that talking to someone about how you are feeling can get the weight off your chest and help you get it all in perspective.
Don’t be tempted to cram!
The final tip that I will leave you makes me to be a bit of a hypocrite, as I think I have tried to cram the night before the exam way too many times: but DON’T TRY AND CRAM! Give yourself enough time to revise everything you need to, even if it is just 30mins a day, on one topic. It’s better than trying to learn an entire unit in one night!
And ultimately (though we know it might not feel like this now) whatever happens in those exams, pass or fail, you can still make a success of yourself. Check out OTR’s Young Advisor Lewis’ videos for his take on all of this: