I'm about to write a single word that causes me deep fear and anxiety... Exams! Yep, we all saw it coming. I'm writing this because I'm trying to do something, anything to distract me from the overwhelming horror that I have towards the thought of my first A2 exam, which is in just 8 days time. On the 10th June I will be expected to write 2 years worth of knowledge, learning tools and useless information down onto paper in the space of 2.5 hours. Why am I crippling with fear at the prospect of these few hours? Failure. Society has embedded into me that school means I can't fail, exams are necessary for me to succeed in life. Am I a hardworking, moral and switched-on individual? The education system tells me that this is irrelevant. Whether I can well-articulate myself when writing under immense pressure in answer to complicated, unseen and sometimes irreverent questions in only a small snippet of time, to the Government is a better way of measuring my personal ability, compared to observing my 2 year contribution and improvement in the course. Whether I agree with the educational structure we have in the UK is unimportant, that's the way it is, it's wrong, but the Government don't care about that.
The real reason I am writing this is to help those that are in a similar position to me currently. I now have nearly 5 years worth of exams under my belt (thanks to the lack of care the Government and Educational minsters have towards teenage mental health), and as such I may have a few tips that could possibly be helpful to a few of you reading this:
- Start revising early (I like to start before Christmas), that way your brain can retain the information easier, as it isn't trying to absorb too much at once.
- When revising, ensure you are in an environment that you feel comfortable in, that it is well-lit and away from distractions.
- Turn your phone off, put it on silent, or leave it somewhere where it isn't distracting you.
- Have a bottle of water with you both when revising, or when in an exam.
- Colour-coding specific topics in your revision material can be helpful when you need to remember something specific in the exam, its also much prettier and exciting to re-read.
- Every half an hour or so give yourself a quick reward (I allow myself to have a game on quick play mode on the app Dragon Land).
- Switch it up with subjects or modules, don't try and revise one whole module at once.
- Make sure that your hair is out of your face in both exams and when revising, this will stop you from getting irritated by it, therefore you don't become unfocused.
- Eat before the exam, avoid things that contain a lot of sugar, stick to carbs as they release energy slowly.
- Avoid caffeine right before an exam (especially coffee as it causes a sudden increase in energy and may prevent you from staying calm and focusing).
- Don't try to cram loads of information in right before your exam.
- Most importantly relax, don't think the worse, if you've revised and have a good comfortable mindset, you'll be fine, so don't fret too much (I know, easier said than done).