1. Cut Down on Caffeine
Limit caffeine consumption for at least eight hours before you sit an exam, as caffeine can cause weight loss or gain, headaches, drowsiness and insomnia which will affect your performance in the exam room.
2. Make Your Own Study Space
Create a dedicated study space. Make sure it has adequate lighting, heating and ventilation for your own comfort. It should be free of distractions such as the TV, phone or social media.
3. Don’t just Memorise
The more you read through notes the less likely it is that you will remember them all come exam time. The trick is to read them once, understand them and record any facts you need to remember in your own words.
4. Set the Right Goals
You will be more focused if you set yourself achievable study goals such as reading a chapter each day or completing an essay draft by the end of the week. Keeping up regular habits will also help you to avoid cramming.
5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam to make sure your brain is fresh and rested. If possible, don’t study in the evening or right up until the morning of the exam as this will also reduce your ability to concentrate and perform well in the exam.
6. Leave Time for a Break
Breaks are important to prevent eye strain and memory loss, so try to leave time during your study schedule for a break at least every two hours. A short walk will also help you take in what you have just studied and reduce stress.
7. Make Mind Maps and Flash Cards
Mind maps and flash cards will help you to recall information, check your understanding of concepts and identify any gaps in your knowledge. They are also a useful study tool for longer exams such as the UMAT, UNSWAT or ATAR.
8. Read Questions Carefully
Something most people do not know is that you should always read questions carefully and make sure you complete any parts of the question that contain essential information.
9. Make Use of Past Papers
Past papers will give you an understanding of the format and style of questions that you can expect in an exam, helping to reduce your stress levels. It is helpful if you answer the questions yourself before looking at the examiner’s answers as this will make it easier to identify any gaps in your own knowledge.
10. Don’t Stress
Exams are stressful for everyone but try not to worry too much about the result. Stressing will only make it more difficult for you to concentrate or remember information, so instead try to spend some time relaxing with friends or family before the exam begins.