Saturday, 26 May 2018

How I Survived My Exam's

Exam season is in full swing as they began last week and it's not a secret that I absolutely hated them.  I hated the pressure, I hated the expectations, the fact my life was consumed by revision, I had no life and the fact I managed to forget everything as soon as I sat down due to my overwhelming anxiety. Like me, all those thoughts have probably run through your head unless your one of those rare and lucky people who just take them in your stride. I managed, however, to achieve well in my exams and gladly I have had no exams for a while so I thought I'd share my tips as it really isn't worth stressing out over but worth making an effort as those grades stay with you forever. you just need to find a happy balance. This is basically a complete guide if your struggling at the moment - hopefully, this can help one person as I know this was the exact time it all got too much for me. 

1. Revise In Manageable Amounts
I always stayed away from social media in exam time due to always feeling pressured by seeing how much other people had revised and I was right to do so as someone I followed tweeted their younger sibling had the aim to revise for 8 hours a day after being told this was 'the expected time to succeed' whilst another person stated they revised for 12 hours. That's half a day! To do that you would have to revise into the night, have little social life and limited sleep. To me, that seems ludicrous and I would never have been able to cope. I used to revise 2 hours a night after school and 5 hours on a weekend maybe 6 hours if I had an exam the next day but that was the most I could cope with and I would only do it for as long as I wanted - sometimes 15 minutes at a time sometimes 50 minutes. I don't have a very long attention span especially if I don't enjoy something. This way, even though I was revising for less time, all my time was productive. Plus I had time to chill.

2. Find A Way That Works For You
As I have touched on - 13 hours a day works for one person, 5 hours worked for me. The same goes for revision methods. One person may like a flashcard, I liked a mindmap or a game. As you can tell I liked to be hands-on, doing something and making it fun, colourful and as interesting as possible. Everyone learns differently so keep that in mind especially if you're comparing the amounts of revision you've done. 

3. Drink Plenty Of Water
Staying hydrated is the key for both revision and in the exam. I used to drink so much water primarily to control my anxiety (don't know why water helps but it does) and also to stop headaches. The fact exams are in summer also means hydration is key.

4. Timetables
I spent a lot longer than I should have done creating timetables but they are so helpful for managing time. It made sure I was revising all subjects and taking time for myself. I swore by it in my GCSE's and I wish I had continued to use it for my A Levels.

5. Take Time For Yourself 
This especially important after an exam, I never revised on the day of an exam, I revised the night before for the exam the following day then took the afternoon off and relaxed. I also found it important to completely forget about the exams and revision at this time as it doesn't really work if you don't keep relaxation time separate from work. For example, don't watch revision youtube videos when you're having 'me time'. I just found having a constant reminder meant I never fully de-stressed.

6. Your Friends are Very Important
Your classmates and friends are all going through exactly the same. It's so important to take advantage of this and talk about any stresses and worries but also working together. Helping each other and trying to understand each other. Everyone is stressed and its very easy to take it out on each other, I remember I fell out with my best friend just because of stress and its the worst thing you can do as you don't need any more worries. 

7. Don't Cram Revise
This is the worst thing you could possibly do before an exam - I didn't even look at any notes before an exam as if I didn't know it by 8pm the night before I weren't going to know it all.

8. Don't Focus Too Much On One Subject
I was the worst for this as I absoluetly loved Geography so would read about it for hours but hated History so forgot about it. Then a week before the exam it hit me that I couldn't continue obtaining a G in History and I should probably revise for it leading to me forgetting about Geography. Surprisingly I then managed going up to a C overall in History getting an A in one of the exams but then getting a B in Geography when I should of got an A. If I had focused more equally I believe I would of got a better grade.

9. Keep Everything Colourful
Coloured pens and paper were my best friends. They made everything so much more appealing and made me want to revise. Thats the key  - make revison as bearable as possible.

10. Take The Night Off Before An Exam
I never revised the night before an exam. I made sure I had finished by 8 pm then chilled out. Watched a film, painted my nails, chose an outfit to wear the following day. Anything to distract me and ensure I had a good nights sleep.

How did you survive exam season? Or if you're currently sitting exams, how are they going?!

♥︎ 

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