Preparing for Mock Exams

    By Priya Acharya

(Biology and Chemistry Instructor at The Edge Learning Center)

student_stress_about_studyChristmas holidays are on the horizon and the end of the year is fast approaching, which can only mean one thing……..mock exams are around the corner! Mocks are a great tool for getting you prepared for the real exams in summer, so even though your grades won’t have an impact on your final score, try and treat them like the real thing!

If the thought of exams is filling you with dread, read on to discover some helpful and handy tips to make your New Year a stress-free zone.

Before the exams

1. Be organized!time_management

Now is the time (if you haven’t started already) to go through class notes and topic tests from the start of the school year and highlight areas that you are still unsure of.  

Make a revision timetable and stick to it! Be realistic to how much material you can cover in a day.

Have lots of questions and past papers on hand to check the progress of your revision.

2. Prioritise and Focus!

Following on from the point above, when you have listed all the subjects and topics where you need extra help, take time to revise them thoroughly or ask your teachers for extra help.

Be focused and honest with yourself – don’t just revise the topics and subjects you enjoy and are good at.
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3. Take breaks!

Our brains aren’t capable of retaining information if we just sit and read our notes for hours on end. While it may seem like an achievement to have revised for 4 etc. hours straight the reality is the majority won’t have been an effective use of your time. Remember quality over quantity!

Revise in short bursts i.e. an hour at a time then take a SHORT break i.e. 10minutes to get a drink/snack or do some exercise!

4. Bed vs. desk!

Finding the right environment to study in is very important. Ideally, your work space should be tidy and uncluttered. Try and choose a proper table or desk to work from. As cozy and comfortable it is to sit in bed and study, the temptation to take a little snooze is too much!

Choose somewhere where you will have no distractions – the quieter the better!

During the exams

1. Don’t stress!

ace_your_examsAgain be organized, keep checking your exam schedule so you know where exactly you need to be and at what time for your exams to avoid any last minute panics of being late!

In the exam, read the questions carefully, underline/highlight key words or write key facts such as equations or formulas that you may forget.

Answer the questions you are confident about first, if you reach a question you are unsure of don’t panic! Eliminate any obviously incorrect answer choices or bullet point facts you can recall, then move on to the next question. Don’t waste precious minutes wracking your brain trying to remember all the detail, this will only increase your stress levels and cloud your thinking. Go through the paper in its entirety then revisit the questions you were unsure on. Chances are second time round the answer will be clearer to you.

2. Focus on the remaining exams!

If one exam goes horribly wrong don’t spend time worrying and stressing about it, there’s nothing you can do to change things. What you can do is identify where you went wrong and learn from your mistakes. Remember these are mocks, so now is the time to make those mistakes – you definitely won’t make the same mistake again in the real exam!

3. Catch some Z’s!cat_sleeping

Make sure you get a good nights sleep before an exam. Last minute, late night cramming will not help,  it will only make you feel tired and more unprepared for the exam.

4. Avoid a rumbling tummy!

On test day, usually the last thing you feel like doing is eating a meal. However, it is important to line your stomach to stop those hunger pangs distracting you during the exam!

Also stay hydrated – try and avoid caffeinated drinks as they can increase feelings of anxiety. Keep a bottle of water with you for during the exam.

Naturally, everyone has their own way of revising and if what you’re doing works then carry on with it! Above are a few common tips to follow to help you make the most effective use of your revision time.