Exam Advice (from someone who’s been there done that)

Hey there!

So most schools in Ireland did their mocks this month (pre exams that are preparation for the Leaving Cert in June, or A Levels and SATS as they are called in other countries). And now that midterm is over a lot of students will be getting their results backs from their mocks.

As someone who did their Leaving Cert last year I thought I would dedicate this blog to advice/ techniques for exams to anybody who thinks they need it.

  • The mocks don’t always honestly reflect the true results you will get in June. Yes I think the mocks are brilliant to prepare students for the ‘proper’ exam, but if you get an A in biology remember that you mightn’t get the same grade in June. The amount of people who told me ‘the mocks are always harder, everyone goes up a grade in the real thing’,  when really that isn’t always true and it can put you in a false sense of security. So my advice is use the results as feedback but don’t obsess over them, their done, now start preparing for the real thing! 🙂
  • Eat and drink. I know you’ve heard it a million times but lets refresh your memory why don’t we! During exams and studying day in day out it can be easy to neglect eating a healthy diet. You might be too tired or lazy or just rather curl into a ball and eat a tub of ice cream (I know I did) but no this is not the way my child! Eat a balanced diet, your body and mind will thank you for it. Also drink lots of water, it hydrates you and helps your brain with all that studying you’re going to be doing.
  • Have some deep sleep. Try and at least get a 8 hours sleep (I’m going to say 8, you maybe might need to get more but who are we kidding if we get at least that we’re doing great!). Also the earlier you go to bed the better, I know it’s hard when it going midnight and you’re nearly done that essay you have to hand in tomorrow, but maybe you could leave it for the morning, or finish it during a free class? PRIORITIZE! If you find it hard to sleep because your worries and just general stresses of life are keeping you awake (I know I’ve been there), try this little technique I use. Lie flat on your back in bed, close your eyes and concentrate on the darkness around you. Now starting from your toes, tighten your muscles while breathing deeply, move on to your calves, your thighs, your hips and keep moving up till you get to your shoulders. Remember to keep breathing deeply the whole time while focusing on the darkness around you. Do this as slowly as possible and you should drift off in no time! Another technique I found online is the ‘4-7-8’ breathing technique, it’s really interesting and I find that it works, I’ll leave the link to it for you to check out! http://www.byrdie.com/how-to-fall-asleep-fast
  • Get up and move. Finally a bit of exercise never did anyone any harm. It can be hard when you’ve just done 7 hours of school, it’s raining outside and your motivation is gone out the door, but it really will make a difference to how much information you will retain from your study session that night. Now I’m not expecting you to run an hour on a treadmill or chase a ball around a muddy field (but if you’re into that fair play, keep it up!), instead if your like me and the thought of playing sports makes you freeze with fear (I have the coordination of a one-legged penguin) , the easy act of going for a refreshing walk might just be up your alley and is still getting you to move about. Grab your dog while you’re at it, or start a little group with your friends to go for a walk together every day after school!
  • A piece of paper doesn’t define your life. Exams are important, they can help you take a step forward into the career you want to go in. But if you don’t get the results you were looking for, a piece of paper with a fancy stamp on it doesn’t define your life. Take a day to be upset if you have to (I did) but then move on, you WILL find another way to get the job you dream of, maybe there’s a backdoor into the course you want to do, maybe apprenticeship is a possibility? No matter what there is always another way and if you don’t get the results you want don’t let that dishearten you!

That’s basically all the exam tips and tricks that I have to offer. I hope some of them are remotely useful! If you are doing exams this year good luck, you’re nearly there! Something important I feel that could be taken away from this is that you could be the cleverest person and do well in all of your exams, but none of that truly matters at the end of the day if you are not a decent human being.

Are any of ye going through exams at the moment? How are they going? If you’ve ‘been there done that’ like me do you have any advice you would like to share? 🙂

Bye for now!

Rearranging Stars

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