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  • Home
  • Top 5 tips to get you through the Exam Season

Top 5 tips to get you through the Exam Season

Exam tips

Are you approaching exam season? Two to three years seems like lots of time to prepare for an exam, but you’ll often realise that the run-up to the exams can be a challenge for some. Do you feel you haven’t done enough study? You’re not alone there! That’s why we have come up with some tips that are guaranteed to get you through the exam season and leave you feeling much more confident in the lead up to the exams. So whether it’s for your Junior Cert, Leaving Cert or college and university exams, we have 5 proven tips for you!

Get yourself organised to study

Clean your study space

One of the first things you should do before you sit down to study for the evening is make sure your study space is organised. If your study space is surrounded with distractions, it becomes very difficult to get any work done. You could start with putting all the notes and books you don’t intend to study away in a letter tray. Your desk will look much neater immediately and you’ll be able to focus on one thing at a time.

Put your phone down!

Put your mobile phone away too, you won’t be needing it. Or perhaps you could download an app that limits the time you spend on social media each day, as you won’t want to cut yourself off completely.

Keep track of your time with a diary

If you haven’t already, then maybe it’s time to buy yourself a diary. With the help of a diary, you will be able to keep yourself on track, and it’s a great way to keep note of deadlines and the dates of your exams, that way you won't be caught off guard.

Be prepared for your classes

The last thing you need to remember is to always be organised for your classes. No matter how close you are to the exams, you’ll always learn valuable information in class, so it’s important you have the correct stationery. Not to mention you’ll need lots of stationery for the actual exam! Don’t forget to check your pens before entering an exam, to make sure you have enough ink and you’re comfortable enough to hold that pen for the duration of your exam.

Once you get rid of distractions and get organised, you should be able to apply yourself to your studies with great ease.

Create a study plan

Creating a study plan is key to keeping yourself on track and making the most of the time you spend studying. This will allow you to plan ahead of time and make it easier to work around other commitments. If you have some blank space on the wall of your bedroom or home office, then perhaps you could hang up a whiteboard and create a weekly or monthly study plan. This way, you can easily see what subject you intend to study on a certain day.

When creating your study plan, make sure to schedule regular breaks. While you might think studying non-stop will help you come out with the best grades this summer, it can actually be counterproductive. That big brain of yours needs a break too!

And if we get that typical weather the Irish always expect during exam season, don’t feel guilty about taking a 30 minute break to soak up some Vitamin D! Studies have found that Vitamin D may help improve memory, concentration and even your mood.

Find a study method that works for you

Everyone has a different learning style and it’s important you find a method that works best for you. Whether that’s through visual, auditory, read/write or kinaesthetic learning, we have tips for them all.

Visual learning

Visual learners learn best by seeing things, so diagrams, charts or pictures are key for these students in preparation for their Junior or Leaving Certificate exams. Textbooks and notes taken in class are often quite text-heavy, so drawing a few diagrams can be extremely helpful. These notes can also be made more visually appealing by making use of highlighters and colourful sticky notes.

Auditory learning

Auditory learners learn by listening. With this type of learning, being present in class is extremely important. When it comes to studying later on, read the notes you have taken out loud or even have a discussion on the subject with parents or siblings at home to increase your understanding. Perhaps you could even record yourself and then listen back with your headphones!

Read/Write learning

Read/Write learners learn through reading and writing! This means they can learn information by reading textbooks and notes, and rewriting notes! So if this is your preferred method of learning, grab your hardback copy, write out your notes in your own words and read them over and over. Even if you are an auditory learner, read/write learning could come in useful by taking down notes you’ve heard in class and then studying them later.

Kinaesthetic learning

Kinaesthetic learners learn through doing. This can be quite challenging, as not all subjects you study for your exams will be practical and hands-on, but with the help of labs and projects in class these students can learn. The likes of case studies are so important in the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert curriculum so these learners can recall lessons. Exam papers and practice questions are also important to help these learners become more familiar with the subject.

If you know that you learn well a certain type of way, then you should continue to learn this way. By recognising your preferred learning method early on, you will get the most out of your study sessions. It’s never too late to find out what type of learner you are though, try each of these and see what works for you!

Notes

Revise past exam papers and take notes

One of the most effective ways to prepare yourself for an exam is by practising the past papers. By familiarising yourself with past exam papers, you will begin to understand the core principles and concepts that are tested year after year, and you will begin to recognise how questions are formatted for each subject. This will really help you prepare for your exam.

For short questions, they’re typically looking for definitions and concise answers, so it’s a good idea to write these out on flashcards and learn them. For your longer questions, you will need to become familiar with how to construct your answers, so get your refill pad and answer the questions with as much information as you can. Read back over these and you’ll be well on your way to being prepared for your exams.

This may seem a bit repetitive, but we promise it will be worth it!

Remember to look after yourself during exam season!

Aside from all the studying, it’s important to look after yourself and do a little bit of self-care in the run-up to the exams. Without a doubt, this is a stressful time, so you should take every measure possible to try not let it get to you.

Eat well

When studying for your Junior Cert or Leaving Cert exams, it’s easy to forget to take regular breaks for meals, and just continue snacking. However, what you really need is some nutritious brain food. These are foods like nuts & seeds, berries, eggs, cheese, yoghurts and fish. Adding these foods to your diet will keep both your body and brain well fueled. And remember, it’s important to have a good breakfast the day of your exam!

Get some good sleep

Good sleep can pay off the night before your exam. When you get a good night’s sleep, it means you’re well rested and your energy levels are much better. We recommend aiming for up to 8 hours of sleep in the lead up to your exams. When you’re studying, don’t be afraid to take a power nap if you feel you need it! Studying can be mentally draining, so a little nap might be exactly what you need.

Drink plenty of water

Water plays an important role in the functioning of your brain, so by keeping hydrated you will be able to keep your mind alert. Dehydration can impact your concentration and your ability to think clearly, so by drinking your 8 glasses of water daily, you should be able to keep your mind sharp!

Stay active

While you might side-track sports and various activities until you have your exams out of the way, it’s still important to stay active and include some exercise into your daily routine. Even getting out for a 30 minute walk will help improve your productivity and leave you feeling fresher. This is essential when studying for long periods of time.

If you only choose to do a face mask, or to go outside to kick a ball for half an hour, these forms of self-care will really help you in the run-up to June.


Self-care

Remember, your family and friends are there for you every step of the way as you prepare for your Junior or Leaving Certificate, and chances are, they have been in your situation also. Using these tips, you should be able to enter your state examinations with confidence and feeling well prepared.

We wish you every success in your upcoming exams.

Other Useful Products

When preparing for your exams, you will need a lot of stationery, and that’s where we come in! Don’t forget to stock up on pens, notebooks, folders and much more for your year ahead. Keep all your project work stored on a USB key, so you can keep it close to hand all the time.