As we charge into exam season, I am sending out luck and focus vibes to all students who are in swotvac preparing for exams.
Those Good Vibes extend to those of you who may not necessarily have exams, but are preparing your final assessments for the year.
If you feel your productivity/preparation skills could use some tuning, feel free to check out our ‘Preparing for Exams – The Series‘ posts.
It is a collection of posts, accumulated over the last few years that deal with common exam preparation strategies and concepts.
We look at study tips, managing anxiety, study/writing traps and the dreaded ‘dealing with failure’.
- Put limits on how many times you read things and instead progress to making notes, organising those notes into flash cards and testing yourself.
- Utilise old exam questions if you have them to practise answering them off the top of your head.
- Work in 90 minute cycles with periods (10-20 minutes) of deep rest in-between (e.g. meditation, progressive muscle relaxation).
- Break up periods of intense focus on papers/computer screen, with periods of time outside with wide gaze on the big wide world
- Seek, where possible to connect the material you are learning to other parts of your life – personal relevance improves memory.
- Aim for a reliable/regular sleep schedule – learning is continued through sleep in the way that the brain uses sleep period to consolidate the learning done during the day.
- Be OK with putting other things aside for the time being whilst you focus your attention – they will be there when exams are finished.
- Accept that negative self-talk commonly accompanies working hard on something. Thank your mind for its contribution but let it know that such negative talk is not helpful right now and that you’d rather focus on the material itself.
- For things that you don’t want to stop but can’t see yourself finding the time (e.g. exercise), do a small version of your normal activity (e.g. 30 star jumps instead of a 5km run).
- Remember that your worth as a person is much more than the specific outcomes of exams 🙂
- Utilise Huberman’s neuroplasticity super protocol (he is a neuroscientist who develops neuroscience-based productivity and wellbeing protocols)
The end of the academic year is typically pretty intense. Challenge and opportunity all wrapped up into one.
Your job is to do your best. Use this time to develop the skills and mindsets that will prepare you for life beyond uni.
But also remember that it is merely just one step on a much bigger journey, so bring patience and self-compassion to the process.