Exams, a time for reflection not hectic revision

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By Barbara Nekesa

The exam season is here! While some part of the population may be oblivious to this period, many parents are praying and some even fasting for their beloved children who are sitting for the national Primary Seven, Senior Four and Senior Six exams and others, the regular promotional end of year exams. This period comes with a lot of stress which should be managed, especially on the part of the students.

At this point, it is assumed that students have completed their syllabi, reviewed past class exercises, test and exam papers, and are fully aware of when their exams will be conducted and that they developed their study plans in accordance with the exam timetable and are now ready for the final hurdle -the exams!
Everyone has told you how it is now your part to play and perform well in your exams, but you do not feel fully ready yet you only have a few days, if any, to go! Here are a few last minute reading tips:

Organise
List down the topics per subject and prepare a checklist to quickly read through each of them, paying more attention to the difficult ones. Tick off the ones you have finished reviewing as this will give you a clear picture of what you have read and what you haven’t. This will boost your confidence even more.

Different environments
Remember your concentration levels are at a high; opt for a place with the least distractions such as a library or compound over your bed as you might be tempted to sleep off.

Emphasise on class notes
Because of limited time, browsing through text books especially those that you have not acquainted yourself with before might not help much but instead increase your state of panic. Instead, use the class notes that you are familiar with and you will be very likely to recall.

Read it loud
Reading aloud, being mindful not to do so in a library, will help you recall information. While you read, highlight important points and write them down on a rough piece of paper to help you memorise even more as you will be using three different stimuli- see, hear and write.

Don’t panic
This is not the time to panic or else you will get distracted. Instead, focus on the task ahead. If you still feel stressed out, take a break and get back to revising later.

Rest
Get plenty of rest because once you are sleep deprived, you will not be able to remember most of what you read. In fact, studies show that sleeping after studying makes one remember more.

Diet
Have a good, healthy diet before your exams which includes carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables to nourish your brain and try not to skip meals. Stay off coffee before bed time and do not try to change your diet before an exam, however healthy it might be.
As you sit for your exams, remember to; read all instructions slowly and carefully before answering questions. If you finish the exam before time is up, go through all the questions and answers. Sometimes, you may not feel confident with your answer, but do not panic. Concentrate on the questions you know first and return to those that you left blank, reminding yourself that you are fully prepared for the exam and are able to attempt any questions. After the exam, do not stress over what you have just finished. Worrying will not change anything, instead remain focused on your goal. You did your part and that is all that matters.

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