- Find out what to expect
It’s a good idea to have all the information about the exams you will be taking ASAP, so you can make a plan for coping with them.
- Find out what kind of assessments there will be and when they will be
- Look at past papers
- Make sure you know which parts of your course will have formal exams and what will be assessed by coursework
- Get a copy of the syllabus or a guide to what content you are expected to know
- Make sure you have caught up if you have been absent for any significant topics
- Keep your notes organised
- Remind friends/family that you have exams
- Make a revision timetable
Try to start your revision in plenty of time.
- Link your revision to your exam timetable;
- Revise subjects in the right order
- Be realistic and flexible, in case of the unexpected
- Distinguish between “things I have to get done” and “things I’d like to get done”
- Balance your revision with other demands on your time, like meals, sleep, chores and family
- Take into account when you are at your best – think about when you find it easiest to sleep, especially if you take medication which affects this
- Take plenty of breaks.
- Manage your triggers
If you have previously experienced anxiety or become unwell in stressful situations, you might find that exams and assessments can be a trigger for you. It’s natural for this to happen, but you may want to prepare. Here are some things you can do:
- Stay flexible – even the best made plans can be disrupted by unexpected events. You may sometimes have to spend more time on a topic than you thought you needed. Planning your revision timetable with some spare space will help you feel calm when you need to make changes.
- Take time to relax – no one can study all day every day. You may find it easier to study effectively if you take regular breaks and factor relaxation time into your revision timetable.
- Look after yourself
While you may need to cut back on leisure activities during exam periods, it is important that you keep some of your routine, especially when things get stressful.
- Look after your physical health – eating well, sleeping and getting outside for a walk or other exercise is important to keep you feeling good.
- Keep doing the things that matter – whether it is phoning home, meeting friends for a meal, taking time to play sport or watching a movie. Your routine at school/college/university is important in helping you manage your mental health.