10 Tips to Mentally Prepare for Exams

10 Tips to Mentally Prepare for Exams

Mentally preparing Yoga girlOften poor performances under examination conditions can be traced back to a negative mindset, usually in the form of stress, anxiety and a lack of self-belief. Take a look at these tips to mentally prepare for your exams.

Study Past Papers

Exam worries often come from a fear of the unknown. Not knowing what to expect under exam conditions can create panic. Overcome this by studying past examination papers to get a realistic idea of what is about to come.

Organise Your Notes

Organise your written material into sub-headings, charts, bullet points, and diagrams. Too much written material can be off-putting. By breaking up your work, exam preparation becomes more productive.

The Bedtime Reminder

The brain remembers and absorbs information especially well just before you fall asleep. During this time say to yourself out loud or inside your mind: "Tomorrow I will work hard from a calm and relaxed state". This will encourage you to start the next day in the best possible way.

Stress Is Not All Bad

Exam stress need not always be negative - it's designed to prompt you into action, so use it to your advantage. In small amounts stress will encourage you to work harder, and think faster. Just don't let it build up too much.

Time Management

Time-management is one of the key skills for effective revision. Stress often comes from the belief that you are running out of time to prepare; by allocating time blocks for each important topic nothing will be missed and your worries will disappear.

Get A Study Buddy

It's good to know others are in the same boat as you. During exam preparation, find someone to study with. This strategy makes each of you accountable to one another, and it makes revision more interactive and enjoyable.

Take Some Perspective

When exams are upon you, it's difficult to think about anything else. Place your examinations in perspective - the world will not end if you fail.

Generate a positive state

One of the biggest predictors of behaviour is your internal state. If you feel good in the build-up to your exams, the chances of performing well are increased. Take 5 minutes before exams to fill your mind with positive material to get fired up for action.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Exam stress often comes from the fear of making mistakes. Unfortunately mistakes are an unavoidable component of exams. Learn from your mistakes by seeing failure as feedback to stay positive.

Don't Aim For Perfection

Exam stress is often the result of worrying about making mistakes. Accepting that perfection can never be achieved, and that there will always be room for improvement, takes some of the pressure off.


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