By Pam Betts
Brisbane Catholic Education Executive Director
With our most recent Covid lockdown ending, it’s been wonderful to welcome our Year 11 and 12 students back to school as they prepare for important exams in the coming months.
Each student will have their own approach to their exam preparation. As teachers, we’re often asked for our tips – here’s my top five for being at your best for exams:
- Spread the workload
This can be titled another way – don’t cram. The best preparation is to work through the term in a steady way rather than rush at the end. At night, go over the new information learnt during the day but also take some time each week to look back on previous weeks to keep information fresh. Slow and steady wins the race.
- The power of the written word
Sometimes, we forget that writing something down can be a powerful way to remember. In a world of laptop computers and smartphones, sometimes we don’t get the chance to use a pen or pencil. Put some key points down on paper that you need to recall in an exam – writing them can be a better way to remember than typing the information.
- Keep a routine
Extra-curricular activity is vital for secondary school students but that can also impact on study timetables. If there are busy days of cultural activities, sport or part-time work that take away from study, don’t panic. You don’t have to add more revision into the next day to ‘make up the time’. Enjoy these activities as a welcome break from the routine. Just make sure you get back into your routine as soon as you can or factor them into your study timetable.
- Keep things calm
Make sure you are prepared the night before an exam – go to bed at the normal time and have everything ready for school the next day. That will give you peace of mind and help to ensure you don’t have to rush the next morning. It’s important to be calm before a test but it’s natural to be a bit nervous. If you’re worried about your nerves, use some of the great meditation apps that are now available. Even if it’s only for three minutes, it can be helpful.
- It’s an exam. It doesn’t define your life
Prepare thoroughly, study well throughout the semester and perform as well as you can. But keep it all in perspective. It’s an exam – it doesn’t define you or your post-school life. It’s a measurement of a point in time in your life. Give yourself the best chance but know that there are many adventures to come in life. Good luck.