Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Handling the exam Season!

stress, Stress AND MORE STRESS

Although its Easter and I've never been happier to see the sun and have a break from University, anyone who attends school, sixth form or uni will know, although it's the Easter holidays, there is a catch. Exam season is fast approaching.
From when I started secondary school, it felt like any holiday I had (apart from Summer), was ruined by the upcoming exams. Yes, it's amazing to have two weeks off, but, suddenly the happiness gets slowly sucked out of you when you have 3 homework's due and 8 exams to revise for. On the bright-side, every student in the world feels your pain.
I often found myself internally angry at the education system, how could they ruin our holidays like this? So I'd forget about work, and enjoy my time off (even though the mountain of work was always on the back of my mind), and before I knew it, school started in 3 days and I had done nothing. Nightmare!
As I grew older I realised exam season didn't have to be this stressful, the key to it all was having a clear mind and an organised work schedule and place...

Step 1: A clear mind
Putting off work for the whole holiday and being constantly worried at the back of my mind about the mountain-load which was not decreasing, does not create a clear mind.

After a term of school, yes, we are entitled to a break. However, I realised for me it was best to dedicate a few days at the start of my holiday to not worrying about my workload, and concentrating on relaxing, clearing my head and enjoying myself. Because let's face it, after a term of early mornings and too many homework's, your brain does feel like mashed potato (Irish problems). I found that when I did then start my work 4 days later, due to actively dedicating a few days to no work, I didn't feel guilty. Therefore I had a fresh, ready to go mind, which made me more motivated and work harder after the 4 days of rest.

Step 2: The transition day- A day dedicated to preparation
It's the oldest trick of the book, taking a full day to write a revision timetable, to then realise you need the next day to buy stationary, then the day after you need to do this, this and this.... And before you know it, you've wasted 3 days on preparing to start, now your revision timetable is messed up and you're going to have to spend another day fixing it. Procrastination at its finest.
So instead, spend a morning writing a to do list for revision. One might look a bit like this;
*File block
*File dividers
*Coloured pens
*Sticky notes
Then in the afternoon, go get all the stuff you need, write a revision timetable, then start your revision the next day. No excuses!

Step 3: The revision timetable 
Whether you organise your revision through time periods (2 hours of Biology revision), or topics (Finish topic 1 of Biology), find the method which suits you best in the time frame you have! Revision timetables are fun to make, and can be quite motivating. So make sure you are realistic in your goals, and I always find colour coding by subject helps!
Take breaks when you need to, there is no point revising for 3 hours straight but not being able to remember a thing because your brain is exhausted. And if you're like me, snack if it helps! Nothing makes me happier than a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit whilst revising.

Step 4: Get revising
Turn off all distractions (Facebook, Twitter etc), until

your revision is finished or you have earned a well deserved break. Drink lots of water and get cracking!
Being prepared and dedicating a few hours a day to revising means you can still do fun stuff throughout your holiday, it doesn't have to be stressful.  So good luck, and if the beautiful, shirtless photo of Ryan Gosling doesn't motivate you, I don't know what will!

Are you stressed about exams? Have you any other revision tips?
Comment and let me know!

Keeping living and learning,

p.s. I've just got Twitter! Everyone follow me at @thoseyoungyears, to find out more about everyday life and to interact with each other more!

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