How to deal with the exams

I’ve been getting lots of snapchats in the last few days about how to deal with the exams, which can be extremely stressful for some people. It can be hard trying to cope with exams, whether it’s the junior cert or leaving cert! I completed my leaving cert 4 years ago this year and I still remember going into the exam hall and sitting there for a couple of hours at a time. Oh how I used to hate exams 😭

I think it’s fair to say that everyone hates exams, but unfortunately it is a crucial part of the education system. So I have a few tips here for how to manage the revision coming up to the exams:

  1. Take notes during class – I think this is one of the most important things to do to prepare for exams. When I was in school, I found it very boring to sit down and read through big paragraphs in the course book. When taking notes make sure that you only write down small keywords and important points, rather than a full sentence. This makes it easier to go back and revise what happened in the class.
  2. Put your phone away! – This is very important and it’s the part that I found the hardest. I’m literally glued to my phone all the time so when it came to studying, I seemed to always have the phone in my hand. When studying, turn off your phone, or even better, leave it in a different room. It’s impossible to concentrate on any study if your phone is making noise or the screen lighting up all the time. This can take up a lot of your study time, which is a total waste.
  3. Time management – Don’t sit down and study for hours without a break. Set up a timetable for yourself, for example, spend half an hour going through notes and studying for a subject, then take a ten minute break and change to a different subject when you come back again. It can get very boring and you can lose concentration easily if you study the same subject for too long.

On the day of the exam, this is the most stressful day when all you can do is think about the exam. I have a few tips below on how to stay calm on exam day:

  1. Stay hydrated – Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep you fresh and alert. Do not drink any fizzy drinks or coffee before an exam, you will find yourself very agitated in the exam hall and you won’t be able to concentrate on anything!
  2. Arrive to the exam hall early – If you arrive early, you won’t be panicking and you will be a bit more relaxed. At least this way, you’ll have plenty of time to get settled in to your seat and have all your things (pens, pencils, rulers, etc.) organised in front of you.
  3. Read the exam paper – When you get the exam paper, have a look through the paper and roughly decide how much time you will need to answer each part. Make sure you read all the instructions carefully so you will make less mistakes and you will answer the write question.
  4. Do not panic – If you don’t know the answer to a question, just stay relaxed and don’t stay sitting there looking at the question for half an hour. Move on to the next question and you can always come back to it again. It is just one of the many questions on your paper so don’t worry too much about it.

When the exam is over, the main thing I can tell you to do is just forget about the exam. I know when I did my leaving cert, we all used to discuss the answers to each question and talk about it for ages. It’s pointless talking about the exam after it, you cannot change your answers and it’s stressful if you find out you put down the wrong answer to one. There’s nothing you can do about it!

Remember – All you can do is try your best, the exams will come and go, it is something that we all have to go through at some stage in our lives.