Whenever anyone is preparing to study for exams, and this could be college or high school, students tend to go into a panic at the thought of them. They start to break out in a sweat every time the exams are mentioned and it is this panic that could see them fail something that they have prepared for very well. However, that being said, there are many ways to calm the mind and this usually takes the form of being well prepared before the exam day rolls around.
1. Possibly the best thing that anyone could advise for exams is to start the revision early. Don’t leave it to the last minute otherwise the brain goes into a freeze and information cannot be accessed when this happens.
2. Take it in small ‘bites’. That is, study for exams only for forty five minutes at a time then take a break for fifteen minutes. It has been shown that the brain will only accept this much information at a time so doing the revision in short bits is much better than cramming.
3. As the big day approaches, really get deeper into the subject matter. By now the candidate should have the general understanding of the subject anyway so he will be able to cover more ground the closer the exam gets.
4. By this time too, the concept of the subject should be well ingrained in the brain. Try to ask for, or search out, old exam papers or questions so that the whole thing can be worked out. This also means that the way the questions are asked will not come as any surprise either.
5. On the eve of the big day, it is much too late to do any more study for exams anyway. If it is an absolute must, just scan over a few sheets of possible questions and answer them mentally. The worst thing that anyone could do at this stage is get confused over something. Eat well on this day too and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. No drinking allowed now otherwise the candidate will wake up with brain fog!
6. On the day itself, wake up early enough that there is no rushing around. Eat a proper breakfast and arrive early to the college rather than late. Rushing at the last minute can also send the brain into a real frenzy so avoid this if at all possible.
Finally, most people who give advice will talk about visualization. That is, imagine walking calmly into the exam room with confidence. Taking deep breaths is a good way to relax the brain too. Also imagine seeing the test paper and realizing that everything there is what has been revised over the past few weeks or months.
It is the calmness of the candidate then that will stop him making errors when he reads the questions on the first run through. If he is fearful, he may well misread what the question is asking and this will lose him marks in the end.