Staying positive during exam season

Studying for exams

With A Level exam season swiftly approaching, many students will be busy revising and testing their knowledge. With this comes a great deal of stress. Stress can easily get the better of you during exam season, leading students to question their own abilities and even panic.

Fortunately, there are countless sources of support available. Childline revealed that they delivered 3,135 counselling sessions on exam stress in 2016/17 alone. Staying positive during exam season is the key to ensuring stress doesn’t get the better of you, not just during revision sessions but when sitting those all-important papers. In this blog post, we share our tips for staying positive and keeping a level head.

Prep early

Preparation is essential for staying positive and confident in the run up to your exams. However, making a revision timetable that actually works for you isn’t easy. Your revision plan should provide comprehensive cover of all the subjects you’re studying. It’s also recommended that you prioritise subjects in accordance with your most recent performance. Plan your timetable early, allowing around two to three months before exam season begins for maximum absorption and minimum stress.

Mix it up

New grading systemVariety is the spice of life, and the same sentiment applies to exam revision. By approaching the revision of subjects differently you can put a positive spin on each. Which? University offers some great advice for mixing up your study methods:

“Certain study methods will suit some subjects better than others. This might depend on how intense the material is, how it will be assessed or simply how you best retain everything. For example, the following methods might work for you:

  • Flashcards for key dates in history
  • Jingles or rhymes for phrases you’ll have to speak in a French oral exam
  • Pictures to identify parts of the human body in biology.

The length of your study periods can also be flexible according to what works for you. For example, you might find that two 45 minute sessions of maths, with a break in between, are most productive – but you can focus on your chemistry revision for longer periods of time.”

Mixing up the location of your study sessions will also provide the change of scenery you need to increase focus levels. Many libraries provide study rooms, but heading to a friend’s house for a joint study session can work equally as well.

Take a break

Contrary to popular belief, revision sessions shouldn’t be all work and no play. Rewarding yourself throughout is the best route to injecting positivity into all areas of exam preparation. Rewards don’t have to be extravagant. Got a grasp on a difficult concept? Treat yourself by listening to your favourite song. Improved your mock test result? Take a bubble bath.

Using mindfulness practices to better connect with your emotions during exam season is also advised, and will bring you back to Earth when times get a little tough.

Where to look next:

  • To find out more about our A Level and GCSE courses, click here
  • We have possibly the best boarding in the UK – have a look at boarding at CCSS
  • Our student profiles give you an insight into what life is like for students at CCSS
  • If you’re interested in seeing which universities our students go to, click here.

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