Exams are fast approaching, and we know they can be the cause of very stressful times for our young people. At Red Balloon, we strive to make exam time as easy as possible. To help alleviate some stress this time of year, we’ve asked our Red Balloon of the Air Staff for their best pre-exam tips.
- Get to know what you’re being assessed on. Look at previous assignments or exams and mark schemes and example answers. You can also read through examiners’ reports. These documents are written by the chief examiner on what exactly they were seeing students do well and what they were losing marks on. It also can include pet peeves from the examiners, like things they don’t want to see that could cause you to lose marks!
- Practise your time limits. There’s not much benefit to getting full marks on a question if you need 30 minutes to do it in practice and in the exam you don’t have the same amount of time.
- Read and re-read. For English Literature especially, only going through it once might not be enough to get the writing firmly in your brain. Shakespeare and other plays were written to be performed, so you can read the whole thing in about three hours.
- Take breaks. Give your brain ample time to recover between study sessions. Breaks can be just as valuable as your revising.
- Know what’s on each paper. Is there a backside to the page? Is there a section B to complete as well? Many students leave sections blank because they didn’t check to see if there were more sections to complete.
- Get organised the night before. Lay out your clothes and get your equipment out and ready. This will make things less stressful on the day of the exam.
- Stay calm and avoid cramming! Focus on staying calm and try not to cram right up until the last second. At some point, you’ve either got it, or you don’t!
Perhaps the most important tip of all is to remember that while exams and qualifications might seem like your whole life right now, they do not have to determine your future. There is always another way if plan A doesn’t work out. Your exam results do not determine who you are.