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Wellbeing

How to prep the week before an exam!

By QMHalls 14 Jan 2022

Now that your exams are just around the corner, you might feel a bit unsure of what to do with yourself over the next few days. Do you try cramming in an extra few nights of work? Or give your brain a couple of days off?

We can’t give you one right answer to these questions because you already know what works best for you. But we can try and give you some tips!

Take a look below at some of the things you can do to get prepped in the week leading up to your exam:

1. Condense  your knowledge 

At this stage in your revision, your work is probably a little all over the place. It's a good idea to break down everything you’ve learnt into smaller chunks. If you’ve copied out whole chapters from your textbooks, make smaller notes using mindmaps or cue cards, anything that'll make your revision more memorable and bitesize.

diagram

Whilst you’re doing this, make sure to make a note of the topics you might’ve struggled with during your revision and spend a little more time getting this information down. In the run-up to your exam, it's better to focus on creating prompts to get your memory going rather than teaching yourself whole modules over and over.

2. Do some practice questions

If you haven’t already, start testing your knowledge so that you can identify any areas you might need to go over again. Try doing some under the same conditions you’ll be in during the exam by timing yourself and only using the resources you’ll be allowed to have.

a person doing an exam

If you do more essay-based subjects then you don’t have to write essays all week. Do a few and see how you get on, or if you’ve had enough, just write down a practice question and jot down some notes on what your response would be just to make sure you’ve covered all the content you might get asked.

3. Go over your mark scheme

Familiarise yourself with exactly what it is that you'll need to do to achieve your ideal marks. Go through the criteria and double-check that you understand what it is that your examiner will be looking for and make some notes. If you need to, email your lecturer or the person who will be marking your work and ask them to go over the areas you'll need to cover. 

a woman sitting on a chair reading a mark scheme





4. Look after yourself!

Looking after your well-being in the days before an exam is the most important step in getting yourself ready. Whilst you might start to feel a little more stressed and anxious in the coming days, it's easy to let your self-care slip a little. You might start to think that all that matters right now is getting the work in, but this isn't true. Getting good sleep, eating healthy and nutritious food, and getting some regular exercise are all things that are just as important as putting pen to paper.

a cup of coffee on a table

5. Give yourself some time off 

This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip and is just as important. Try not to burn yourself out. Take some screen breaks and some space from your work. These few days aren't the time to cram in work 24/7. 

friends talking

So try not to sit in your room or spend every waking minute in the library. Speak to your friends, your family and stay social. Or, watch a film, read a book and just keep up with your hobbies. The main thing is that you don't need to isolate yourself or stop yourself from doing the things you enjoy.

The night before!

The night before the exam will feel different for everyone. Some of you might be a little nervous, whilst others will feel quietly confident. Either way, you've done all you can. The night before an exam is all about finding a balance between refreshing your knowledge and looking after your wellbeing.

a book sitting on top of a wooden table

So, put all of these tips together. Go over what you know and what you'll need to do. Then, when you've done what you can give yourself some downtime so that you're ready and refreshed for tomorrow.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself, you've worked hard and you'll be more than ready on the big day. Good luck!

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