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Ribston Hall High School

Ribston HallHigh School


General exam tips:

  • Believe in yourself. You wouldn't be here if you didn't have the ability to do it. Therefore, if you prepare for the exams properly you should do fine, meaning that there is no need to worry excessively.
  • Take steps to overcome problems. If you find you don't understand some of your course material, getting stressed out won't help. Instead, take action to address the problem directly by seeing your course tutor or getting help from your class mates.
  • Don't keep things bottled up. Confiding in someone you trust and who will be supportive is a great way of alleviating stress and worry.  Keep things in perspective. The exams might seem like the most crucial thing right now, but in the grander scheme of your whole life they are only a small part.
  • Avoid panic. It's natural to feel some exam nerves prior to starting the exam, but getting excessively nervous is counterproductive as you will not be able to think as clearly.                               

Interesting fact! Recent research by The University of East London has discovered that pupils who drink just 250 ml of water before an exam perform 23% better!

Make sure it’s just pure water (tap is fine as long as it’s in a clear bottle for the exam).  Don’t drink gallons thinking it will enhance your performance even more –it doesn’t work like that and you might feel very uncomfortable during the exam!  It’s all to do with hydrating your brain and you need just a regular small amount of water to do that.

Another interesting fact! The same research shows that pupils who eat fish just once a week perform significantly better in their exams and in general IQ tests…..this includes a simple tuna sandwich or maybe a fish oil supplement if you don’t eat fish.  

As the examination period approaches, you may be letting the pressure of the exams get to you. This is not surprising and, in fact, is quite normal to feel some anxiety about exams. Some students find that it is that little bit of pressure which spurs them on and enables them to get down and do some serious work.  Share your thoughts about the exam with staff and other students. Talking to your friends and family might also help you keep things in perspective.


Tips for the revision period:

  • Leave plenty of time to revise so that you don't get into a situation of having to do last minute cramming. This approach will help to boost your confidence and reduce any pre-exam stress as you know you have prepared well.
  • Develop a timetable so that you can track and monitor your progress. Make sure you allow time for fun and relaxation so that you avoid burning out.
  • As soon as you notice your mind is losing concentration, take a short break. You will then come back to your revision refreshed.
  • Experiment with several alternative revision techniques so that revision is more fun and your motivation to study is high.
  • Don't drink too much coffee, tea and fizzy drinks; the caffeine will 'hype' you and make your thinking less clear. Eat healthily and regularly; your brain will benefit from the nutrients.  Regular moderate exercise will boost your energy, clear your mind and reduce any feelings of stress.



Tips for the exam itself:

  • Avoid panic. It's natural to feel some exam nerves prior to starting the exam, but getting excessively nervous is counterproductive as you will not be able to think as clearly.
  • The quickest and most effective way of eliminating feelings of stress and panic is to close your eyes and take several long, slow deep breaths (see the Breathing Technique).  Breathing in this way calms your whole nervous system. Simultaneously you could give yourself some positive affirmation by repeating to yourself "I am calm and relaxed" or "I know I will do fine".
  • If your mind goes blank, don't panic! Panicking will just make it harder to recall information. Instead, focus on slow, deep breathing for about one minute. If you still can't remember the information then move on to another question and return to this question later.
  • After the exam, don't spend endless time criticising yourself for where you think you went wrong. Often our own self-assessment is far too harsh. Congratulate yourself for the things you did right, learn from the bits where you know you could have done better, and then move on.
  • If you feel that your exam anxiety is building up to a point where sleep is difficult, your health is suffering or your relationships with your friends and family are starting to be affected you need to seek some help. Talk to your parents, Head of Year or School Counsellor.


Most of all learn to relax!