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Biggest exam mistakes to avoid

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Preparing for an exam can be a really nerve-wracking experience. Some people thrive under exam conditions, where as others can feel intimidated, anxious and stressed out.

If you’re one of the latter, then you may be tirelessly on the internet, looking up ways to prepare yourself mentally for an exam, so that you are in the best possible condition for it. Knowing what to avoid can also be of some help.

You might benefit from the following tips, provided by the essay writing service Oxbridge Essays:

  1. Not getting your shut eye. Yes we know, it is easier said than done. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t get to sleep. The night before the exam can be particularly bad for sleep, as you toss and turn worrying about the following day. Don’t worry, though. As long as you have had a decent night’s sleep the previous few weeks before the exam, your body and mind should be alright after one restless night and your performance on your exam shouldn’t suffer. The NHS provides some tips for helping with sleeplessness. Amongst these includes making sure your bed is comfortable. This might sound obvious, but getting your body comfortable will help your mind ease off to sleep. You’ll also want to ensure you turn off electrical devices an hour before you head to sleep – this means your phone and laptop or tablet. This helps your mind slowly wind down and avoids the chance of you becoming ‘wired’ before you need to head to sleep.
  2. Not knowing your best revision method. By now, you should know what works for you. Are you a visual person? Do you have a photographic memory? Do you work best if something is read back to you? Other people remember things by repeatedly writing it down, over and over again. Learn your style and stick with it. Don’t be afraid to stick posters all around the house, prompting your memory of important phrases, quotes etc.
  3. Working on your own for long hours at a time. This might not work for everyone, but a lot of people benefit from being in a group and revising together. Try and make it fun! Why not develop a quiz for you and your fellow revisers to complete. You’ll have fun trying to beat each other, and you’ll absorb a lot of the facts at the same time. Don’t spend hours working on your own – give yourself regular breaks.
  4. Not getting in the right practise. This is an important one. Get previous exam papers from your tutor and familiarise yourself with how it is set out. Read the front – what are you allowed in the exam with you? A calculator if it is a maths or science exam? Are you allowed to bring the novel in with you? Then, look at how the question is laid out. Does it ask you to ‘explain’ or ‘contrast’ – or does it tell you to ‘list’ or ‘debate?’ Make sure you continually refer back to the question. Then, see if your tutor will mark it for you. Don’t expect miracles the first time round – after all, practise makes perfect.


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