Make the most of exam time with this last-minute study advice

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On the day of the test ensure that you have enough time so that you don't have to rush.
On the day of the test ensure that you have enough time so that you don't have to rush.

The Answer Series (TAS) founder Anne Eadie has dedicated her career to teaching and supporting learners, including guiding her children through exam preparation.

Her son George is now CEO of TAS, and the duo shares their top tips for learners with the end of year exams on our doorstep.

But before we focus on our learners, Anne shares some wisdom for the parents and mentors reading this, "Don’t underestimate the role you play during this time. Teenagers might not admit to it or even respond appropriately, but they need attention and positive affirmation."

Shifting the focus to learners, George kicks off by explaining how TAS has a 3 step approach to exam preparation for learners to excel:

"The 6 to 12 months before exams are where our study guides come into effect; however in the final push we focus on tips for the three days leading up to exams, as well as how to tackle the actual exam days."

Read: Matric exam help: How to study for Language

3-day countdown

1. To stay calm and focused, you need plenty of sleep, quiet time and a clear idea of what to expect for each exam.

2. When you sleep, your brain converts facts from short-term memory to long-term memory. Research suggests that you are far more likely to recall information and remember facts if you get the recommended eight hours of sleep every, or most, nights. You'll also wake up refreshed and ready to start the day.

3. Don't overfill your days – make time for something fun or relaxing outside of studying, but make sure it's not going to sap too much of your energy or add any stress to your day.

4. Take the time to go through past papers and also familiarise yourself with the format of the exam – how long is it? What style of questions will be asked? Which section or topics would you like to tackle first?

5. The best way to deal with anxiety is to picture in your mind what is going to happen before it happens. Run through it step by step to relieve stress and feel in control of the exam situation.

6. Also make a checklist of what to take to the exam venue – including stationery, a water bottle and any requirements such as a registration number.

Also read: "Things will feel strange": Tips to ace matric 2020

On the day

1. Ensure that you have enough time so that you don't have to rush. The last thing you want to do is to panic on the morning of an exam.

2. Have a wholesome breakfast to give you sustained energy – we recommend whole-grain cereal, eggs, bacon, oatmeal or sugar-free muesli.

3. If you don't know your work by now, last-minute cramming isn't going to solve the problem anyway. It will also make you anxious, and that is not how you want to feel when writing an exam. Calmly going over important facts for the last time is a good idea though.

4. Take a few deep slow breaths and stay away from classmates who stress you out. You don’t want to send your brain in a spin. You can always talk to them after the exam.

5. Once you have read through the exam paper or a section thereof, start slowly with what you know. If you cannot remember the answer or all the details, don't let it perturb you; move on to the next question. You can return to the questions that you have left out at the end.

6. Get into the flow of the exam paper. The more you answer, the more you will feel calm and composed.

7. Make sure you leave a few minutes to proofread your work and finish on a strong note.

8. And finally, when you walk out the door remember to put it behind you. It's time to relax and be proud of yourself for having done your best.

Submitted to Parent24 by The Answer Series

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