No matter how high your grades have been throughout the year, exams are stressful for everyone. If you are feeling the pressure of your final school days, know that you are not alone and there are things you can do to ease the burden. As the exam period approaches, keep these five preparation points in mind to stay focused and on top of your game:
1. Get a VCE Tutor
Unfortunately, you’re not always going to have the attention of your classroom teachers to revise and improve your understanding of subjects that are harder for you to grasp. VCE teachers can be great, but they have to divide their attention between 20+ students. So, it’s often impossible to get one-on-one support whenever you need it. This is why online VCE tutoring is so popular. Scheduling regular tutoring sessions can help you prepare and plan effectively for exams with a VCE educator who’s there for you.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
Many students overlook the importance of taking practice exams because it is so tedious and time-consuming. However, this part of exam preparation should be prioritised. Not only will it help you revise the study material and understand the usual format of the questions you’ll be answering, but it will also get you used to the structure of exams overall. It is especially helpful if you time yourself and try to practice under exam conditions. Past VCE exams are available to all students on the VCAA website. These are an invaluable resource as they allow you to see previous exams for your subjects along with the answers.
3. Revise Your Notes Regularly
Rather than planning to have big study sessions before the exam period, it is much more effective and less stressful to do a little bit of revision more regularly over a longer period of time. You can start by setting aside some time weekly or fortnightly and then bringing it up to more regular sessions as the year progresses. This way, you have more time to become familiar with your course content and will already have a habit of revision under your belt come exam time.
4. Use Mnemonics
Mnemonics are techniques used to memorise things and can involve patterns, associations, or ideas. While they are commonly used for memorising material for study or work, they can be fun to practice. Some common ways to use mnemonics include using a song, rhyme, acronym, or a sentence to memorise information. For example, you could recite your study notes as lyrics to your favourite song or use an acronym to remember sequential information.
5. Get Enough Sleep and Exercise
While all of the above points are important pieces of advice, nothing should be prioritised above your wellbeing, especially during your teenage years. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly is necessary for your development. It will also keep you feeling stable throughout the stresses of your senior years and may improve cognitive functions like memory and recall. These healthy habits can help reduce stress and anxiety so that you are best equipped to tackle your VCE exams.
Give yourself the best chance of conquering your exams by staying focused and applying the above tips when you need them. At the same time, don’t forget to take breaks and be kind to yourself as this is only a short time during your schooling. Your grades are important, but they do not define you or your worth.