Year 12 Exams Study Tips
If you have a child or grandchild sitting their HSC/VCE/Year 12 Exams this year, you’ll know it is a super stressful time. 2020 is going to be an even more stressful year with the remote learning and interruptions COVID-19 has put upon the students as well. Whilst we can’t do anything about this, and most students are in the same boat, it is possible to help ease the stresses of these major exam study periods, to maximise learning retention. Here are some of our tips and tricks to help ease stress and boost studying during this critical time.
Choose your study time to suit you
Some of us are morning people, and some of us are night owls. Everyone has a body rhythm, so work with yours to devise a study plan, and study when you are at your strongest. More focused in the morning? Study your most difficult subjects then (with an easy one thrown in for confidence). If you’re a night owl, do the opposite. Some of us study better with friends – choose a like minded friend and schedule some study time together.
Get 8 hours sleep
An oldie but a goodie. No-one can think clearly when our brain is foggy, and the best cure for brain fog is a good nights sleep. It’s tempting to cram the night before exams, but if you’ve done regularly scheduled study up to the exam period, there should be no need. Studies have shown a lack of sleep can impair memory function and the ability to learn, so good, quality sleep is essential, both through the study and exam period.
Eat Well and Exercise
We need our bodies in tip top condition to help alertness and learning, so make sure you eat well and exercise during the study and exam periods. Aim for 5 servings of vegetable, 2 of fruit, and lean protein and wholegrains every day. If you can incorporate some brain boosting foods into your diet, even better – things like fatty fish, broccoli, eggs, and nuts. It’s also important to keep up regular exercise, around 30 minutes per day, to get the blood flowing. Exercise improves blood flow to your brain, helping to improve memory and thinking.
Choose a quiet place to study
Whether you learn better with a friend or alone, a quiet, well lit study space is a must. White noise can be quite distracting, and can affect learning retention, so find a quiet place at home where you can set yourself up. A permanent desk is best, so you can put your study notes up around you. Try to find somewhere light and well ventilated, with room for you to spread out. Put up happy, calming pictures if it helps.
Go over old exam papers
You may have already done this at school, but keep going over old exam papers. You may not get the same question in the exam, but you could get one similar, and this will be an easy confidence boost for you. Going over old exam papers also shows you the type of thinking examiners are looking for, and helps you with exam time management. Examiners are generally not trying to trick you – they want to know what you know, and how you think.
Consider a Stress Aid or Supplement
If you find you are still stressed and this is affecting your study, it may be beneficial to consider a supplement to reduce stress or improve memory. Many companies make supplements to promote calmness – I like the Arbonne InnerCalm Adaptogenic De-Stress Powder with Ashwagandha and Saffron. Formulated to be added to warm or cold water, (or in a smoothie), the light peach green tea flavoured powder helps bring about a relaxed state of mind without drowsiness. 30 servings a 3g powder RRP $80.00. For memory help, look for supplements with Ginkgo Biloba, Omega 3 Fish Oil, Brahmi, or Turmeric. I like the GO Healthy Go Ginkgo 9,000 1-a-day Capsules which help support a healthy brain function and assists with memory and concentration. 60 VegeCaps RRP $34.99. As with any supplement, check with your healthcare provider before using, and try it a few weeks before exams to ensure your teen reacts well.
Good luck to the Class of 2020 – you’ve had some challenges, but you’ve also prepared well. Go into the exam period nourished, relaxed, and knowing you’ve got this. PS, these tips work for other years too.