The mocks: more to learn than the three Rs
The Junior and Leaving Cert mock exams have been on all over the country. It’s a good trial run before the real thing. But it can also be a chance to practise stress-management, a huge help in the run up to June.
As with all important events, tests need to be taken seriously, but also with a pinch of salt.
Keeping a sense of perspective can help with stress. Which can actually help you study and even improve your performance when it comes to the exams.
Preparation is key
Below are some points for effective studying. They may sound familiar, but that’s because they’re tried and tested methods. They work.
- timetabling and goal setting
- a designated, organised area to study in
- turn off phones, emails, Facebook etc.
- take breaks, at least 15 minutes in each hour you’re studying
- study groups, if organised properly are extremely effective.
Just as important
At least as important to the study process, if not more so, is minding your mental health. Our mental health is in flux, just as our physical heath is. In times of increased pressure it’s useful to know how to look after yourself and get on with what you’re trying to achieve.
- Relax – make sure to take some time off from studying, relaxing might feel like wasted time, but it will pay off. By de-stressing you’re overall productivity is likely to improve
- Exercise – although it can seem as if the time might be better spent at the desk, regular exercise can help with sleep, concentration, energy levels and confidence
- Eat well – ensuring you get proper nutrition is never more important than ever if you’re preparing for exams
- Avoid stimulants – like sugar, caffeine and nicotine. They might give you a temporary boost in energy, but overall they sap your reserves and take away from the final result
- Talk – to friends and family about your progress, worries etc. Getting out of your own head and discussing things with others can help hugely with anxiety.
Que sera, sera…
Whatever happens, it’s not the end of the world. There are ways to resolve or manage most problems.
Keep in mind that once the exams are upon you, they’ll happen and then be done. Looking past the test to when you’ve finished can help reduce the sense of panic that rises at exam time.