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10 Tips/Getting Ready For Exams 101

10 Tips/Getting Ready For Exams 101


  1. Cut back on other commitments– If you can, minimise your hours at work or any other major commitments you usually have during the week. This will take a lot of pressure off and allow you more time to study.
  2. Eat a well-balanced diet– It’s tempting to reach for study snacks such as chips and chocolate to see you through exams, but you’ll find it much easier to concentrate if you eat nutritional meals(See below) and healthy snacks. While the odd treat here and there is a good study reward, overloading on sugar or salt will only leave you feeling flat. It’s also important to make sure you eat a decent meal before your exam. Small meals will provide a steady supply of energy to the exam fatigued brain. If you feed your child a large meal, then he/she will experience a dip in energy and also the alertness to study for hours on end.
  3. Foods that are good for memory – Wondering what foods stimulate the brain? Think colour to boost memory! If you could imagine a rainbow but made of foods then what would they be? Think of berries (every colour and type), whole eggs (especially the yellow or yolk), green leafy veggies and colourful fruits, the pink of salmon, and the earthy colours from nuts and seeds!
  4. Make the exam diet plan rich in omega-3 fatty acids– Omega-3 fats play an important role in memory, concentration and even relieving depression. Studies have found that fatty acids, especially EPA/DHA, enhance neuroplasticity(ability to learn). Our body can’t make any of the omega 3 fats and hence it has to be derived from the diet. Sources of omega-3 fats in the diet: Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, halibut, trout; seeds like flax, chia, melon and sunflower.
  5. Water is your best friend – Do you recollect how you feel when you were thirsty? You are irritable, listless, and can’t concentrate. Now, these aren’t the virtues you would want in a student preparing for exams. Hence, it is important to stay hydrated, ideally drinking 2 litres of water a day. Coconut water, buttermilk, milky drinks and some special teas like chamomile tea can not only help meet the recommended fluid intake but also help in providing nutrients and provide a sense of calm.
  6. Caffeine is a double-edged sword– Many students fall into the trap of turning to coffee or energy drinks to help them study. You may think that it will help you study into the night — or pep you up for an exam — but it’s more likely that you’ll ‘crash’.
  7. Sleep is Essential– Sacrificing sleep for late-night cramming isn’t a good habit to keep, even if you want to be more prepared for your exam. It’s unlikely that you’ll do your best study if you’re struggling to stay awake — and it goes without saying that you should try to get a full night’s rest before an exam.
  8. CoStudy– Studying with friends offers an opportunity to take a break and socialise while remaining productive. In fact, you may find that you work more effectively when you have others to motivate you and help you work through difficult concepts and subject matter.
  9. Breaks are Good– Studying can be tiring, so it’s important to stop and refresh every so often — even if you’re feeling overwhelmed and short of time. Taking five minutes to go for a short walk or make a cup of tea can help you clear your head and regain your focus.
  10. Stress Management– Each student has their own way of dealing with stress — you need to determine what works for you. Doing some exercise, having a short nap, catching up with friends or even just taking a few deep breaths are all good ways to relieve stress and refresh.



Dr. Bruce Thomson

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