Study smarter, not harder!


By Sophia L

Tension is in the air, and panic replaces the usual holiday cheer. This time of year is known as exam break, with high- school students stressing out about up coming tests and semester finals. Stress is a force constantly affecting all human beings, especially students. The ChildLine National Exam Stress Survey revealed that 96 percent of the 1300 students who completed the survey felt anxious about exams and revision, with 59 percent feeling pressure from their parents to do well and 64 percent saying they have never received any support in dealing with exams. Stress is part of everyday life and is unavoidable, but we can choose how we respond to it. Eat well, sleep well and be sure to include daily exercise in your routine! When preparing for the exams, keeping a balanced life style helps keep the stress away.


Not everything is about hard-core memorization, and that method is especially ineffective when it comes to preparing for exams. Study smarter, not harder! Here are some great tips that might help you ace the finals:

  1. Constant review keeps the information fresh in your head and nailed in the brain. A 30-minute review session a day is enough to keep the facts up-to-date. Review sessions should never be more than 30 minutes because sometimes you start to lose focus. Remember to rest your brain once in a while!
  2. Take advantage of exam break! Many students fool around during this period, and see it as an extended winter break. This time should actually be used wisely for studying and review. Everyone has the same amount of time to prepare; it just depends on how you use it. The way you use your time (hopefully it is effectively), will reflect in how well you do on the finals.
  3. Don’t jam and cram. This should be easy if you plan on using your exam break wisely. Do not procrastinate and if it helps, make yourself a schedule. Be sure to review constantly and don’t try to learn everything last minute; it does not help with memorization and it will only stress you out more. If you are thinking of cramming, it is better to not even study at all.

It is known (from various studies) that incorporating your five senses into studying can greatly help with memorization. For example, if you chew peach-flavoured gum while studying, and then chew peach-flavoured gum when taking the test, there is a higher chance of you remembering the information that you studied. However effective this method may be, do not rely on it as your foundation for success, because I guarantee you, it will not be successful.

Before the exam, make sure you eat a healthy and balanced meal (no sugars and stay hydrated)! Also, get a good nights sleep, as teens are supposed to sleep for at least 9 hours a day. Once prepared, here are some tips to help you during the exams:

  1. Relax (Take deep breathes if you feel panicky); bring small snacks (a chocolate bar), and plenty of water (stay hydrated)!
  2. You can always skip questions on the test, that you might’ve forgotten or unsure about, but just make sure to go back and check everything! (It would be terrible if you skipped one that you knew.)
  3. Take your time. Even if you are nervous, make sure you have spent enough time analyzing the questions thoroughly, and not rushing to get it over with. When you rush, chances are that you have missed some easy marks.

mediaAfter the exam, be sure to set your mind off of it, don’t sit there brooding about what you might have missed or gotten wrong. Instead, you should treat yourself to something nice and small as a way to relieve the stress and congratulate yourself on such a tough feat!

With this being said, I should go get a treat for this article I finished… Anyways, wishing you the best of luck and a happy ending to the Journalism 2014 year! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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