The final school exams for the year are fast approaching, and now is the time to start getting ready for that last push. All students are under immense pressure at this time of the year and while preparing for an exam can be a nerve-wracking experience, the day before the big test is your last opportunity to prime your brain for success.

To help you make the most of the day before an exam and to refresh your mind effectively, we’ve put together some valuable tips that can help you enter this exam period with a fresh, clear mind.

Last-Minute Exam Study Tips

  • Organise Your Study Materials

Start by getting your study materials in order by ensuring that you have all the notes, textbooks, and any other resources you need for the subject you’ll be examining. A well-organised study area can help reduce stress and increase your focus.

  • Revise the Key Concepts

Begin your day with a quick review of the most important concepts and topics. You should give extra priority to the areas that you find most challenging.

  • Practice with Past Papers

Making use of past exam papers can be a great way to familiarise yourself with the format and types of questions that may appear in the exam. In South Africa, past papers are readily available, both online and in physical form, and they can be immensely helpful when it comes to understanding the examination style before you reach the exam hall.

  • Active Recall

Instead of passively reading through your notes, try a memorising method known as active recall. You can do this by testing yourself on key concepts without looking at your notes. This method has been proven to enhance memory retention and recall during exams.

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  • Breakdown the Day

Plan your pre-exam day by breaking it into focused study sessions. Study for a set amount of time (25 minutes), then take short breaks (of between 5 and 10 minutes), and repeat. This technique, sometimes known as the Pomodoro technique, can you help maintain your concentration and it can prevent burnout from happening.

  • Stay Hydrated and Eat Well

Proper nutrition and hydration are both something that you should prioritise for maintaining focus and energy. You can incorporate brain-boosting foods like nuts, blueberries, and dark chocolate into your diet, and you can avoid heavy, greasy meals that might make you feel sluggish.

  • Get Some Exercise

A short burst of physical activity can refresh your mind and increase alertness, and it can also take your mind off of your stress. You should take a brisk walk or do a few quick stretches to get your blood flowing again and this is a great way to recharge your brain for the study sessions ahead.

  • Revisit Weak Areas

On the day before your exam, try to focus on areas where you’re less confident. By tackling your weaknesses can boost your self-assurance and prevent anxiety on the day of the exam. So instead of ignoring your challenging subjects or topics, give them extra attention.

  • Avoid Cramming

While it’s tempting to stay up all night cramming, this is absolutely not the most effective strategy. A good night’s sleep should be a part of your exam prep because it can help you recall information during the exam. Make sure that you get at least 7-8 hours of rest.

  • Double-Check Logistics

Confirm the exam time, venue, and any required materials like ID cards, stationery, and calculators. You should also be aware of any specific examination protocols and procedures.

  • Finally, Stay Positive!

Maintaining a positive mind set is essential. You have come far in your school career so you should believe in your abilities and remind yourself of the effort you’ve put into preparation. Visualise your exam success and envision yourself confidently tackling the exam questions.

Remember, South Africa’s education system is designed to equip students for success, so take advantage of the resources available to you. Approach your exams with confidence, and know that your hard work will pay off. And don’t be shy about using the resources available at your high school.

We wish you good luck for the upcoming exam season!