How to perform better on your exams

Exam time can be a stressful and demanding time of the semester.

There are specific things to do to increase the quality of your preparation and in turn give yourself the best chance of success when that exam lands. Here are a few simple things you can do to help maximise your chances of success.

Know your personal energy

Knowing your personal energy is important because it helps you to identify when your body and mind are best suited for certain tasks such as exam preparation. Identify whether you’re more of a morning person or more of a night person. When are you the most intelligent and creative version of yourself?

I had an exam I was studying for once. I know I’m a morning person, so I’d sit at my desk by 7AM then just sit and study for 3 hours. This helped me quickly move through this study and pass the exam. If I had chosen to study in the afternoon or evening, there is no way I’d be able to resist being distracted. I knew the time when my mental energy levels were highest, during this exam period, you need to find the time when yours are highest.

Plan your tomorrow today

Planning your time is important if you want to spend it making the most realistic progress towards the results you want and deserve. The best time to plan how you spend a day on the books is the day before. You’ll be looking at tomorrow with a much more open mind than you are about today, it’s quite normal to be like this, it makes you human.

By this end of the semester you probably have a good idea of what each subject requires of you in order for you to perform well, use this insight to plan out when you should do each study task for a given subject. Include breaks in your plan, you’ll take them anyway and if you don’t plan them they’re more likely to be open ended with unclear time limits.

Be accountable

It’s great to do all this planning and make promises of study diligence to yourself, it’s critically important you be accountable to them too. Accountability translates intention into actions and that’s exactly what you need in order to take your known energy levels, your study plan and translate it into the actions that cause quality study to happen.

The human mind is great at making up excuses for things, and the best way to fight back against is with simplicity. Keep your accountability on track by asking simple questions about your actual study, ask yourself something like “Did I achieve the study I planned to achieve today? How or how not?” It’s not important why you did or didn’t because why will pave the way to excuses.

I hope these time management tips are helpful for you managing your time this exam period.

Good luck with your studies.