What To Do 24 Hours Before An Exam
The 24 hours leading up to an exam can often be the most daunting, and it is important to be able to deal with the inevitable nerves appropriately, and prepare yourself to be as composed and adept as possible on the day.
Everyone has their own routine and coping mechanisms, and should adhere by them, but there are some helpful tips that you could follow to maximise your performance on the day of an exam.
Don’t overload yourself the day before the exam
A common practice that students follow is to cram as much as they can the day before, in attempts to fill their brain with as much information leading up to the exam. If you’re a person who feels relief from working several hours the day before an exam – keep at it! But often, this only leads to excess stress, and can cause your brain to feel overloaded. Ideally, you want to be relaxed going into an exam.
On the other hand, studies have shown that under a slight amount of stress that students perform better, but you don’t want that stress to become overbearing. Ideally, you should have done most of your preparation well before the exam, and when that last day comes around, you should know most of your stuff. A day of intense cramming or mindless hours of studying will not improve your performance.
It is important to study leading up to the exam, but often this last day should be utilised to revisit some exam style questions or some past papers. For English, you might want to write your essay or quotes out to reassure yourself that you remember them, or for Maths or Sciences, you may want to complete just one past paper. But most of all, you want to be doing some study and stress-relieving activities.
Get a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep is imperative for exam performance. To build upon the previous point, late night cramming isn’t going to improve your performance, especially if you have prepared well in the previous days. Not only does sleep improve brain function, but has also been proven to enhance memory. Focusing your attention after you’ve pulled an all-nighter is extremely challenging, and will deteriorate your ability to process questions, problem solve and articulate answers correctly.
If you are unsatisfied with your preparation and feel like you need to do more, try waking up earlier in the morning. Aim to get into bed by 10pm, and give yourself a few hours in the morning to overlook your notes, remember quotes or revise your understanding of a concept. This will allow you to receive adequate rest for the exam, and you will be able to focus on studying more in the morning, rather than burning the midnight oil and being unable to process the content.
Eat a healthy and filling breakfast
So many students decide to skip breakfast on exam day because they feel like they’ll be sick from nerves, or they don’t have time. If they do actually have breakfast, it’s not healthy or well suited for the day ahead.