MALALANE – With just a few days left until their final exams, matrics need to ensure they spend their remaining revision time as productively as possible and keep their focus.
Educational expert Wonga Ntshinga of the Independent Institute of Education recommends that learners draw up a plan to avoid getting overwhelmed by the pressure.
“Matric learners have a challenging yet exciting few weeks ahead of them, and going into it with the right frame of mind and a clear-cut strategy can mean the difference between and average performance and an exceptional one,” he stated.
Learners’ first move should be to review their study schedule. Many learners have already participated in study camps over the holidays and most have completed some of their revision. It’s important that they take stock of which material they still need to cover and how much time they will have to do it.
Double check your exam time table and ensure you study for the right paper at the right time. Also check exam times and ensure you arrive at school or your exam centre early to give yourself a bit of time to settle the nerves.
Some subjects require extra equipment such as calculators or rulers, so remember to check your bag before you leave your house.
Avoid quizzing your friends or reviewing work in the last few minutes before an exam unless you feel unsure about a topic. We all do it (or have done it in the past), but it adds to your stress levels right when you need to stay calm. Chances are good that everything you tried to cram last minute will fly out of your head the minute you flip over or receive your exam paper.
If you are unsure about a topic, rather ask someone while you are doing revision and give yourself time to properly understand and memorise it.
Everyone studies in a different way. Add coloured highlighters, tabs or even pictures to your notes or find musical or acronyms ways to memorise different concepts.
A neat working space, free of any distractions is a must. You should also ensure that you have all the relevant study materials, including old exam papers and extra notes in neat folders or files beforehand. Scrambling to find the right materials may eat into a lot of your study time.
If you tend to study well with others, arrange to have group study sessions or one-on-one quizzing with a friend.
Once you have revised all of the materials, it’s a good idea to focus on the sections that will most probably be tested. If you struggle with a subject or section, ensure you give yourself more time to master it.
Managing your stress is also a very important step. There are actually a few apps that can help you calm down or assist with breathing exercises.
If you struggle to manage your anxiety, it may be a good idea to visit a pharmacist, doctor or other healthcare professional for advice.
The rest of your diet is also important as stress-eating can affect your brain. Try to eat brain-boosting foods, take regular breaks and ensure you get a lot of sleep.
Exercise is also great as it releases feel-good hormones and can help clear your head.
Keeping up a positive attitude and focus throughout exam time is also essential. Don’t relax if you feel like you are doing well, continue to study hard for all your subjects.
If you did not do as well as you hoped, do not get discouraged. Studying hard and doing the best you possibly can in your other subjects is the only way you can make up for a disappointing paper.
Lastly, do not get sidetracked by worries over study options. You’ll have time after your last paper to see which higher education paths are available.
“Matric learners have a challenging yet exciting few weeks ahead of them, and going into it with the right frame of mind and a clear-cut strategy can mean the difference between and average performance and an exceptional one,” Ntshinga urged.