With matriculants having started their final exams, here are some tips on how to cope with the exam stress. These study tips will take stress out of studying – whether you are writing grade eight, matric or university exams.
If you’re a visual person (someone who learns best by seeing things): underline or highlight key points in bright colours, look at your teachers or lecturers when they talk and write things down because you’ll remember them easier that way.
If you’re an auditory person (someone who learns best by hearing things): recite things out loud, make up songs about your subject matter; record your notes – use your phone if you have no other recording device – and play them back to yourself.
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If you’re a kinaesthetic or tactile person (someone who learns best by touching things): walk around the room, chew gum or even squeeze a tennis ball while you’re studying; use role – playing with a study partner or demonstrate what you’ve just read or learnt.
Form study groups with friends and peers it often helps to study in a group and can be easier than trying to do it alone,” says Janine Shamos, Resilience Therapist and Lecturer. “Not everyone can sit at a desk and read their work, some need to move around, listen to music, teach their pillows.”
Whether it’s the library, classroom, community hall or your bedroom – claim your study space. It should be a place where you can concentrate and limit distractions. Cape Town Clinical Psychologist and FAMAC – accredited mediator Welmoet Bok recommends that your turn off all outside distractions – like cell phones and computers. “Students I’ve seen say that they didn’t realise how much these distractions upset their concentration and focus until they tried turning them off!”
Calm and collected
While external distractions can interfere with your ability to study, inner worries can also get your down. Says Welmoet: “Internal distractions, such as intrusive thoughts, emotions or physical ailments or even hunger pangs can detract from one’s focus. It’s therefore important to try to make sure that you are as calm and comfortable as possible before getting down to the studies.”
Past or exemplar papers are a great way to get to know the type of questions you’ll face in exams. They’ll also help you work out how much you already know or identify your weak areas ahead of time. Matric past papers are a great way to prepare for your final exams.
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