The QS Top Ten

QS Top Universities, an organisation responsible for evaluating and ranking universities across the globe, offers up their top ten tips for getting the exam results you want.

1 - Time

Give yourself enough time to study. Don't leave it until the last minute. Despite what people say, cramming all the information into your brain the night before isn't the best way to approach an exam. Set out a timetable for your study. Write down how many exams you have and the days on which you have to sit them. Then organise your study accordingly. You may want to give some exams more study time than others, so find a balance that you feel comfortable with.

2 - Organise

Organise your study space. Make sure you have enough space to spread your textbooks and notes out. Have you got enough light? Is your chair comfortable? Are your computer games out of sight? Try and get rid of all distractions and then arrange your books into piles. Put your English books in one pile, your physics books in another so when it’s time to study for that exam, you've got everything you need in front of you. It also eliminates any possible excuses!

3 - Visualise

Design a flow chart. This is a bit like brainstorming, but instead of coming up with new ideas, you're writing down everything you already know about a topic. Put it in an easy to follow diagram with key points that you can easily replicate in an exam. 

That way, when the exam starts, you can spend five minutes preparing for your answer and then expand on your ideas.

4 - Practice

Practice on old exams. It's always good to find out what kind of questions are going to be in the exam and the best way is too look through old exams. That will give you an idea of the layout of an exam, the number of short answers and long answers there will be and the amount of time you should be giving each section.

5 - Explain

Explain your answers to others. Parents and little brothers and sisters don't have to be annoying around exam time. Use them to your advantage. Explain an answer to a question to them. That will help you to get it clear in your head. If you find it difficult to explain, perhaps you need to do a bit more study. But at least you won't turn up to the exam and realise you don't know the answer to a question!

6 - Share

Organise study groups with your friends. You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. You're social life doesn't have to be non-existent during study times. Grab a pizza and your textbooks and get studying with your mates.

7 - Stop

Take a break. Don't force yourself to sit studying for 24 hours a day. If you're training for a marathon you don't try and run 24 hours a day. Develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, then start early before taking a break at lunchtime. Do something mindless in the afternoon and then start studying again in the evening if you know you're more productive at night. Don't feel guilty that you're out enjoying the sunshine instead of hunched over your textbooks. Vitamin D is important for the brain!

8 - Eat

Snack on brain food. Keep away from junk food and opt for a bowl of nuts instead. They're much better for the waistline and for the brain. You need to fuel your body while you study so make sure you eat nutritious food that has been proven to help your brain focus such as fish, nuts, yoghurt and blueberries.

9 - Pack

Pack your pencil case. Make sure your pens work and your pencils are sharpened. Nothing is worse for your nerves then having your pen run out of ink at the start of an exam. If you're sitting a maths or science exam, make sure you have all the necessary equipment you'll need as well like rulers, compasses and calculators.

10 - Fuel

Stock up with sweets and water. Keeping your sugar levels up is just as important during an exam as it is during a football match. You need to stay alert and hydrate your body. If you start to feel yourself fade halfway through your exam, just pop a sweet into your mouth and you'll be away again.

This material was taken from the QS Top Universities website which has more resources.

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