Dec 23, 2023 3 min read

Exam-Taking Techniques #2 - Take Care of Yourself

Exam-Taking Techniques #2 - Take Care of Yourself
Photo by Samuel Girven / Unsplash

Take care of your body and mind; the day before and the day of.

Don't Overstudy the Day Before

Some people like to study hard the day before; some don’t. My recommendations are to study from your cheat sheet and maybe run through some quick Q&A, but in general, don’t overdo it. It’s not a good idea to go into overload the day before (or the day of) the exam.

If at all possible, I suggest not studying the day before. Studies show that people who enjoy other activities the day before an exam tend to score better. It might sound counter-intuitive, but in many cases, it works.
Consider a light, fun activity, game, yoga, etc... Whatever you like to break the monotony of study!

Get a Good Night's Rest

A good night’s sleep (seven to nine hours) before the day of the exam is probably the best way to get your mind ready for an exam. Sleep reduces stress, rejuvenates the body and the brain, and provides for a way to forget the exam for a while!

I speak from experience. As a person who has been known to ditch sleep and instead work or write through the night, I should know!

Eat a Decent Breakfast

Eating is good! Breakfast is number two when it comes to getting your mind ready for an exam, especially if it is a morning exam. Remember to balance the protein and carbs! And watch out for the coffee and tea. Too much caffeine, if you are not used to it, can be detrimental to the thinking process.

Relax the Mind

Different people approach this in different ways. Simple breathing exercises can be sufficient for many, and work well in the short term.

Thinking long term, the mind is more relaxed and works more efficiently when stress is reduced. Remember, stress and fear are literally the mind-killers. They drastically reduce brain productivity.
However, reducing stress doesn't happen overnight. To accomplish this, a person needs to incorporate relaxation techniques into a daily routine.

Perhaps you like physical exercises such as jogging or strength training. Maybe listening to certain music, or reading particular books or passages.
Again, the key is consistency—do it every day.

This can be difficult for some. The most common argument I hear is that there "isn't enough time in the day". One axiom that I have found to be true is this:

The best time to relax is when you don't have the time to do so.

You know me, I love a good paradox. To me, the real meaning is that there's always time, we just need to make good use of it.
Consider this as part of your long-term study plans.

For millennia, the concept of meditation has been a great help to many. Closing the eyes for a few moments during an exam (or any time), and taking a couple of slow, deep breaths, can be incredibly beneficial. I'll dig more into that concept in a later episode of this series.

So remember, take care of your mind and body, and they will perform much more efficiently for you - increasing your chances of passing the exam the first time.
Thanks for reading. 🙏
Exam-Taking Techniques #3 - Prepare your Testing Area
Creating the proper testing environment will save you some aggravation when it comes to actual testing time.

Cover Photo: Photo by Samuel Girven / Unsplash

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