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Exam Survival Tips

May 18, 2017

One of the biggest challenges facing students is how to prepare for exams. The idea of locking yourself in a room for hours-on-end with a mountain of textbooks can seem daunting. Are flashcards, mind mapping or flow charts a better way of absorbing information or is taking a long bath and meditating better for you?

BIC® has come up with a list of eight tips to help students through this exam period…

Make sure you have all the tips you need to start studying

A person holding a book

Have balance – a tip from the BIC HR Assistant

You’ve probably heard the old adage, everything in moderation. It’s important to find a balance between relaxation and study. If students relax too much, exam study tends to fall behind and vice versa. Relaxation can help the mind to think more clearly and rationally, as well as helping the brain to absorb information for future recall. If you’re finding it hard to focus, try exercises in mindfulness as they can help to clear your mind. You can find additional advice here: Mindful.org

Don’t let stress get the better of you – a tip from one of BIC Key Account Managers

A small amount of stress can be healthy for productivity. Stress is your body’s way of letting you know that you are behind. This is the signal that maybe it is time to stop relaxing and hit the books again. There is a vast difference between a small amount of stress and feeling completely overwhelmed. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you may find it useful to write a list and order it by priority. This can help you keep track of what you have studied and what you have left. Which leads us to our next point…

Make a schedule – a tip from the BIC Marketing Manager

Before you start studying it’s important to plan ahead. There is no point studying ad hoc as your brain will miss vital pieces of information. Some people may find it easier to prioritise study by exam order. If you have a history exam first and a maths exam last, it would make sense to start with history revision. The key to remember here is be realistic. You cannot cram an entire subject into a three-hour period. Allow enough time to finish, summarise and then take a short break. This can also help with alleviating stress.

A book sitting on top of a wooden table

Log out of social media – a tip from the BIC Social Media Executive

The need to ‘love’, ‘like’, or ‘wow’ your best friend’s status may be strong but is this imperative in the middle of studying? Social media is a large distractor with many students checking Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other social feeds before they get out of bed in the morning and before they go to sleep at night. The need to stay constantly connected can be beneficial but when the end of term exams are on the horizon, social media needs to take a back seat. Simply shutting the app down is not far enough. Turning off all push notifications can also help to limit distractions

Make yourself accountable to someone else – a tip from the BIC Finance Controller

There is a reason you see famous sports stars training together or hiring personal trainers at a gym – they keep you accountable. You may be more likely to spend an extra 5 minutes on the couch or replace that light bulb that has been blown for the last four years unless there is someone keeping you accountable to your schedule. There are two schools of thought on an ‘accountability buddy’. The first is to choose someone studying the same courses as you. This person will undoubtedly understand your workload, schedule and course content. Nevertheless, this can often be a distraction without even noticing.

The second is to pick someone who doesn’t know your course curriculum. This person will be more objective to the time you spend on each subject. They can also help to set goals that are encompassing of all the study rather than focus on each individual course. A downside of this is, they might not understand that one class or topic requires more hours than others. It’s important to remember that everyone studies differently.

Have your tools ready – a tip from one of BIC Category Managers

This seems rather obvious, but you would be surprised at the number of students that set foot into exams without testing their pens, pencils, and highlighters only to find that they don’t work. BIC pride themselves on their exemplary track record with quality products. With just one BIC® 4COLOURS™ pen you will be able to take notes during class, underline important elements in different colours, revise and complete the exam without having the added worry of changing pens or the ink running out. With enough ink to write 8km (on average), you may even find yourself using the same pen time and time again.

Here is our checklist of the products you are most likely going to need walking into these exams:

Eat well – a tip from the BIC Front Office Team

As important as stationery and study is, what you put into your body also needs to be high on the agenda. Your body needs brain food like fruit, vegetables, omega oils, protein, and grains. Having a balanced diet will help you concentrate and sleep in the evenings. After all, there is no point writing 8km of notes if you are unable to stay focused!

Other tips – from the BIC Team

  • Do what works for you, some people may study well with music, others may find it a distraction.
  • The best piece of advice BIC®can give you is to spread yourself out. Instead of making little piles of notes, have them sitting beside each other or even stick them on the wall so you see the key messages daily while revising.
  • Use different coloured BIC® highlighters for each subject. When looking at what will seem like a mountain of paper, these colours will help you distinguish which subject is where.
  • Make yourself comfortable – change the height of your chair and the backrest before you begin. If you don’t, the temptation to fiddle half way through could get the better of you.

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To get you ready for exam season, BIC® has kindly offered some BIC KIDS writing pens to get you organised and prepared. 

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