How to wire your brain for exam success

15 September 2020

How to wire your brain for exam success –

Ever heard the saying
A healthy brain leads to a healthy you.’?
It is indeed true.
A healthy – and active – brain is also essential for anyone to succeed, whether it is in exams or in life. 💯

Here are 6 ‘brain rules’ for a healthy brain:

🔴 Dear Sleep, I love you…

You may not know this but when you sleep your brain converts facts from short-term memory to long-term memory. Therefore it is vital to get enough sleep every night, not just during exam time. You are far more likely to recall information and remember facts if you get the recommended eight hours of sleep every, or most, nights. Of course this will also mean that when you wake up that you are not tired.

🔴 Good food is good mood… and focus

It is even more vital to eat healthily during exams. Some brain food suggestions include oily fish, eggs, dark leafy greens, peanut butter and fresh fruit. Avoid too much sugar, coffee (caffeine) and fried foods. Eat a healthy breakfast, preferably a protein-rich breakfast. And remember, a (too) full belly makes a dull brain.

🔴 Exercise keeps your mind healthy & active… and your spirit lifted

You might be one of those who exclaim “I never realised how long a minute is until I did some exercise!” but exercising oxygenates the brain and it releases (exam) tension. It helps you to keep calm, it helps you to mentally relax and it also helps you to study more efficiently. Doing any form of exercise gives your brain an endorphin rush which helps with solving problems or coming up with new ideas.

🔴 Mellow doesn’t always make for a good story but it makes for a good life… and a great exam

Stay mellow, stay calm.

Make the following your mantra: Keep Calm – It’s exam time!

Or: Keep Calm – and I’ll ace my exams!

Or even: Keep Calm – and survive exams!

By staying calm and mellow you will feel far more prepared and relaxed whilst you are studying and during the exam itself.

If it appeals to you, try meditation as it has been known to lower anxiety and increase productivity.

🔴 Use memory techniques to optimise your learning

The first memory technique is a tidy desk and organised study notes! If your study environment is organised it is easier for your brain to retrieve information.

Teach yourself memory techniques by asking a mentor or teacher and by reading up or googling.

Tried and tested techniques include:

visualisation whereby you ‘see’ a building or a road (or something else) in your mind’s eye and then you ‘fill it up’ – bit by bit – with facts and study material. Once in the exam venue visualise again and retrieve the information.

building memory palaces is a specific way of visualising information: click here to learn more

mnemonics is when you ‘change’ something difficult to remember into an easier form e.g. taking the 1st letters of a string of information and creating a memorable or funny phrase that will make the information easy to recall.

rhyming i.e. putting information into a rhyme often makes it easier to remember.

composing a song helps those who are musically inclined to remember what they are learning.

How to stop procrastination
How to stop procrastination - You might be asking: procrasti-WHAT?! PROCRASTINATION is the act or habit of procrastinating or putting off or delaying something, especially something that needs to be done. Yes, indeed, like putting off studying for that important test or exam coming up! Bet you know what that feels like! Wikipedia explains procrastination as follows: Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accompli [...]
read full article
Dunning & Kruger?! Who?! What?! And why?!
Who is Dunning & Kruger? - In 1999 two researchers, David Dunning and Justin Kruger, tested participants in their research project on logic, grammar and sense of humour. They found that the participants who performed the worst rated their own skills as far above average where in actual fact this was anything but true. These two researchers attributed this trend to metacognition, or rather to a problem with metacognition. So, what does metacogn [...]
read full article
BELIEVE in yourself 💛
💛 Believe in yourself - What does self-belief mean? Self-belief means to trust in your own positive characteristics. If you believe in yourself, you deem yourself worthy. Also, if you believe in yourself, it is easier to have self-confidence and to exude self-confidence. Self-confidence is an attractive trait to have, as long as you are not overly confident and full of yourself.If you are confident and if you believe in yourself, it is easier for oth [...]
read full article