The night before and the morning of exams

23 October 2020

Do you suffer from test jitters? Do you feel nervous on the night before you are due to write an exam the next day?


Most students will admit to at least some nervous feelings when they know they have an examination coming up.  It’s normal!

Here are 5 tips on what to do – and not to do –
on the night before an exam:

  • Do last-minute studying in an organised way

Go through your study notes for the last time. This is the time to do revision – don’t tackle anything new that you have not studied yet. Go through your topics one by one and ensure that you know it well. If necessary go through a section more than once. Remember – you are doing revision only.

  • Eat a balanced meal

A nourishing meal will provide brain power. Use mealtime as an opportunity to take a break from your studies.

  • Don’t study too late

In order for your brain to remember what you have studied you need a full night’s sleep. Your brain needs a rest so that it can function optimally the next day.

  • Prepare for the next day

Set your alarm. If you are worried that you are going to oversleep, ask someone else to set their alarm too.

Get everything ready that you need for your exam. Pack it into your bag so that you do not have to look for anything in the morning.

  • Train your brain

Go through the main points of your studies before you switch off the light or directly after you have switched off the light just before you fall asleep. This is a great time for memorisation and capturing of work.  

Here are 6 tips on what to do – and not to do –
on the morning of an exam:

  • Take your time

Ensure that you have enough time so that you don’t have to rush. The last thing you want to do is to panic on the morning of an exam.

  • Eat a good breakfast

Good breakfast choices include whole-grain cereal, eggs, bacon, oatmeal or sugar-free muesli.

  • Check that you have everything

It’s a good idea to have a checklist that you use every morning that you are due to write an exam.

  • Get there early

Get to the exam in plenty of time so that you can be calm and relaxed when you start writing the exam.

  • Don’t cram

If you don’t know your work by now last minute cramming isn’t going to solve the problem anyway. It will also make you anxious, and that is not how you want to feel when writing an exam.

Going over important facts for the last time is okay though.

  • Stay away from classmates who stress you out

You don’t want to send your brain in a spin. You can always talk to them after the exam.

 Also see https://www.theanswer.co.za/tackle-your-exams-as-cool-as-a-cucumber/

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