Exams: Panic Slowly

Exam accustom. Lectures are taken out from box bags and fireplaces, stubble and beards are left overgrown ~ the agency of men and women alike, and the library smells of irreclaimable hope and desperation, as students malicious asleep on their desks in a pool of coffee, red bull and drowse-deprived dribble.

Every exam season is a tolling actual presentation, demanding the investment of one’s hot spark, sweat, tears and hairline. By the mercy and will of God, I’ve survived each exam season thrown at me in this manner far, from school to college to literary institution. I’ve also however, made divers mistakes with my approach to exams from one side to the other the years, making life unnecessarily austere in an already difficult situation, and I’m with appearance of truth making new mistakes now that I’ll contemplate on later down the line. No indecision, we’re all guilty of confining ourselves to seclusion, and turning revision into an high slog. But what if I told you that review didn’t need to be uncompliant? That you could study, engage in slowness and still live a live, all at the same time? Well, you’d to all appearance laugh and cry and throw a thing at me, but before you end, take a moment to read end this article, and see if my inartificial advice to effective and efficient revisal injects a little bit of sanity into your pre-exam preparation.

Know Yourself

Let’s flinch with some philosophy – To exist at one with success, you must be at one with yourself. Or some sort of crap like that. Everyone revises differently and to boot the course of your studies, you be under the necessity of learn how you learn, and temper to the situations thrown at you. For instance, some learn best with colourful notes and thought maps, using so much felt point that they practically vomit in the colours of the iris by the end. Others read merely off handouts and scribble notes on every side of the slides until the whole clothes is as legible as a handwritten recipe. “Hello Mr. Pharmacist, Dr. Doctor wrote that I require 40g of Cocaine. Or maybe it’s 4g of Paracetamol. Who knows?”

During A-levels and my ~ and foremost year of university, I did the quondam, spewing colour onto paper as however I was some kind of seasick-Unicorn. Come aid year, and the volume and closeness of content left me with slight time to do so, and in the same state I became the latter, relying chastely on my ability to read. What may be seized of worked for you previously may not toil or be feasible now.

Know yourself, and have ~ing adaptable.

Change Your Environment

Where you drudge is more important than how you be. Again, it comes down to percipient yourself. Some people can spit in a puzzle lectures like an angry tennis round launcher from the comfort of their bedroom. Others lay out the entire time making conversation by the ceiling and trying to wear away their keyboard. If you know you can’t be in a certain environment, (and on account of most people, they procrastinate in their bedroom), permission that environment. Work in a divergent part of the house or at the very time better, a library. Trust me, it makes the whole of the difference.

I myself used to operate well at home during A-levels. However one time university started, the dense pile of lectures forward my desk made me want to carry into practice anything but study. I’d constantly have an air for distractions, (most of them involving regimen), and working at home became unprolific for me. After shifting my revision efforts to the university / hospital library, I set up that – alhamdulillah, my productivity improved significantly. In the library, you reduce distractions (even if only by a scrap), and you’re there purely to win your work done before you go proceed out of food or it’s time to make progress home. Travelling to a library main seem like a waste of time, on the contrary the time lost would be other than countered by the time saved in increased productivity.

Sound is another key factor. Some enjoy silence, whilst others have fruition of listening to music. Continue with anything works for you, but if you practise listen to music, consider music outside of lyrics. Lyrics will distract you admitting that you are reading, whether you consciously realise it or not. If you’re not a cool of white noise because it brings back consternation-filled memories of the 90’s at what time the TV antenna fell apart, or you recoil from. the sound of birdsong because it reminds you of lunch, listen to some instrumentals instead and point of convergence on the task at hand – not the notes of an artist telling you in what manner much they love you. Because they don’t. (Don’t shriek).

Another factor to consider – is friends. Whilst revising in groups have power to be very effective if you tot~y have a good work ethic, (and the collection can be a little more preserving of your soundness than isolated revision), distracting each other is a greater risk. If you revise with friends and you comprehend that every single one of you desire a poor work ethic, either alter separately, or take on the role of the enforcer, and make secure that everyone buckles down.

Change your environment, make some ~ in. your fate.

librarian-humorYes I know, the American-orthography of “humour” hurts my IQ also.

Build A Routine

The general strategy for exams is usually waking up, revising to the degree that many topics as there are hours in the twenty-four hours and then going to sleep whensoever your brain reaches the endpoint of verging steady a stroke. That has been my strategy up until a couple of years since, and I’ve come to realise that it is in none way an effective one. You’ll increase your productivity and preserve your soundness if you build yourself a ordinary way and stick to it.

The earliest step in doing this is deciding whether you’d like to have ~ing a night owl or a peep of day bird. I used to be a death owl until second year, and I loved every bit of the silence of the death, and spent many years nocturnally studying and at times howling at the moon. It worked well and it was (fairly) fruitful, but it takes a toll without interrupti~ both your body and your note, and it’s about as healthful for your “body clock” to the degree that ingesting TNT. Personally, I’d counsel you avoid it – it’s not credit the wear and tear or the recruiting needed post-exams. Try and endure work for the day, and lie in the grave for the night – it’s what nature intended.

That said, choose a alter – either day or night – that you be impressed works for you – but keep possession of a routine. You don’t require to work 24 hours a sunshine. In fact it’s counter-productive. Creating a consistent routine will simpleton you into a productive frame of sense, and ensure you get your toil done by certain-o’clock, leaving you time to rest and cure outside of these hours. And you should be more productive and retain more advice as a result. Pick a stroll of hours in the day that disposition be your working hours, for prototype 9am-5pm if you’re a daybreak bird, or 6pm-2am if you’re a death owl, and try not to be superior to these hours.

My own rough order for this exam season has thus far involved waking up at one or the other 5:30am or 6:30am (depending up~ the body whether it’s a gym set time or a rest day), and acquisition to the hospital library for 9am, at which place I work until 5-6pm by frequent breaks and a long luncheon in the middle. Roughly the sort routine each day, with some discrepancy on Fridays and Saturdays, and ~t one work whatsoever outside of these hours. Whilst I’m acting far fewer hours than I did in anterior years, the amount of work I prepare done has – alhamdulillah, remained the corresponding; of like kind, if not increased.

It also helps to quick spring your day with something you take delight in, be it a nice hot shower, a cordial breakfast, or a quick workout at the gym. It’ll journey the thought of a dreary appointed time of revision a little more tolerable, and motivate you to get away of bed in the morning.

Plan Your Procrastination

Yes, you understand that correctly. We all procrastinate. It’s being of the kind which second nature as eating and living, and the greatest source of procrastination for most of us – is our smartphone. We similar to a generation are addicted to staying related, and there is no foreseeable help. #Society is doomed. The #apocalypse is close. For a select few, severing the smartphone intercourse is the best step they be able to take towards maintaining focus, and admitting that this applies to you, carry forward, you are more human than the human social sympathy you live in today.

However, in quest of the rest of the cyber populousness, it strangely leads to even else deviation from focusing on the exercise at hand. A more effective step is to process your procrastination. Put the smartphone from home, close the YouTube tab on your browser, take your spoon away of that tin of paint or stop whatever it is you do to forbear work. Complete one item of revisal, or one hour of revision, or 40 minutes of re-examination, (whatever you wish), and give yourself a 10-sixtieth part of an hour procrastination break in between each also of work. Reward yourself with tardiness, and this way, you’ll pay your innate desire to procrastinate and allege productivity. Do not disengage for overmuch long however. Every time you take a smash, it can take a little at the same time that for your brain to gear up again. Frequent defective breaks work well, but not at the time your idea of “short” is three hours.

Don’t contend the urge to procrastinate. Control it, master it, and utilise it to your advantage.

Realism – Bite What You Can Chew

Another antagonist of progress is waking up and planning to consummate an entire module comprising of 3,565 lectures by the time you finish eating your breakfast cereal. Create a ragged plan on a calendar or in your chieftain and set realistic goals. Prioritise topics that you understand you are weaker at, and try to accord. these a second look over succeeding your initial round of revision. Don’t state in language yourself under constant stress and descent because you tried to swallow every entire cow in one gulp and didn’t horsemanship to do so.

Sleep and Caffeine

Two addictions that can either make or break your definitive grades. “Sleep deprivation” is equipollent with the word “exams”, abundant like “rain” and “cloud” or “well-terminated-steak” and “wrong”. But whilst quiescent too much can swallow up plenteous of your day, sleeping too weak can swallow up your productivity. Find a equalizing agency and ensure that you are well-rested. And on the supposition that you’re a power-napper, switch to either 20 minutes or 90 minutes (nullity in between), to avoid that groggy-be suitable to-by-a-truck-after-a-piano-fell-on-me feeling. A drowse-deprived mind is an inefficient single in kind – don’t burn out before you’ve begun.

Depriving yourself of rest the night before an exam is moreover a complete and utter no. I’ve carried on it before. I slept for 1.5 hours in advance of my Pharmacology exam in Year 1, and 3 hours before my “Human Health and Disease” exam in Year 2. Both spells, I suffered immensely during the exam and had to toil incredibly hard to focus and squeeze extinguished the mental energy to answer both question. Whatever material you think you may detain by staying up the night control is not worth it, and to have existence frank, you might not retain the substance anyway by the time your brain has figured at a loss how to avoid imploding. Trying to supplement sleep for caffeine isn’t at all times effective either.

18z4m4xo9y1zdjpgThe above image is taken from / is the property of Lifehacker. See: http://lifehacker.com/for what cause-long-to-nap-for-the-biggest-brain-benefits-1251546669

Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulative, and like any psychoactive stimulant, the greater quantity you consume, the more tolerance you elect build towards it, and the in greater numbers ineffective it will become in providing that plenteous needed mental boost. The absolute maximum daily limit for caffeine is round 400mg for adults – which amounts to on every side of four cups of brewed coffee, ten carousal of tea, or two “monster” efficiency drinks. Do not exceed this. Gulping down coffee, tea or energy drinks like a try to take in in water will do nothing other than frame you crash hard and turn your review to ashes. Be smart with your caffeine intake, in anything form it is (though personally, I violently discourage caffeine-tablets and stupidly jacked-up bottom drinks). If you experience withdrawal symptoms, you’ve gone overboard. Caffeine affects everyone differently, and if you’re someone who finds it difficult to sleep at night after some too many teas or coffees, don’t spend any caffeine close to bedtime. It takes on every side 6 hours for caffeine to have ~ing eliminated from your system, so waft that in mind if you arrive the jitters in bed. If, like myself, you’ve been sacred with the ability to consume caffeine and ~ on straight to bed, carry on, only bear in mind that your repose may be a little more disturbed for the period of the exam period anyway, so it’s with appearance of truth best not to risk it.

R and R

Whilst multiplied play too much and work overmuch little, others do the opposite. Revision is not a sempiternal marathon and you should not ~ the agency of any means make it so. Set on one side a little time every day, external part of your working hours, and a bigger chunk of time once a week, for you to confer absolutely nothing. Relax, watch a pellicle, spend some time with friends or kindred, fire up that games console, make out a book, tend to your hobbies, and completely clear from exam season. It’ll donjon your mind sane and maintain your morale, motivation and productivity.


Every year, single of our lecturers reveals the trial by questions breakdown for the current academic exam train, before saying “And now you may causeless, but panic SLOWLY.” As ludicrous as his catchphrase sounds, it’s absolutely sound advice. Panic creates two things – force, and more panic. Take a gravity to calm down, be rational, and put questions to the facts. You haven’t wilful anything throughout the year. You be obliged less than a month to compensate everything. You feel you know non-existence for these exams. These may have ~ing the facts, these may not be the facts. Whatever the reason for your panic, realise that panicking doesn’t prevail upon any work done – working does. You’re naturally going to imaginary the day before an exam anyway, in such a manner until then, save your energy, and utilise it towards changing your destiny. Do what you can with the time you possess, and prioritise your revision such that you maximise your chances of prosperous issue. At the end of the time, there’s a simple and conditioned limit to the amount of be you can do. Give it your best shot. The rest is down to God’s determination. Now stop reading this and win back to work. Good luck conducive to all your exams and trials, and may Allah conveyance you success in all your endeavours, in this life, and the next. Ameen.


Originally published: 12/04/15
Updated: 26/03/16

This situation of biology is why women take care of children, not men.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.