S#*%. Your voice echoes as you start pulling hairs out of your head and immediately write off getting good marks for Chemistry AND Physics.
You’ve just found out that your Maths, Chemistry and Physics exams are all on consecutive days.
Your mind starts going into scenarios, I’ll just act sick on the second day so I can get some extra marks etc.
Panicking in this situation isn’t going to help you to get good marks at the end, so after the initial panic attack take a step back and follow the steps below to prepare yourself to conquer the abomination of an exam time table
Step 1: Nothing’s Going to Change
You’re stuck to the timetable and nothing you do is going to change it, so suck it up and realise that whilst everyone else is freaking out, you could be doing something more productive.
So now, instead of panicking like everyone else, we need to find a solution to this mess.
With a shift in mindset, you’ll realise that everyone else is wrong and you’ll be at an massive advantage.
Step 2: Plan, and more Planning
Planning to procrastinate is useless, but planning with purpose is the most powerful thing you could do to ace your exams.
First up calculate the marks you need to reach your goal. Use this article to help you.
Once you’ve done that, plan your method of attack. Write down for each of the subjects what you’ve done so far and what you need to do to be fully prepared. Essentially, you need to write a to-do list for each subject. Put this up on your wall so you know exactly what you need to achieve your goal mark. Then once you complete anything thing on the list cross it out with a bold red marker so you can visualise your progress.
Next allocate the tasks you’ve written down to different days up until the last exam in the block of consecutive exams. eg. For maths you have two past papers to do and for English you’ve got to finish up your quotes table. So in a diary or on your phone calendar, write down the tasks you intend to complete ie Monday – Maths Paper 1 and First half of English Quote table. Tuesday – Maths paper 2 and Finish up Quotes table 2. This will help you stay accountable the to-do list and your calendar.
You might like to structure you studying in reverse meaning that you study for the final exam first and go backwards. This will help you balance out your time instead of over allocating study for the first exam. Moreover, studying for the first exam last means that the material is going to be as fresh as it will ever be in your mind. Once you’ve structured your calendar around studying in reverse stick it up in front of you or make sure you set reminders on your phone to alert you when/what you need to be studying.
- Planning Part 1: Calculate your goals in temrs of amrks. Use the guide over here
- Planning Part 2: Start by writing out a to-do list for each of your subjects write what you’ve done already and what you need to do to reach your goal.
- Planning Part 3: Schedule your study plan in terms of list items in reverse. Focus on 2 subjects per day to maximise depth and efficiency.
Step 3: Facing the Challenge
The Day before the First test
So you’ve finished all your tasks and you’ve followed your calendar to the T. The week of terror has arrived and it’s the night before the first exam what do you do?
Firstly, take a second to acknowledge how much work and effort you’ve put into studying in such a methodical manner. You’ve done remarkably well given the circumstances.
Next, you’ll want to run a final check on your to do list making sure you’ve completed everything on there. Make sure you know every dot point or type of question that could be asked in the exam
In terms of study, don’t do much on the night before, instead relax and just skim through your notes and maybe teach someone your weak points.
Sleep EARLY!! Don’t stay up and panic. Doing so will just undo all the hard work and effort you’ve put in the past couple of weeks.
After the first test
You’ve just finished the first test and since you prepared well you should be silently confident of your performance. However, someone reminds you of the dreaded Chemistry test the next day and how everyone’s going to be so screwed for it.
Luckily, you’ve studied in reverse so you’ve already finished your study except for maybe a couple points. So once you get home, take a break to replenish your energy and destress after the first exam. Spend at least 30 minutes doing something you want to do, go to the gym, watch TV, do something that doesn’t use your brain.
Make sure you limit the timer to no more than an hour as you still have an exam the next day. Once you’re done relaxing go back to your list and start working on the stuff that hasn’t been crossed out yet.
Now, repeat the same process as you did the day before. Use the rest of the night for light revision by skimming over your notes and teaching someone your weak points. Don’t forget to sleep early!!
Now you can just rinse and repeat this strategy over the next couple of days until all your consecutive exams are finished.