The last few days are all about getting your mind and body ready to PERFORM. Its not about last minute cramming. Its about right ‘mental state’. Do everything you can to be calm, mentally strong, and super alert. This is what will create the WINNING edge. Here are a few tips that have always worked for me!
This piece of advice is listed first because it is one of the most important and most frequently overlooked. Our brain needs rest! Make sure you get enough sleep. This makes a huge difference in levels of alertness during the exams.
Use your downtime wisely.
When you are not studying, make sure your eyes, your brain and your body is being rested. TV is not rest! 60% of the brain is visual, and TV is an audio-visual media. Phone is not rest either! Have someone give you a head massage! Music, laughter with friends and family, meditation, and going for a chilled out walk is brilliant rest. Walking is also great as it stimulates the brain by coordination the left and right hemispheres of the brain to work together.
For at least 3 days before the exams -
1 Sleep at the time you will sleep the night before the exams
2 Pack your bag for the next day before going to bed. Keep your pens, pencils and stationery properly and ready.
3 Have a morning routine of everything you would day on the day of the exam, and practise it for three days before the exam day.
4 Solve practise papers at the same time and with the same discipline as you would solve the actual papers.
All this will keep your subconscious mind prepared for the exam day. No energy will be used on unnecessary decision making and hence 100% of the mental energy will be focussed on remembering and performing.
Dont OD on sweets, coffee, fried foods, spicy foods, heavy food, etc. Keep your system light to keep your brain feeling in control of things. Eat plenty of nuts, fresh juices, fruits, yoghurt, etc. Eat frequently, but small quantities.
Get into the habit of taking a one minute BREAK to just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths every 60 minutes. Do this during your actual exam also. Proper breathing does magic. It makes you relaxed, it oxygenates your system, it helps keep you focussed. These are all critical to performance.
Don’t let stress or tension from other aspects of life (relationships, friends, family issues, past failures, etc) disturb you. Tell yourself that right now, this (i.e. results in exams) is your priority. You can deal with the other things later.
Strengthen your strengths.
Don’t try to learn new things during the last few days. Instead, strengthen your strengths. Make sure you get them absolutely right.
Preview - Study - Review
Before you starting studying, quickly preview (5 minutes) all the topics you intend to study. After studying, take 5 minutes to review what you studied. Repetition is the mother of learning. This will make sure that in every session, your brain has seen the content matter 3 times!
Dont do it! At max, study with one friend. But, ensure that your friend is even more dedicated and committed than you are.
Don’t become overconfident
Use your time wisely. These few days will determine many things. Go all out. Don’t spare any effort!
Review only key points from every topic. Ideally review your short notes if you have them. Review the underlined parts. Review quickly, but repeatedly. More the number of impressions (no of times you reiview), the better you will remember.
A few times every day, visualise yourself answering the exam, absolutely relaxed and effortlessly. See yourself doing your 100% best without any worry or tension about the result. See this image clearly in your mind. It will help ease the pressure.
Say Thank You!
Thats right, express your gratitude to all the people who helped you - teachers, parents, friends, and mentors. Say thank you to existence for giving you the opportunity to study and give exams. After all, not everyone gets the opportunity! Gratitude always neutralises any negative emotions and puts in the right state of mind :-)
Saved the best for the last. This one is crucial. Do something everyday that makes you HAPPY! - it changes the chemical balance of your brain and makes you more ready to PERFORM!
Wish you all the glory! Enjoy answering!