• Helen

Week starting 26 October

Welcome back to another week of Maths Methods! This week we will be talking about how to use your time at home for exam revision when school finishes at the end of this week.

If you read my Week 5 blog post, you would know that I didn’t start out on the right foot in balancing between my studies and my health. However I was very glad that my perspective on effective exam revision changed and was no longer compromising my health for my marks. Going through this process of change I have learnt many things that would enable effective and productive exam revision.

1. Have a plan

Start by planning the night before, right down your goals for the next day. This will enable you to have a much clearer idea of what you are going to do once you sit down at your desk the next morning. This is the first step to a productive day of revision!

How detailed should you be with your planning? Make sure you ask yourself these following questions:

  • What subjects are you doing? Prioritise exams that are closer and subjects that you struggle more with.

  • What are you doing for a particular subject? You can choose to do practice exams for certain subjects and review on important topics for others.

  • When are you doing it? We’ll discuss in more detail about the timing of each subject in point no 3.

  • How long is it going to take for each task? Monitor how long it takes to complete tasks and adjust later on in your plans so you don't under or over estimate how long tasks take.

  • Have you left yourself some space? This is literal space on your calendar and also figurative space for your brain and body to rejuvenate.

2. Stick to the plan!

Did I forget to mention this?

I understand working through practice exam after practice exam isn’t the most enjoyable thing but keep your eye on the big goal and discipline yourself to that beautiful plan you just made last night!

3. Know when YOU work best and when you SHOULD work best

In my opinion this is a really important point to drive home. Know yourself and know your exam.

If your English/EAL exam is in the morning at 9:00AM (which it is) then you should get into the habit of writing essays in the early morning. I personally promised myself to write 2 essays every morning after breakfast in the last 2 weeks leading up to the English exam. I strongly recommend you guys trying this out!

Maths Methods exam 1 is scheduled to be in the morning whereas Exam 2 is at 3:00PM. This means you can schedule your practice exams to be in similar time frames to these to be more effective in maximising your performance.

Additionally, planning when to do what also greatly depends on yourself! If you are an early bird then there is no point in staying up at 2 or 3 in the morning to cram through practice exams because your body just doesn’t function at that time anymore. If you are a night owl then may I suggest trying to wake up earlier day by day to condition yourself with some of the early VCE exams.

Personally I found myself to struggle from afternoon slumps after lunch so I solved the issue by eating a light lunch and revising for easier/lighter subjects in the afternoon.

4. Condition your brain

We’ve briefly discussed conditioning the brain to the timing of the exam. What about the environment?

If you are able to know the location of your exam, you might want to try doing your practice exams in that particular environment, be it the library or the VCE/Year 12 centre! This repetition doing practice exams not only builds up your knowledge but also instills confidence and comfort when you do the real exam!

5. Your health comes first!

This is the most important thing that I learnt in Year 12 and am still learning. Your health comes first and by saying this I am strongly encouraging you to:

  • Keep yourself hydrated when you’re studying. Build the habit of always having a water bottle by your side. It’s a great study assistant.

  • Eat healthily. Nutrition is essential for a top performing brain. Opt in for a nut snack instead of a pack of chips. Stop indulging in Red Bull or coffee to keep you awake, enjoy a wholesome cup of tea and some refreshing water!.

  • Sleep enough. I can’t stress enough the important impact of sleep on your brain’s health. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. This will not only give you a fresh start to a new day but also helps to improve on your memory and performance in the long term!

Above are the main 5 points that I would recommend you looking into when you are revising for your exams from home. Let me know if you have any other suggestions or ideas on how you’d like to study from home! See you next time!

Have a question?

In the final weeks before exams Helen will be hosting 2 Live Q&A sessions to help everyone get fully prepared for exams. If you have a question on how to best get prepared, have been stuck on an exam question or want to clarify an area of content send it through here, and Helen might answer it live!

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