Tips for HSC trials and exams
- Dr Gemma Gladstone
- May 6, 2018
The HSC can be a challenging and stressful time for students and parents of students.
Here are some tips to use in the preparation for exams.
- When preparing, reviewing or studying: Get organised. Have your desk sorted and clear with just what you need.
- Chunk it up. Set yourself chunks of time to work on certain things. Have small set tasks or goals. You need to have a plan for your study otherwise you’ll get too distracted and try to do too much and just get anxious and overwhelmed.
- Factor in those breaks. After you have finished a chunk, have a short break where you move your body or have a refreshment. A short intense walk can send much needed oxygen and blood flow to the brain.
- Watch what you eat. Give the sugary breakfast cereal a big miss and go for a high protein breakfast. Make sure you eat as much ‘mind food’ as possible. Things like nuts, berries, cheese, eggs, salmon, chicken, green veges avocados (and dark chocolate) are going to help get you through. Decrease the sugar, especially on exam days – it’s so not good for your brain!
- Imagine you are there. Relax, close your eyes and imagine calmly being in the exam room and completing the paper. Above all, imagine that you are relaxed, breathing calmly, reading and thinking clearly.
- Rest and get some good sleep. Call it a day, when you need to. At some point you need to stop for the day. Don’t work in bed! Keep your bed for rest and leave your phone (and whatever other device you have) powered in another room. I know this is hard, but really, your mental health needs a boundary. You need to close off for the night. Try stretches, hot shower or bath, yoga, a relaxation or mindfulness app, essential oils (eg, lavender and orange really work for sleep) and a cup of warm milk (it’s not just an old-wives tale you know) to relax your body and mind before bed.
- Don’t worry if you can’t or don’t do the things on this list. Give yourself a break and watch your inner critic. There’s no need to judge yourself harshly for doing all the so-called right things! Just do what you can and you’ll be OK.