Parrot learning and past papers are not the only way to achieve top results for matrics. With exam season in full swing, Grade 12s are under pressure to excel academically for their university applications. By building on tried-and-tested study methods, with creative and unconventional tactics, students can reduce the anxiety associated with hitting the books. This will set them up for academic success, whether applying locally or abroad.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to preparing for exams. By figuring out your studying preferences, you can improve your chances of excelling academically, and remaining mentally fit in the process. While prioritising high marks is important, your mental health is essential to making it through the exam period – without burning yourself out,” says Rebecca Pretorius, Country Manager at global mentorship company Crimson Education, and mom to two boys, currently writing their Grade 6 and Grade 8 exams.
Collaboration between students and their parents is critical to figuring out which study methods work best. If students talk to their parents about their preferences – whether listening to music while studying, or using recorded notes instead of pages of text – it gives parents a better understanding of their child’s needs. This also allows parents to give their child advice, and reassurance, during the stressful exam period.
Crimson Education’s team of educational experts recommend the following creative tactics to help students stay cool, calm, and collected during exam season:
- Location, location, location: Sitting in the same spot all day can make you feel anxious, uncomfortable, and like you have been working for longer than you have. This will reduce your productivity. Change your environment every now and then to keep your brain fresh.
- Strength in numbers: Create study groups with friends, so you can cover the content together and feed off each other’s knowledge and energy. If you have a mix of abilities, and academic strengths in your group, you can use these differences to support each other and level up your own learning.
- Unleash your creativity: Long pages of text can be exhausting to look at, and they can make it more difficult to retain information. To liven up your material, and ensure that you retain it, use different colours and diagrams to divide up concepts and difficult content. Adding some creativity to the study process keeps your brain sharp, and can help with memory recall for certain topics.
- All it takes is five minutes: It is easier to commit to five minutes of studying than an hour. Once you’ve started, you’ve already conquered the hardest part. It’s like eating an elephant – you can only do it one small piece at a time!
- Channel Harry Styles: Your parents might need some convincing, but music can help you concentrate, and keep you relaxed during stressful study sessions. Use a speaker on low volume instead of earphones, and make sure your phone is far away so you are not tempted to start scrolling.
It is important for students to remember that they are not going through this process alone. “If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask. The stress of the exam period can weigh you down. This can affect your energy levels during studying, and in the exam itself. Everyone is rooting for you to do your best, and they will do what they can to help you achieve that. All you need to do is speak up, and let the people around you know what works best for you,” says Pretorius.
Crimson Education is the world’s leading US/UK university admissions consultancy. Their personalised mentoring approach has helped thousands of students gain admission into the Ivy League, Oxbridge, and other top universities around the world. Crimson’s university admissions and application counselling model connects students to the world’s best tutors and mentors to deliver individualised support to students to reach their personal education and career goals. Crimson hosts weekly events with expert speakers and regular SAT Masterclasses at schools around the country. For more information, visit www.crimsoneducation.org/za.