5 simple and smart ways to ace any exam

Career | Learning

Whether you’re studying to advance your career, cramming for the final exam to obtain your degree or simply to improve your skills, you need to focus before you sit down and face that dreaded test paper.

We have gathered some great tips that will help you focus and achieve the success you’re committed to.

Boost your brain

It’s tempting to indulge in junk food when cramming, but a healthy diet gives your brain the fuel it needs to perform at its peak.

Replace the sugary and refined food with oily fish rich in omega 3 (essential for brain function), nuts and berries, eggs, dark, leafy greens, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
And, never skip breakfast before a big exam.

Keep up some cardio

In addition to its physical benefits, a study at the University of British Columbia found that regular aerobic exercise can boost the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in memory and learning.

Indirectly, exercise also improves your mood and sleep and reduces stress and anxiety.

Experts recommend half an hour of moderate physical activity most days of the week.

So, take the time the day before an exam to get your heart rate up – the physical and psychological benefits are endless.

Hydrate healthily

Energy drinks and espresso might be a quick, temporary fix, but it can affect your mood and sleep.

A study at the University of East London and University of Westminster shows that drinking just 300ml of water (over half of a small bottle) can boost your attention by almost 25%. If you can, take a bottle of cold water with you into the exam and sip regularly

Savour some shut-eye

Sleep is an active process where the brain produces hormones for repair and growth and consolidates memories of what you studied and learned that day. Both quantity and quality are important.

Disconnect from all your digital devices early and try to get 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. When you have a good night’s sleep, you will wake up feeling refreshed and ready for your big exam.

Commit to a celebration

Completing this exam is an important milestone, so take the time to recognise it and celebrate your accomplishment.

Whether it’s a dinner with friends, a spa day or a fun day out … you deserve it!