Keeping motivated (and Surviving) during Exam Time !!

Some tips and advise for keeping your motivation up over the next few weeks …

Forget about the mocks.
They do not matter. Some people go at the Mocks like its the real deal, others treat it like an inconvenience.
When you get your results, keep in mind that the correctors often have dozens of papers to grade so try not to get angry if you do a lot of study and get bad marks. There’s a strong possibility that they missed something or just skimmed an essay.
And don’t get too comfortable if you did very little and they were fine, either.
The teachers correcting the proper exam will know what they’re at. Reading through the papers with your class teacher should give you a better idea of how you’re doing, if you’ve been marked badly.

When you’re feeling horrible, think of the future.
It’s so close to the end, and the feeling when it’s over…just, wow. Enjoy the process of filling out the CAO or UCAS or whatever, if that’s what you’re doing. What makes the year so dreadful is the hysteria and pressure teachers and the media create. Ignore them. It is important, yes, but you’re not going to die if you make a mistake now.

Remember to keep to your schedule.
That lovely, colourful wall chart that you spent hours making…it’s there for a reason, not just to look pretty ! Keep to your study schedule likes its your new religion and it will make your study sessions easier. Remember to do your least favourite subject first so your not tempted to blow it off and use the last hour for something else.

Keep your body fueled up as well as your mind.
Eat healthy, drink lots of water and exercise, you can’t concentrate if you’re hungry or sluggish !

And lastly….Don’t stop going out.
Don’t make ridiculously strict study plans, because what you need is balance. Feeling guilty and as if you should be doing work all the time isn’t healthy, so plan ahead. Give yourself a couple of hours a day for TV or lazy internet browsing. Go out and have fun at the weekends, provided you don’t do anything that will stop you doing any work for a long time afterwards!

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Preparing yourself in the weeks before the Leaving Cert Exams…

With only a few weeks before the exams begin here are a few tips from Wexford Study Hub to help you de-stress and focus.

Don’t panic !!
If you don’t already have one, prepare a timetable covering each subject and each topic you need to cover.
Timetables help you to be organised, less stressed and they break down what you still have left to do.
Draw up a timetable of when your exams are and what you are going to revise with the weeks leading up to the exam. Hint: Start with the subjects you dislike and spend more time on them. Your favourite subjects will be easier.

Refine your notes.
For some subjects you might have a very large amount of notes. It’s important that you refine them down and remove some of the extra notes which are unnecessary so you have a clear idea of what you need to learn and cover in the time that’s left. Only leave the notes which are relevant to the exam.

Don’t Compare yourself to others.
Try to avoid comparing yourself with your classmates. This is never a good idea for two reasons. 1-If they are doing more than you You’ll end up feeling bad about yourself  and 2-if they are doing less than you, you’ll get complacent.

Try not to over-caffeinate.
Don’t drink too much coffee, tea or fizzy drinks; the caffeine will make you feel hyper and make thinking less clear. Try some herbal teas, water or milk as an alternative,

Eat some “Superfoods”. 
Eat healthily and regularly. Your brain will benefit from the nutrients. Replace sweets and sugar with “superfoods” such as berries, bananas, oily fish, nuts and broccoli. Superfoods can help boost concentration, energy and mood.  

Stay Confident.
More important that anything is to stay confident and motivated. As time ticks on, you will feel stressed and tired but keep your head up. Don’t focus on the time you’ve wasted before. All you can do is use the weeks ahead the best you can. The best way to keep a positive outlook is a well-structured study routine. If you don’t have a study plan, then make one!

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Healthy Body = Healthy Mind !

You’ll need energy for the body and for the mind when you are studying and during the exams.

Power Foods – “Omega 3 Fatty Acids” such as tuna, salmon,eggs and bananas. As they release energy slowly. Iron-rich foods are good too, such as red meat, breakfast cereal and green vegetables.

Water – The more hydrated you are, the more efficient your brain and body will work. Keep a bottle of water at your study desk at all times.

Exercise – Keep yourself motivated and alert, even if its just to go for a 30 minute walk.

Relax – Essential oils such as lavender help reduce anxiety and increase relaxation. Try putting two drops on your pillow at night or on a handkerchief during the day.

Sample Food Plan for the Exams:

Breakfast:

Wholegrain Cereal with Milk, fresh orange juice

OR

Porridge with Sultanas

OR

Wholemeal toast with banana

OR

Full Irish

If you are too nervous to eat a full breakfast then blend a banana, apple, pear, cranberry juice and yogurt to make a smoothie.

LUNCH:

Vegetable Soup with wholemeal scone/bread

OR

Chicken/Ham/Egg Sandwich

OR

Chicken and pasta with a sauce or cold as a salad

OR

Tuna/Pasta Salad with wholemeal Bread

2 Glasses of Water

DINNER

Fish and Vegetables

Pasta

Jacket Potato (Try stay away from putting cheese on it)

 

Steer clear of fatty, fried food. A proper evening meal will help your brain to tackle homework.

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“Don’t stumble before the last hurdle !”

“THE END IS NIGH !!”
With less than one month left of this term, then after the Easter break only one term remains before the Exams kick off, now is the time to flex the muscles you have been building up all year. Focus with all your might and show just how iron-clad your willpower is.

You should have your study plan already done up, stick to it like it is your new religion. Don’t let any distractions get in the way. Plan your free time accordingly and if you do miss and hour or two of study time, make it up as soon as possible. Remember, it’s ok to say “No” to people, even if they’re your family or friends. Your bestie will forgive you for not going out to the cinema !

Keep yourself motivated! If there is a song that gets you pumped up, listen to it before a study session. Have a motivational saying or quote you love and repeat it to yourself every now and again, or print it out and have it in your room or study area where you can read it often. There are loads of good quotes and inspiration over on our Instagram page….https://instagram.com/wexfordstudyhub/

But remember that none of this will mean anything if your body and brain can’t function properly. Eat healthily and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. There are hundreds of delicious, quick and healthy meals and snacks, google some recipes and have fun in the kitchen. You’d be amazed how much cooking can be a stress reliever, and you have something yummy when you’re done !!

FOCUS +
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF +
STAY MOTIVATED +

SUPER STUDENT !!

super_student

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Getting Ready for your Oral Exams…..

It is now coming up to the Oral part of the Leaving Cert language exams. This exam takes the form of an informal conversation between the examiner and you. It normally lasts from 12-15 minutes.
It is important to be as prepared as you can be for this exam as the examiner can and will converse with you on a range of different subject matters and use a variety of tenses (past, present and future) to see how proficient you are in the language you being examined on.
Use your time wisely by enlisting a group of friends to spent 30 minutes or so a day in the weeks coming up-to the exams just talking Irish/French, you will be amazed how much you will retain by doing this. Also, students have a nasty habit of getting themselves very worked up before they take the Oral Exams. If all you are doing is worrying about the outcome then you won’t be concentrating on the present and your performance will suffer. Take a deep breath and relax.

Some Exam Tips
1. Always greet the examiner warmly in the language you’re being tested on, it helps to break the ice and put you at ease before you begin.
2. Avoid monosyllabic answers (Yes / No) as these lead directly to another question or topic.
3. Listen carefully to the tense the examiner uses, the answer will usually be given in the same tense.
4. Take a few seconds to formulate your reply and give the fullest answer possible.
5. If you make a mistake don’t be afraid to correct it.

6. If you don’t understand a question, or if you don’t hear it correctly say so, the examiner will repeat or rephrase it for you.

And don’t be like these guys…….:)

penguins

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Tips on approaching exams…

The Mock Exams are upon us !!! Wexford Study Hub have compiled a list of tips and ideas we hope will be of some help during the next few weeks and maybe will ease some stress in the coming months leading up to June also !

Believe in yourself!
Remind yourself that you are capable of passing the exam. You have studied the subject for many years and of course have the ability to do it.  After all those classes, you have learned so much that you are capable of getting through the exam.

Try to avoid panic. 
It’s natural to feel some exam nerves prior to starting the exam and that can be a positive and motivating feeling. However, getting excessively nervous is counterproductive as it hinders the ability to think clearly. Practice some deep breathing exercises. The quickest and most effective way of eliminating feelings of stress and panic is to close your eyes and take several long, slow deep breaths. Breathing in this way calms your whole nervous system.  Try to master the art of deep breathing and use it when required.  

Blankety blank? 
Talk through with someone what to do if your mind goes blank, a parent or teacher you trust. Remember, the best thing for you to do is not to panic, it just makes it harder to recall information. Instead, focus on slow, deep breathing for about one minute. If you still can’t remember the information then you should move on to another question and return to this question later.  

During the Exam…
Write clearly. You can only get marks for the writing that they can read. Answer the question that is asked, you won’t get any marks if you don’t answer the questions asked. And if you are running out of time, at least write some key words and phrases. Blank answers get no marks.

No Post Mortems! 
Don’t spend time holding a ‘post mortem’ into completed exams and where you may have gone wrong. Often we are our own harshest critics. How about instead congratulating yourself for the answers you feel confident about, learn from the bits where you felt you could have done better, and then move on. 

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Timetables, Schedules, Revision….. Consistancy!

Time is the most valuable asset that any individual has on their hands. It is therefore essential for all individuals to manage their time very effectively. In school, there is always a specific timetable. Have you ever taken out time to actually think about why the administration goes through all the hassle of planning all these things for the entire year? Why not leave it till the moment arrives to decide what to do? You see, the answer to that is very simple; if they left things unplanned, the entire day would be a haphazard scenario. At the end of the day, no student would go home with any knowledge and no teacher would go home satisfied with their work.
However, be sure that you follow the timetable. You will be tempted at numerous points to deviate from your timetable. Resist temptations from friends or electronic devices ! Make a proper Study Schedule for each day and stick to it. It will do wonders for your revision.

Successful students schedule specific times daily when they are going to study and then they stick with their schedule. Students who study sporadically and whimsically typically do not perform as well as students who have a set study schedule. Even if you’re all caught up with your studies, creating a weekly routine, where you set aside a period of time a few days a week, to review your courses will ensure you develop habits that will enable you to succeed in your education long term.

Not only is it important that you plan when you’re going to study, it’s important you create a consistent, daily study routine. When you study at the same time each day and each week, you’re studying will become a regular part of your life. You’ll be mentally and emotionally more prepared for each study session and each study session will become more productive. If you have to change your schedule from time to time due to unexpected events, that’s okay, but get back on your routine as soon as the event has passed.

Simply studying without direction is not effective. You need to know exactly what you need to accomplish during each study session. Before you start studying, set a study session goal that supports your overall academic goal (i.e. memorize 30 vocabulary words in order to ace the vocabulary section on an upcoming test.) Successful students review what they’ve learned during the week over the weekend. This way they’re well prepared to continue learning new concepts that build upon previous coursework and knowledge acquired the previous week.

We’re confident that if you develop the habits outlined above that you’ll see a major improvement in your academic success.

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Christmas Revision…

Hi Everyone !
I know we are all excited for the big guy in the red suit to arrive and to have a few days off school/work but it is very important not to let your revision and studies lapse.
Here are a few tips for keeping your brain in gear while your body might be needing a rest after the celebrating 🙂

  • Make a holiday schedule – Mark in the parties and events that you absolute can’t miss and schedule around them. If you’re going to miss a full day of revision, add an extra few hours onto another day.
  • “It’s the Holidays!!” – DON’T USE THIS EXCUSE ! You won’t be able to write this at this onto your exam paper, there is no excuses. Keep revising and reading over your notes to keep the information fresh in your head.
  • Don’t go too insane – It is the holidays after-all. While it is important to keep your brain ticking over and to revise the important points in all your subjects, your brain and body need rest too.
  • Test someone – With all your family around now is the best time to use them to your advantage. Explain in detail what you are revising in your own words, this will help it stick in your memory. Or set them a small quiz !

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE !!!

Funny-Christmas-Dog

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Study Tips and Tricks…

For more tips and tricks on a daily basis visit our twitter page
https://twitter.com/WexfordStudyHub

*The harder something is to remember, the harder it is to forget. Struggling to retrieve information from memory lodges it deeper in our minds.

*One sneaky molecule is to blame for blanking out when we’re tired. Sleep deprivation increases the activity of the enzyme PDE4’s, which inhibits memory consolidation.

*Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Testing not only assesses knowledge, it also trains your brain to retrieve information from memory. A study showed that students who studied material and then took a practice test retained the information longer than students who studied the information twice.

*Early morning cramming is a dangerous sham. Sleep expert Dan Taylor warns that waking up extra early can disrupt the REM sleep crucial for solidifying memory.

*Variety keeps your brain on its toes. Research shows that studying different kinds of information in a single session leads to better retention. This may be because we subconsciously find deeper patterns among the varied material.

All-nighters = Grade Sabotage. Although 60% of college students report having stayed up all night to study at least once, a St. Lawrence University psychologist found an association between pulling all-nighters and lower grades.

*Give yourself a break! Research shows that chillaxing for longer periods between study sessions achieves better recall than cramming. Scientists posit that we may “relearn” studied material each time we revisit it, reinforcing memory and comprehension.

*“Multitasking” is really just “multidistracting.” It may feel like you’re getting a lot done, but research shows that distractions while studying significantly reduce accurate recall.

Man cannot ace exams on vending machine fare alone. A study at University of Oxford revealed that students performed worse on tests of attention and thinking speed after being fed a high-fat, low-carb diet for five days, while performance did not decline for students who ate a balanced, nutritious diet.

*Sleep is a cognitive weapon. Wield it strategically. Neuroscientists believe that names, faces, numbers, and other detailed facts are committed to memory only during deep (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. Without it, this information may quickly go in one ear and out the other. For instance, adults more speedily performed a computer task they learned the day before after a full night’s sleep, without additional practice. BUT TAKE NOTE: sleep only consolidates memory within 12 hours of studying the information.

*Getting your butt out of your chair is as important as buckling down. Physical exercise improves learning ability by growing new neurons and slowing (or even reversing) cognitive decay. Lab animals who use a running wheel show better cognition than sedentary critters.

*Early morning cramming before tests is a no-no, you won’t retain any info you read over in a panic.

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A small reminder for Parents and Students…

Exam time can be very stressful for students, everyone knows that, but what most people don’t realise is that the parents, or whoever is looking after the exam student can be just as stressed out.

Communication is absolutely the key here, if everyone clams up, stays quiet and spends the entire time walking on eggshells around each other then not one thing will be resolved and the tension and stress is guaranteed to reach boiling point.

Talk to each other, explain what you are worried about in a calm environment. Make a pot of tea or a hot chocolate and have a chat at the kitchen table. Or if you don’t want to talk around siblings at home, go for a walk and talk it out. You would be amazed how much of a release it is just to discuss something.

Students, please don’t raise your voice or get angry. Remember that your parents only have your best interests at heart and if they are worried that you are not putting enough study into a certain subject you can explain your study schedule to them. Show them exactly what you are doing and how much time you are putting in.

Parents, gentle encouragement is always appreciated. A small confidence boost or reward will go a very long way, but don’t push because you will probably end up stressing them out even further.

Your parents will always have time for a chat, no matter how trivial the subject. Talking helps in so many ways, give it a try !

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