Cartoon of Boy StudyingEditor's Note: This is the second of five blog posts in our new Academic Blog Series which will be published weekly until the start of the June Exam. Feel free to add your own tips or links to online resource material in the comment section below.

There is just under one month left until the June examinations begin. Now, we could be saying, “There’s still a whole month to go until exams start! Why worry now?” which is probably what the vast majority of us are telling ourselves, but shouldn’t we rather be saying that there’s only a month left to prepare? I’m not saying that we should completely stress ourselves out over the impending examinations, but rather allow ample time to prepare and therefore minimize stress, which brings me to this week’s first academic tip.

Tip #3: Keep Calm

When preparing for exams, students tend to build up a lot of stress, both physically and mentally. This is caused by a number of things, such as too little time to study too much content. Another contributing factor is pressure to do well from our parents and teachers, and eventually, the stress simply becomes too much and we end up unable to retain any information at all. Don’t get me wrong, stress is a natural part of life. Stressing about an exam just means that you really care about your results, meaning that you are motivated to work hard and reach your academic peak. It is possible, however, to be well-motivated while still remaining calm and level-headed during a study session, allowing you to focus on the content instead of stressing about the consequences of a bad result. Remember, over time, stress actually causes the brain to shrink!

Some useful links:

Tip #4: Set Realistic Goals

Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself. If you are accustomed to a C-average, don’t believe that changing your work ethic today will give you straight A’s tomorrow. Yes, with hard work and dedication you could reach that point eventually, but don’t expect instant results and try not to become discouraged if your hard work doesn’t pay off at first, because believe me, it will eventually be reflected in your results. Know what you are capable of and set your goals according to that. Be positive, but realistic at the same time.

A useful link:

Stay tuned for more tips for success.

Written by Carla Meyer