Exam season is here, and we’ve given you seven tips to tackle it. Picture: Nick Morrison via Unsplash
Exam season is here, and we’ve given you seven tips to tackle it. Picture: Nick Morrison via Unsplash

7 tips to help you cope with matric exam stress

By Keshia Africa Time of article published Oct 21, 2021

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Matrics are burning the midnight candle as exams start next week. Here is some advice to help you prepare for your exams and prevent burnout.

1. Hydrate

You need to consume six to eight cups of water a day. Any other liquid is no substitute. Your brain needs hydration to concentrate and for sustained memory function.

If you find yourself waking up after eight hours of sleep, but you’re still tired - you are most likely dehydrated. Many headaches are often rooted in dehydration too.

2. Eat well

Certain foods can boost your memory. The foods you eat play a crucial role in your brain health. Blueberries, fish, nuts, oranges, eggs and green leafy vegetables are good for your brain.

3. Optimise your available study time (productivity hacks)

Use a study method that will give you the optimal output for the time you have available.

A popular productivity study method is the Pomodoro technique.

This technique helps you get the most out of the time you have available while instilling a sense of urgency.

How it works: Study for 25 minutes at a time, with a five-minute break. Each 25-minute study session is referred to as a pomodoro. After four pomodoros have passed, take a 15-minute break. You can use a timer manually or use this site.

If working with a timer is too stressful or anxiety-inducing, perhaps the Ivy Lee method will work better.

Decide on six tasks that you wish to accomplish, and write them down in order of importance. Start your study session by completing your first task.

Don’t move on to the next task until you’ve completed the task you’re on.

The key with this method is to write no more than six tasks on your list, allowing you to hyperfocus on each one - without getting distracted by a lengthy list.

4. Get enough sleep

There is no substitute for a good night’s rest. No amount of energy drinks or cups of coffee will compensate for what a good night’s rest will do for your brain.

Try to get eight to ten hours of rest per night. When you don’t get enough sleep, it reduces your ability to learn new things. This means that your brain’s ability to retain new information will be compromised.

5. Take breaks

Go outside and spend some time in nature - without your phone. Getting fresh air can help you clear brain fog. Take a power nap if you feel like you need one.

6. Exercise

Try to squeeze in exercise where possible as it helps increase blood flow to your brain. Quick squats or jogging on the spot can improve your concentration and focus. This is why you’ll see many successful people start their day by exercising.

7. Get a study buddy

Having a study buddy helps you feel less alone, and they can also help to hold you accountable for your studying. Study buddies are great because you can explain work to one another after studying it, to help commit it to memory.

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