Organisation – Preparing for your exams

Getting started. The first step. Its the biggest hurdle.

And its a BIG hurdle. One that causes so much stress and worry. ‘why has everyone else started revising?’ and ‘Well I’m definitely going to fail now, because I haven’t even started! May as well give up now and act like I don’t care.’

The biggest mistake? Not getting past this hurdle. NOT starting. Feeling the fear and giving up!

It’s taken me a while to realise that one of my gifts, one of the things that I’m good at without even really trying, could be shared with you guys and used to help you.

What you ask?!

Getting organised. Getting stuff done. Prioritising. Seeing what others can’t see.. solutions, ways of doing this differently, streamlining systems, making stuff easier. 

This will take time but man is it worth it…. and you also get my full permission to go and buy new pens and stationery! 

1. Firstly, ORGANISE your folders or books. You will need dividers, a hole punch & highlighters.

2. Put all your work in order! Sort out all those sheets you have, make title pages so stuff is easy to find and then organise it all into topics or sections. 

3. Discover what work is missing. Ask an organised friend to show you their folder… what sheets or work do you have missing? Write this down and then go and see you teacher. Get these missing notes or work. 

Don’t do anything else until you have done this for each subject!   

4. Then get paper, pens, post-its and anything else you think will help with your revision. Make a clear space for revising. Treat it like a sanctuary! Surround yourself with positive statements and motivational quotes. “This too shall pass” is my personal fave; meaning “this time in my life now is bloody agony, but it WILL be over sooner than I know, so I’m just going to suck it up and get on with it!”

5. Get clear on what you need to learn. Ask you teacher (or look on the Web) for your subject specification. This lists all the areas or topics which you could be examined on. Some of your teachers may have shared this with you already. USE IT! Make sure you know and have notes or access to notes (textbooks) in each subject. Make sure you have past papers and understand exactly what the exam will look and be like. If this is overwhelming or you’re running out of time, leave the stuff you really don’t understand and focus on the stuff you do ‘get’. Even skimming through a textbook and discussing the topics with your Mum or sister, friend or teacher will allow you to gain a grasp of the topic. 

6. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Plan your revision.

– Plot onto my 4 week exam time calendar when and where your exams are.

– In a different colour plot on when you plan to revise for upcoming exams and between your exams, on both the exam time calendar and the plain copy of the 4 week planner (which can be photocopied so you have as many months worth as you need to)

– In a different colour plot on when school run exam sessions are.

– Make time each day for SL (Self-Love) even if it is 20 mins in the bath, or an early night, schedule it in. 

 -Then plot on any other commitments which you have i.e. a job or a family gathering.

7. Don’t worry about ‘how to’ revise. Don’t worry about the perfect way. Don’t worry that everyone else is doing it right and you’re doing it wrong. Theres no one perfect way to revise. I used to copy and copy and copy. Some people prefer to concise everything onto prompt cards. Mind maps are helpful for all sorts of learners. Watching videos, or typing everything up has also proven pretty good for some students I’ve come across. Making a powerpoint of everything you’ve learned is also helpful. You have to choose what is right for you. Do what feels right. Trust yourself – for once!

8. Attend revision sessions! Sounds like a no brainer, but don’t avoid these; soak them up. 

9. Make time to relax and look after yourself. This is a short period of your life, that feels like its never ending. Don’t bottle up worries; share these with your parents or a nice teacher. Get some help. Don’t do it alone.

Most of all FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY!!!! This time of your life is scary, it is terrifying but if you feel the fear and give up, you will never know how amazing it is to come out the other side of the fear and SUCCEED!! 

Believe in yourself. “I AM successful and powerful and I have nothing to fear”. Try repeating that silently to yourself any time you feel ‘the fear’ (Don’t worry, no one will know!).

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