Two candidates walk into an exam hall.
One has a record of academic excellence. He’s been achieving the highest grades throughout the course.
The other is an average student. He walks in with less subject knowledge and poor exam skills, but he walks out with the better grade.
How? What did he do that most people — like the potential A*star student — don’t do?
In this post, I’ll show you how to make sure that all the hours you revised will pay off — and that on results day you’re not scratching your head wondering what went wrong.
Health Hack # 1: Sleep 8-10 hours a night
Many people walk into an exam after an all-night study session. They’ve spent the whole night cramming, and when they are in the middle of a sentence they forget how they want to finish it. I’ve been there too. I thought that an extra hour of revision could make the difference between a B and an A. Truth is, it can, but not at night.
When I realised this in the run-up to exams in May, the number one thing I would do each night was this:
Go to bed by 9:30 pm!
That meant I got at least 8 hours of sleep each night, and when I woke up in the morning, I felt rested. In the exam, I could concentrate on the questions and I no longer felt to tired to think.
Health Hack #2: Screens off 1 hour before bedtime
What’s the easiest way to stop Facebook and Whatsapp from keeping you awake all night?
Turn off your phone and PC at least 1 hour before you go to bed!
You’ll be amazed how this improves the quality of your sleep. And as a bonus, you have one extra hour to learn something new, that’s 30 hours a month.
Also, I would recommend you install F.lux. F.lux is a free software that reduces the levels of blue in your computer screen so the bright computer light won’t disturb your sleep patterns.
Health Hack #3: Eat right
Eating healthily— combined with the enough sleep — will ensure that challenging questions don’t throw you for a loop.
I’m not going to preach about a healthy diet; if you’ve had classes in biology, you know roughly what to eat.
But there is one change that made a massive difference to me. Before my exams, I cut out all sweets and soft drinks for a month (until exams were over).
- Lose weight by snacking on fruits rather than chocolate
- Look better and feel fitter: less pimples, longer endurance during exercise
- Endless energy throughout the day instead of a 4pm afternoon slump
Other foods and drinks you might want to avoid: overly salty or fatty foods (eg. chips, crisps, fast food, energy drinks, alcohol and coffee)
I’ve shared three of my favourite hacks for you to live up to your potential when exams come around, but I want to give you one more…
Don’t miss the chance to stay fit and improve your grades. Can’t see yourself running on a treadmill or lifting weight? Meet some friends and do outdoor sports together. Frisbeeing, soccer, basketball, … A little bit of exercise each day can do miracles to your memory and your overall wellbeing.
What other tactics do you use to perform at the top of your game during exams? Please share your health and fitness secrets in the comments below.