My Morning and Nighttime Exam Routines - NCS Grad, Jasmine

ncs 8/05/2019

Been there, done that, got the NCS T-shirt. NCS Grad Jasmine tells us how she got through the exam season by sharing with us her ‘night before’ and ‘morning of’ routines.

It’s May, which means the days are getting longer and evenings are getting warmer. There are bumble bees everywhere and not a winter coat in sight! You’ve swapped your Timberlands for sandals and you’re all set for the best summer yet! 

Just one thing stands between you and that sublime summer holiday you’ve been dreaming of – exam season. Exams are stressful for everyone (take it from someone who’s doing A-Levels!) You have a mountain of revision to do and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. That’s why it’s so important to look after yourself, so you can look and feel your absolute best for the next six weeks and beyond.

In the weeks leading up to my GCSEs, I was really stressed, and everyone noticed it. I was irritable, I barely slept and my skin was terrible as a result (I remember sitting on Facetime with my friend until about 2AM one night rehearsing our French speaking scripts). I soon realised that I certainly wouldn’t perform my best if I carried on like this. 

I watched a load of videos on YouTube and forced myself into a morning and nighttime exam routine, and here are some tips that really worked for me:

Don’t let your revision timetable stress you out 

For me, having a set revision timetable made me feel more stressed. My advice would be to revise whatever you feel you need to most at a time that suits you. If you don’t understand something in Maths, don’t feel bad for perfecting that in exchange for your French revision. If a revision timetable works for you though, go for it! 

Remember to care for your skin

Everyone knows that stress can have a negative effect on your skin. That’s why you should take proper care of it during exam season. Remember to wash your face twice a day (whether that’s with a cleanser or just clean water.) Also, remember to remove any makeup at the end of the day and moisturise as much as you need, and of course, drink a TONNE of water! 

Go to revision sessions

Most schools offer revision sessions in the holidays, at the weekends, after school and early in the mornings during the exam period. My advice would be to definitely make the most of these sessions. These sessions are usually quieter than normal lessons so you can really take advantage of the teachers and the resources. 

I always found the extra sessions really fun; the teachers always brought in snacks and we were given loads of really useful resources we didn’t have access to in lessons. This meant I had more Macbeth quotes than most others in my year – I could recite the entire play in a one-woman show if I wanted! 

Wake up early on the morning of your exam

I know how tempting it is to hit the snooze button, but getting up 30-40 minutes earlier than usual on the morning of each of my exams really helped me to prepare myself. 

I had time to eat a good breakfast, put some extra effort into my hair and outfit, and get some last minute reading done to really make sure I knew all of my equations, formulas and quotes. This really helped me to feel confident and prepared by the time I had to leave for school. 

You’ve got this

These are the tips that really worked for me, but the most important thing is to not let the stress get the better of you. Relax, take a breath and believe in yourself. Remember that your best is always good enough. Good Luck!