Exam Tips from Y12s

Karam Bambawale

Late spring is known for bringing forth cherry blossoms, playoff basketball, and most importantly, the short period before Summer Break known as “exam season.” That being said, I know how most of us currently feel: the long weekend has past and we still don’t know if and how we should start our revision for exams. Luckily, the seasoned pros, or IB2s, who just finished their academic tenure at UCC are here to provide us all with some key insight on their thoughts and tips for exams at the College.

Sarosh Waheed “Oof, well basically exams are a pretty fair way of summing up your knowledge. I’m not gonna stand here and say we shouldn’t have exams because that’s dumb. They are important and if I can give any tips, they pertain to when you get to Y11/Y12 because exams are worth a lot more. Anyways, organizing your studying is the biggest thing. You have too many days of multiple papers and too little time in between exams. Therefore, you gotta really make a schedule and stick to it if you want to at least go into each exam feeling adequately prepared. That’s all I really have.”

Luke Stevens “Ultimately I think that exams are a pretty big part of school in general. Especially because they’re so extensive in university, it’s pretty important to practice in high school. I don’t necessarily agree with IB2 exams in that you have to remember everything from almost 2 years ago, but I definitely do appreciate the sense of hard work that you need to develop. That’s kind of the benefit that I see from exams. If I had to give one main tip it would be to get in the right head space before you start studying. It’s really hard to retain information when your head is elsewhere. One thing that I’ve started doing fairly recently is light meditation. Before I do notes I’ll just take a minute and focus only on breathing. It actually surprised me how much it allowed me to clear my head and focus on the task at hand.”

Mark Yatchew “Prepare for things you excel in and even as bizarre as this may sound, put less focus into courses you aren’t as good at.”

Ernst Ma “I mean exams are always gonna be a grind no matter which grade you are in. As generic as these tips are, you gotta start preparing early and make sure not to overload your brain by cramming too hard. Spreading out your studying is gonna help you a lot more. Also, try to always find something to use as a break to take off studying. For example, I go and play golf for a couple hours every other day as a means of not constantly worrying about academics.”

Angelous Ginnanea “For exams, I’d say take them seriously because preparing last minute is not gonna do you any good especially when you get to the IB exams, so really take the time to look at past papers and understand all the content as thoroughly as you can. Next, study without your phone distracting you because once you get in at least 2 hours a night (which goes by really fast when you’re focused) you can really feel like you’ve understood the content as opposed to when you’re taking frequent social media breaks.”

Jeremy Zhang “Exams are a stressful, demoralizing, and difficult experience, and then you walk out of the gym knowing you were well prepared and did your best. The sense of accomplishment after completing exams is rare, so work to feel that satisfaction, as it’s incredibly rewarding. Tip 1: try your best not to stress, your teachers and the time you have spend over the years have prepared you well. Tip 2: find what works best for you in preparation, and be honest with yourself. Whether that means working at school, putting your phone in another room, or actually rewriting notes instead of just reading them, you know yourself and your strengths the best.”

Matt Thompson “I have three key tips to share. Firstly, sleep is so important – sure it would be good to stay up late and cram stuff night before, but if you have only slept a couple of hours, your brain just can’t even function at a high level to remember key material. Next, make a time table and include a good amount of breaks. Also I think breaks are super important because it’s honestly impossible to work for 2 hours straight. Also on breaks you have to get up and move around. For example, go to SAS for a workout or just walk around your block – personally, staying inside all day just makes me crazy so I need to get out. Finally, just turn your phone off and put it downstairs or put it somewhere where you can’t use it while your studying. They are super distracting and you can waste a ton of time on them.”

Adam Menikefs “For exams, I’d first say that for the iDiv guys, practice good habits in terms of studying etc. The marks you get in these exams seem big and relevant at the time, but they won’t ever matter and your main focus should be too attain good a routine so that when you get older you’re ready for them. For the FY and IB1’s I’d say try to start as early as possible because the exams come way quicker than you think, try not to cram but it’s not the end of the world if you feel like you’re behind. Never panic because that won’t help and it’s always better than it seems. Again your marks aren’t crucial so don’t stress and worry so much that it’s worrying you. I’ve had good exams and bad ones and in the end they really haven’t made a big difference. Collectively, the most important thing is to understand what went wrong, and to find your key strengths that can be utilized for the next set of exams in the future.”

Cheers boys and good luck the rest of the way.