Classic FM's Revision Hour: 7 steps to keep exams in perspective
6 June 2019, 17:24
When you’re in the grip of exams, it’s hard not to see them as the be all and end all. There can be pressure to do well from all angles – from yourself, your family and your teachers.
Exams are important and should be taken seriously, but truth be told they are not everything. Here’s how to put your exams into perspective.
Remind yourself what’s important. Your health, your family and your friends all matter more than exam results.
In the grand scheme of things, letters or numbers on a piece of paper look a lot less significant when you think of all the genuinely valuable things in life. Your family members, your friends and your own health are all way more important than how you do academically.
Look to the future. Think of other, more pleasant things that are happening this year.
Instead of getting bogged down thinking about your upcoming exams, give yourself something to look forward to. Whether it’s fun activities with friends, enjoying the summer break or preparing for sixth form or university, there really is life beyond the exam hall.
Take your mind off exams. Distract yourself by doing something you love and your exams should feel less overbearing.
Spending your days revising sometimes only adds to the nerves and worry. You and your brain need a break every now and then. Take some time out to do something else you enjoy whenever you feel overwhelmed. Studying should then start to seem more manageable.
Consider what makes you employable. Determination, reliability and proactiveness are often more important when going for a job interview.
Exam results – good ones, not so good ones – will never define you. What you have to offer the world goes way beyond what grades you got. Think of all the other qualities that make you a great person, student or future employee. Very often, our skills and personality traits matter more in all areas of life.
Tell yourself nothing is impossible. There are plenty of successful people that don’t have good exam results.
What do Richard Branson, Deborah Meaden and Jeremy Clarkson have in common? They all left school or college without top grades. Depending on your career choice, you can make it happen no matter how you do in your exams. Sure, if you want to be a doctor, exam results are important. But even then, you have another shot to get the qualifications you need.
Remember you have plenty of options. There are always second chances, like resitting exams or taking other qualifications later.
If you miss your grades, you don’t need to give up on your dreams. Broadcaster Clare Balding got mixed A-level results the first time around, but took two years out, re-sat her exams and got into Cambridge to study English. Journalist Jon Snow got one A-level initially and had to get more qualifications to get into the University of Liverpool.
Be kind to yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others, as you can only do your best.
Feel free to take inspiration from people you admire, but there’s no point in comparing yourself to others if it makes you feel bad. Focus on what you’re doing, and concentrate on your goals and achievements. If you really want to ace your exams, work hard so you can say you did all you could to bag those top grades.