Laura-Ashley Ní Shuilléabháin gives us her top tips to make sure you ace your exams...
Stress levels are high with exams fast approaching, but at times like these it is important for people to know that preparation is key.
 
Here are some tips and tricks that I have used that should hopefully help you achieve the results you want in your exams.
 
Study methods
Stick to what works for you. I can only study with a bit of background noise. Some people need visual aids. You know what works best for you so stick to that. It’s got you this far!
 
Plan in advance
You’d really benefit from finding each of your rooms the week before. Knowing what building, room and time is key to your preparation. Don’t be asking people the night before what building it is. Organise everything the week before and you’ll be all the better for it.
 
Lists
While studying, it’s a good idea to make a list of what you intend to accomplish at the start of everyday. By knowing what you have to do before going home that evening, you’ll be more focused and likely to get it done. It’s also a good incentive because if you feel like takeout that night you can ask yourself if you got everything on your list done. If not, then it looks like beans on toast for the night.
 
Relax
It’s important to both exercise and take breaks while you’re studying and sitting your exams. Even just watching your favourite soap for an hour in the evening will let your brain calm down after the intense cramming session that it was doing all day.
 
Good night’s sleep 
It’s better to get a good night’s sleep and wake up two hours earlier in the morning rather than vice versa. Statistics show that material is fresher in your mind in the morning.

Be prepared
Have everything you need laid out the night before so you can just grab them on your way out the door. Similarly, if you’re bringing a bag and keeping it outside the exam hall, make sure that it’s packed with everything you may need including a snack for between tests.
 
Don't forget your student card
On the day make sure you have pens, a calculator and everything that you need, but most importantly don’t forget your student card! You can’t sit your exam without one and that mistake will cost you when it comes to the repeats.
 
Don’t panic 
Avoid people who panic easily or become negative coming up to exams. If they’re adamant that they’re going to fail, it’s not doing much for you is it? Tell them you’re busy studying if you feel like they will impact you badly. At the end of the day it’s your education you’re talking about and they probably know themselves that they’re stressing you out.
 
Time management
If you know the layout to your exam then have a plan made on how much time you’ll allocate to each section. If they’re all equal marks then there’s no point spending 40 minutes on one question and 15 on another. Don’t overcompensate on one answer and lose out on another question's marks.

Writer’s block 
If you can’t think of what to write then skip that question and move onto the next one. Once labelled properly, the exam doesn’t have to be in any order. 
 
Think positive
Just imagine how it’ll feel when all your exams are done and you get to go out again. All the hard work will pay off at the end if you just stay positive.
 
Photo: Pete/Flickr