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Study Tips

Youth tips: Get into these good study habits!

When exams are looming, everyone needs good study habits. Try to develop the habit of studying over a period of time and it will become as natural as breathing!

* Draw up a study timetable and a subject/topic hot list. Aim to have a clear target of what you want to achieve.

* Try to develop coping skills to manage shortcomings such as lapses in concentration, a tendency to ‘learn off’ material that you don’t fully understand, the urge to learn too many things at once, etc.

* Spread out tasks over short periods of time and take brief breaks every 20 minutes or so. It’s a good idea to include a reward to enjoy at the end of a long study session.

* Follow daily routines such as studying at the same time each day and in the same place, with distractions switched off or removed. Try to simulate exam conditions as much as possible in your study area, as we remember best under conditions that resemble those in which the original learning took place.

* Begin with something fairly difficult, even a topic you don’t like. Achievement boosts confidence and energy for the rest of the session.

* Pose questions about the subject matter before, during, and at the end of a session. Self-test as you go along. Revision is an ongoing process, not just a priority in the days before exams.

* Know that question answering techniques are a huge part of exam preparation. Ask for help from your teachers on how best to answer exam questions in each subject.

* Study sample questions set by teachers (as well as previous exam questions) to ensure that the material you are learning can be applied to the types of questions that come up in exams.

* Take part in occasional study groups with other students to discuss difficult aspects of a subject, share knowledge and techniques, teach one another and inject extra motivation into your study. And remember it can be good fun!

* Seek advice from a teacher or parents if stress sets in or problems arise. Parents have been there, done that, and know a lot more that you think!

* Above all: don’t spend days drawing up elaborate plans. Find out what you have to do, how to do it, and then do it!

Hopefully you will find this helpful. Just remember - it’s important to stay healthy, drink a good bit of water, take a walk or some exercise after studying, and to take regular breaks.

(http://www.spunout.ie/health/Education/Exams/Study-tips)

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Exam stress

Tips on how to avoid exam stress.

Maybe it’s the Leaving Cert, A Levels or those final exams at university. Then after we survive the exams themselves, it’s a whole new type of stress while waiting for the results.

Worrying about the future, panic, guilt about not studying more, despair at having messed up, we all go through ups and downs at these times. It doesn’t help that everyone talks about the exams and the results non-stop. Your friends with their own fears, parents expecting straight A's and teachers warning about the earth stopping consequences if you don’t study.

Here’s some advice to avoid stressing too much (although don’t get so chilled out that you forget to study!)

* Remember that some stress is normal but minimise stress by putting in the study all year, not just at exam time. Do daily and weekly reviews of study and exam material. * Stress can prevent you from doing your best. Learn a good relaxation technique and practice it well ahead of the exam so that it will come easy to you on the day. Get help from a counsellor if you need to.

* Be realistic. Take studying seriously and try to do your best, but don’t set yourself crazy goals like “600 points or I’m not happy” or “Four As is what I want”. If you set the standards very high, you’re putting yourself under massive stress. Look at the results you need for what you want to do and aim for this.

* If you’re having problems studying, ask for help. Talk to a teacher or lecturer about it.

* Don’t leave yourself without time to study. If it’s too late for that and you’re cramming, then listen to your body and rest when you need to. Otherwise you’re risking burn out.

* Don’t use drugs (prescription or illegal) to help you stay awake or alert for study and course work. It’s not healthy and in the long run your work will suffer.

* Don’t panic before the exam. Stay away from anyone who is stressing loudly or revising frantically, they’ll only make you feel nervous too.

* Take breaks, get some fresh air and some exercise: apart from helping you to relax it’s also good for the brain – and get enough sleep.

* Practice old exam papers as if they were the real thing and time yourself so that you can complete the papers within the allotted time.

* Don't overdo caffeine (especially energy drinks or caffeine tablets) - it can cause heart palpitations and panic attacks. * Eat well (especially complex carbohydrates), sleep well and don't use alcohol to relax as it interferes with sleep (deep sleep that is refreshing).

* Try to keep things in perspective. Grades are not a measure of your value as a human being, nor do they measure intelligence or creativity. * Get loads more info in the exam section.

If exam results stress is getting you down, you can talk to your doctor, ask your doctor to refer you to a counsellor, contact the Irish Association for Counselling and Therapy or talk to Samaritans who provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

(http://www.spunout.ie/health/Education/Exams/Exam-stress)

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Exam results stress

If worrying about the exam results is freaking you then check out these tips for reducing stress.

Waiting for exam results is a nerve racking experience – especially when you are expecting important results from exams such as the Leaving Cert or College finals. The exams are over and worrying about them will not help you. You might feel nervous and stressed leading up to results day, however this is a normal experience and a little bit of stress can actually help you get motivated for dealing with problems and pressure. It’s suffering from too much stress that causes problems.

Feeling stressed out? If you think you’re suffering from too much stress or anxiety, check through these symptoms:

* Physical stuff like headaches, indigestion, sweaty hands, high blood pressure, dizziness, breathing heavily, feeling faint, sweating or a sudden change in your eating habits.

* Maybe you start smoking or drinking more, eating too much or not eating enough, fidgeting or rushing around nervously.

* You might also feel run down, tired, have problems concentrating or problems sleeping at night.

* You might think that you’re going mad; feel worried all the time or feel cut off from reality.

* If these symptoms sound like you or a friend, then you need to work out the best way to stop stressing.

What can you do about it? You need to confront the problem and learn how to relax. It’s really important not to let anxiety take over your life. Try to figure out what’s causing the stress and do something about it.

Remember, if you fail an exam you are not a failure - you are still a good person, just a good person who failed an exam. Usually exam failure only means you have to

repeat, so there's a delay of plans, not the end of the world. Or it may lead you to changing your plans to something you are actually more suited to. If stress is caused by a situation you can’t control (such as bullying or a family problem) talk to an adult you trust or a doctor. It might also help to talk to your friends and see if they’re going through the same problems.

Tips to reduce stress:

* Recognise the signs of stress mentioned above (talk to a doctor if you’re not sure what’s wrong with you).

* Have at least one good friend you can confide in. * Express yourself through writing, sport, art, music, fashion, etc. (It’s a great way to relieve tension).

* Handle life’s challenges one day at a time (Don’t spend all your time worrying about ‘tomorrow’).

* Know and accept your strengths and weaknesses.

* Strive to change the source of stress and/or your reaction to it. * Remember: alcohol won’t reduce stress it will only make things worse.

Some people find the best way to deal with stress is through personal strength, Clint Eastwood once said: "Strength is to hold it together when everyone would understand it if you fell apart". Or in the wise words of a Chinese proverb: "Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you really are".

What causes exam results stress? There are lots of reasons to feel stressed around results time, including:

* The pressure to get good results for the course or career you want.

* Pressure from parents and family who expect you to get good results.

* Worrying about the future and whether you’ll make the right choices for the year ahead.

* You might feel overwhelmed by changes such as leaving home, starting a new life, friends moving away or maybe you’re worrying that others are changing whilst you stay the same.

These feelings are normal. Your friends are probably feeling the same way so talk to them about your worries. There’s lots of info on how to relax in the SpunOut.ie Chill Out section.

If exam results stress is getting you down, you can talk to your doctor and ask him/her to refer you to a counsellor.

http://www.spunout.ie/health/Education/Exams/Exam-results-stress

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New Inn,
Ballinasloe,
Co. Galway,
Ireland

090 967 5811


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