Midlothian Young People's Advice Service | Hide this site

Preparing for assessments, prelims and exams

January marks the beginning of prelim examination in Scottish schools. We’ve put together some ideas to help you manage any understandable anxieties you might be having about assessments and prelims.

Make a timetable for studying. If possible, switch off your phone to allow you to focus. Once you achieve your study goal, give yourself a reward.

It’s natural to want to talk with your friends and share how stressed you all are at exam time. But try to get a balance – too much talking about it can lead to you all becoming even more anxious. Seek out a trusted adult to help support you.

It sounds very obvious, but try to do as much prep as you can, including looking at past exam papers. Your teachers can help you access these.

Your stress levels will be naturally higher whilst you’re prepping for your prelims, so try to regularly take time out to properly relax. Apps such as CALM and Headspace have some really good exercises to help with this.

Exam stress can affect your appetite, so try to make sure you eat regularly. Ideally, try to have at least 5 portions of vegetables a day. Add some fruit in too. Don’t forget to include some treats in there too 🙂

Did you know that if you’re dehydrated, your brain doesn’t work as well? Aim to drink plenty water throughout the day.

Use relaxation apps regularly rather than waiting until you’re already stressed. The aim is to keep on top of your nerves, not to wait until they’re out of control.

Try to get enough sleep – this might mean switching your phone off (aim to switch it off at least one hour before you go to sleep), heading to bed earlier than usual, and try to make sure you fit in some daily exercise.

Finally, remember that if your exams don’t quite go to plan, try not to panic as it’s not the end of the world. There will be other opportunities for you to get to where you want to be in life.

Image credit: Creative Jam.