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Are you exam ready?

Posted by Aileen - Churchtown Pharmacist on 18th May 2017

Exam time has came around again and it's that time of the year when you should have your head in a book and cramming all that knowledge into your head. Not an easy feat.

Below are a few tips that will make it easier for you to revise.

  • Arrange your study space to ensure that it’s warm, quiet and comfortable.
  • Make a study plan. Ensure it is straightforward, includes all of your subjects or modules and is realistic in terms of how much you can cover each day. Try to stick to the plan. If you have a lapse, don’t stress out, just go back to it again.
  • Practice exam questions. If you can get hold of a previous exam paper then you will know the structure of the exam and will be in a better position to approach the task ahead.
  • Make clear notes when you’re studying. Next time you study that subject, you can revise your notes.
  • Avoid procrastination. It’s normal to procrastinate a little. However, too much can just add to your stress and result in you not giving yourself enough time to prepare. Managing your time and setting realistic goals for each study session can be helpful ways to avoid procrastinating and make tasks seem less overwhelming.
  • Take regular breaks. When your brain is working, you need to take regular study breaks to help your brain absorb more information but also to keep you motivated and focused when you are working. Take a short break after 45-50 minutes study as your focus and concentration will become impaired after this period.
  • Give yourself rewards for time spent studying.
  • Make sure to get adequate rest the nights leading up to your exams. When you sleep, your brain assimilates the information you have learned.
  • Eat Well.Food rich in vitamins and proteins, such as green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits, are a must. The nutrients will help your brain stay sharp. Your brain needs healthy sustaining fuel to get through this busy time.

Top brain boosting foods include:

  • Blueberries. Contain antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which help to lower stress.
  • Nuts of all kinds. The vitamins and zinc in almonds, pistachios and walnuts boost your immune system, which is beaten down by higher stress levels during your exams.
  • Dark chocolate. Treat yourself to a quick study break and munch on some dark chocolate. The flavanoids and antioxidants in dark chocolate have been shown to lower stress hormone levels and improve your mood. In addition, cacao contains just a bit of caffeine to boost your energy levels and help you power through the rest of your studying.
  • Salmon, tuna and other sorts of fatty fish all contain stress fighting nutrients like heart-healthy omega-3 fats, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
  • avocados- High in stress-relieving B vitamins and potassium, avocados make the perfect fruit for lowering blood pressure and stress levels.
  • eggs
  • green leafy vegetables
  • fermented foods like yogurt- yogurt contains many vitamins and nutrients that help relieve stress.
  • turmeric
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • Try to get some form of exercise. Even a 10 minute walk will leave you calmer and more focused. It’s been proven that exercise can boost your memory and brain power. Research conducted by Dr. Chuck Hillman of the University of Illinois provides evidence that about 20 minutes exercise before an exam can improve performance.
  • Suppliment your diet with Udo's oil. Essential Fatty Acids in Udo's oil improve the membrane function of every cell in our body. This includes the blood cells which are then better able to carry vital oxygen to the brain for cognitive function. 20% off in Bradleys Pharmacy at the moment.
  • Eskimo Brain 3.6.9 combines the unique stable fish oil, Eskimo-3, with ingredients such as CoQ10 and GLA to optimise brain and energy support. Currently 25% off in Bradleys Pharmacy.
  • Berocca is a specially tailored formula containing all 8 B vitamins, which are scientifically proven to work with your mind & body to support your energy & mental performance. Available in Bradleys Pharmacy at 25% off.
  • Rescue remedy is useful for times that you are feeling anxious and is beneficial during the exam period. It was created by Dr Bach to deal with emergencies and crises. Rescue remedy is on promotion in bradleys pharmacy at the moment at 33% off.

My final piece of advice for those of you sitting exams is to stay positive. It's amazing how a positive attitude can impact your exam results!