We wish our Year 11 and 12 students every success as they head into exams and workplace learning placements over the next few weeks. We hope that your efforts to date reflect your personal best.

While the bulk of the hard work preparing for exams has been done by now, the following tips below may help on the day of each exam.

Sleep well and eat breakfast

Staying up into the early hours of the morning is one of the worst things you can do to prepare for an exam. Keep regular, healthy sleep patterns (at least six to eight hours per night) to allow your brain and body the rest it needs to function effectively the next day. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Studies have shown that eating a high protein, low carbohydrate breakfast helps improve memory and concentration over the course of the morning, and that those who eat a nutritional breakfast regularly are less emotionally distressed and have lower levels of perceived stress than those who do not.

Arrive at school with plenty of time and surround yourself with positive people

Exams are stressful enough without the added worry of running late. You want to go into your exam calmly and with confidence. Once you get to school, seek out those people who help you feel this way and avoid those who are particularly negative or stress you out.

Remind yourself of all your preparation

Take a moment to reflect on all the hours of hard work you have put in. This will reassure you and help you perform with confidence.

Pause… and breathe

When people are under pressure, they often underestimate how much time they have. This leads to them rushing and making mistakes that cost marks. Focus on taking a few deep breaths to slow you down and calm your nerves. Physiologically, this helps to lower your heart rate and reduce tension. The effect will be clarity of thought to tackle the exam in front of you.

Focus on exam strategy

Don’t worry about what grade you might get. Instead, concentrate on getting the job done to the best of your ability:

Please remember that we are here to support you as you go through these learning experiences and don’t forget, you have many skills that will not be assessed by these exams. Assessments are important, but they are not the big predictors of life success. Do your best and prepare as well as you can, but don’t make the mistake of thinking your results are either a measure of your intelligence, your contribution to our community or who you are as a person.

Remember that success is no accident. It is the result of hard work, commitment, perseverance and learning from mistakes.