Hints for sitting the Matura

Here is a list of really useful study hints which will help you maximise your exam results.

  1. Examinations are mentally draining and demanding, so you need to be fit, rested and in peak physical condition to do well.

  2. Watch your diet .Make sure you do not eat sugary, energy-boosting foods since that rush of energy you get is always followed by a sharp slump, which affects your memory and concentration. Choose nuts like almonds, which lower stress levels, yoghurts which calm the gut and pieces of fruit.

  3. Drink water and make sure you are always hydrated. Avoid energy drinks . They are high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation.

  4. Try and fit 20-50 minutes of cardio exercises into your daily routine, to reduce stress levels.

  5. Regulate your sleeping patterns and never stay up all night revising. Scientists have established that reading through material just before falling asleep allows your brain to process information overnight , sharpens your memory and helps you retain what you have read. All-nighters, in contrast, are exhausting and unproductive. So devote the last 15 minutes of your day to any topics you find a little difficult, then fall asleep peacefully and trust in your brainpower.

  6.  If you feel a surge of panic coming on  ,remember to breathe correctly: pull air  in through the nose, hold your breath for four seconds, and then exhale slowly with a “whoosh” sound through the mouth. If you do this a dozen times, your heart rate will slow down and you will feel much better.

  7. If you have tried to remember a set of dates, formulae or grammatical rules, and you just can’t do it, why not try mnemonics? For example, OIL RIG is a handy way of remembering the chemical reaction Oxidation Is Losing; Reduction is Gaining . If the you find the word “arithmetic” difficult to spell, how about remembering A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream. Or if  astronomy is your weak point, why not  recite My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas, for the order of the planets .You can, of course, make up dozens of your own mnemonics , to suit every subject , if this works for you.

  8. On the day of your exam, make sure you get there in plenty of time, that you have a working watch to time your answers and, most importantly, that you always read each question at least twice before you start writing. It is all too easy to pick up that pen and not quite grasp exactly what you are being asked, and therefore end up straying off the point or only partially answering  the question.