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Examination tips from education specialist Helen Lami of Academic Camp

by TKOAdmin

With exam season now in full swing, Helen Lami, CEO of leading educational holiday camp provider, Academic Camp shares some tips for students and their parents as they navigate GCSEs, A levels and equivalent exams.

Helen and her team run summer and school holiday camps at venues across the UK including London, Bristol and Somerset as well as in Canada. These camps attract both day and boarding students from across the world.

“Students everywhere are looking for effective strategies to boost their study efficiency. To help you get the most out of your study sessions, we've compiled six essential tips that will make a significant difference,” Helen said.

1. Plan, plan, plan!

Effective time management starts with meticulous planning. Use alarms, planners, and to-do lists to organize your study schedule. Allocate specific time slots for each task and make sure to take regular breaks. If a task takes longer than expected, assess if it is the best use of your time and adjust accordingly.

2. Discover your learning style

Understanding your learning style can significantly enhance your study sessions. Are you an auditory learner who benefits from listening to lectures or discussions? A visual learner who retains information better through diagrams and notes? Or perhaps a kinaesthetic learner who learns best through hands-on activities? Identify your style and tailor your study methods accordingly.

3. Create your study space

Your environment plays a crucial role in your ability to focus. Choose a quiet, calm, and distraction-free area for studying. Whether it's a library or your bedroom, make sure it is a place where you feel comfortable and inspired. Consistency is key, so stick to the study space that works best for you. If this is not available at home, can you study elsewhere? In a library, with a trusted friend, at a grandparent’s home?

4. Set your study time

Everyone has different peak productivity times. Some people are more alert in the mornings, while others prefer studying at night. Determine when you are most productive and schedule your study sessions accordingly. Avoid late-night cramming sessions as they can lead to fatigue and reduce your ability to retain information. One thing you can consider is the Pomodoro technique for time management. This method involves studying for 25 minutes followed by a five-minute break. This cycle can help maintain focus and reduce burnout.

5. Study regularly

Consistency is essential for effective learning. Instead of cramming all your studying into one session, plan ahead and spread your workload over several days or weeks. Breaking your study sessions into manageable chunks helps prevent overwhelm and ensures continuous review of the material.

6. Review your learning

Regularly revisiting what you’ve learned reinforces your knowledge. Make sure you understand the material and find creative ways to remember it. Quiz yourself, ask friends and family to test you, or form study groups with classmates. Creating your own study materials can also be a great way to review.

Helen and her team have some extra tips to help with exam preparation – around food and drink:

  • Vitamin B: essential for short-term memory. Consider taking supplements, but not more than three times per week.
  • Avoid chips and coffee: while they may give a temporary boost, they can lead to a crash later on.
  • Exam day breakfast: eat a light, energy-boosting breakfast that you enjoy.
  • Dinner before exam day: have a favourite meal, but do not overeat to avoid stomach discomfort.

Helen Lami, said: “Everyone is different, and the way we learn is different. It's not one size fits all, so figure out what works for you. It is really important to take care of yourself physically too, so don't forget that.

“Learning at your own pace is crucial. Some students grasp new concepts quickly, while others need more time. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t understand something right away. Taking the time to thoroughly comprehend new material ensures that the knowledge sticks.”

* More information is available here around ‘food, drink & examinations’ – “Fuelling your children for alertness and boosting energy levels”.

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