Pre-Exam Rituals: Top Students’ Secret to Getting the Best Grade

June 21, 2021

Effective exam preparation is based on a consistent pre-exam routine. Apart from studying and revising key concepts, there are also other exam study tips to maximise your exam performance. Below are some recommendations to kickstart your pre-exam ritual.

Student showing thumbs up after receiving good grades
Top Students’ Secret to Getting the Best Grade

1. Mindful Eating

If you want to know how to get good grades, it first begins with your health. Your body and mind need sufficient nutrition to function at their peak. When experiencing stress and anxiety, students often turn to junk food and sugary drinks for that immediate energy boost. This comes to no surprise as the brain requires more energy under acute stress1. Sugar and carbohydrates provide the quickest source of energy, but they lead to serious health complications if consumed often. Eating mindfully helps you to choose nutritional meals over high-calorie fast food when studying.

2. Exercising Daily

Struggling to remember all your lecture notes? Get up and move around! Aerobic exercise is known to bring numerous benefits for your body and mind. One of them is improved memory through the increase of cerebral blood flow during a workout2. Not only is exercise essential for optimal learning, but remaining sedentary can also be life-threatening. Believe it or not, sitting all day studying can increase the risk of an early death! According to a research study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, prolonged sitting may result in increased mortality rates regardless of how much you exercise3. That being said, it is recommended to take a movement break every 30 minutes.

3. Meditating

One of the greatest tips to prepare for exams is to practice meditation on a daily basis. This practice of mindfulness helps students to regulate emotions, decrease stress and anxiety as well as increase response flexibility. In other words, students who meditate regularly can calmly assess task and exam requirements while responding to them accordingly. To begin, you can start with sitting meditation in a quiet environment. Close your eyes and pay attention to your body, including how your heart is beating. Breathe deeply and slowly while letting your thoughts on studies, exams and other matters fade. The main goal is to focus on your breathing and how your body is currently feeling. Additionally, you can also practice gratitude meditation to bring to mind the good things that have happened recently for a happier, healthier you4.

4. Recording Daily Achievements

More often than not, we tend to focus more on our weaknesses than our strengths. This is perfectly normal as it is linked to increasing our attentiveness to the potential dangers around us5. It is one of the ways the brain keeps us safe from harm. Nevertheless, people should not be hardwired for negativity. Negative self-talk commonly leads to depression, anxiety and self-loathing, which prevents students from excelling in their studies and exams. To replace negative thoughts, write down the things you have accomplished daily, no matter how small. For example, being able to sleep on time or study one chapter of the lesson. These small victories will eventually build your confidence in everything you do, including in your upcoming exam!

Like any challenges in life, early preparation is key to achieve the desired results. Students who have a pre-exam routine are geared towards academic success. Having such routines will calm the nerves, anxiety and pressure that come with tests and major exams. With the SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) exam around the corner, you know the best time to start a pre-SPM ritual is now. Download INTI’s Mobile App to power-up your confidence with SPM study tips and materials today!