Coping with exams 

Tests and exams, including GCSEs, can be a challenging part of school life. Watch this video to see how teenagers prepared themselves for their GCSEs, overcame stress and built the confidence to sit their exams.

How to cope with exams

Transcript of Coping with exams

I felt under a lot of pressure for exams

because my sister had done GCSEs before and she'd done very well.

I'm not academic at all

and especially in my GCSEs, when we started Year Ten

and the teachers put that pressure on you again.

You've just done your SATs, you're like, "I've just done them,"

and now there are GCSEs and you're like, "No, not more!"

I hate being in a room with people, with loads of people doing an exam.

I hate teachers walking round me.

I found it really claustrophobic, almost.

I just really didn't like it.

Hi. It's the morning of the finance and humanities exam.

I've got that great big knot in your stomach that you get.

It's really awful.

I've tried doing the whole deep breath thing.

(inhales and exhales)

It helps a bit but then it comes straight back when I think about it.

Let the exams begin.

I found it really hard to motivate myself in revision

because I was doing it on the laptop

and every time I went on the laptop I would go on football

or the Tottenham page or MySpace.

I left it till the last minute because I didn't want to face it.

I'd keep leaving it till the last minute. Not what you should do.

I found the motivation to revise was very difficult to find,

especially when it's sunny and you want to be outside with your friends,

but I think if you've got good friends that will revise with you

it's definitely easier.

One thing that does work is the study group,

with a group of friends just sitting round together and talking about it.

If you don't understand, a friend will teach you

and if they don't understand something, you teach them.

We did this whole "how your brain learns" stuff at college

and it was like 30 minutes is a good amount of time to be revising.

After that your brain starts wandering and you're not focused properly.

So we'd have a subject, revise for 30 minutes that subject,

take a break and then move on to another subject.

I went and did revision at my mate's, which for me doesn't work at all

because you end up doing something totally different

and having a laugh instead of actually working.

So next time I'll definitely just get myself on my own,

no music, nothing distracting me,

and just try and get on with it, working.

We had to learn some passages for quoting in English literature

and so we used to read them out in funny accents.

(Scottish accent) "To be or not to be, that is the question."

For some reason that just made me remember what the quotes were

because we laughed because it was like, "That's when you said that."

It was really funny.

I'd ask my mum to ask me the questions.

I'd go through them three times in my head so I'd know the answer.

I think that was an easy way, going through it.

It's like learning lines and acting.

It's the biology exam today.

It's not till two, though, which is good, so I have time to revise.

I am really quite scared about how this is going to turn out.

I'm really not sure I can do it.

This is the first time I've thought, "I can't do this exam."

This is the first time I've thought, "I'm going to fail."

Hey, it's after my biology exam

and some of the questions were a lot easier to answer than others

and that built my confidence up.

I think that really helps, if you have easy questions to start with

and you eventually progress to slightly harder ones.

Having a schedule and sticking to a timetable,

I think that helped me a lot because I got down and I did it.

I think it helped me to see my life laid out

so I could actually follow what I was doing and see what I'd done.

I've just done my food technology exam

and I think it's gone well because I wasn't freaked out by the questions.

I've got a week off now.

I'm going to spend some time revising but also some time relaxing

because otherwise I'm going to go into complete brain failure.

You just have to think, "I'm going to do this."

"I'm fine. I've done my revision." "I'll get through it."

If there's something I don't know, just try and answer it as best you can.

I look at the question for a couple of minutes

and if I haven't understood it, I move on.

I think teachers say that but you never really take it on literally.

That's probably my best advice. If you don't get a question, move on.

The build-up before exams can stress people out a lot,

but sitting them is definitely not as bad as you think it's going to be.


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