The Dos and Don’ts of Exam Recovery

Author: Nabeelah Bulpitt

Posted: 20 Jul 2015

Estimated time to read: 4 mins

Now that exams are over, here's how to recover healthily without wasting all your hardwork developing learning skills. We've pulled together some Dos and Don'ts that'll help you relax and enjoy your freedom without letting your brain turn to mush!

Do rest

You’ve been at school this whole year and it’s hardly been a breeze! You’ve had piles of reading to do as well as coursework and then mounds of revision and exams one after the other. It feels like you’ve really overworked your brain!

So now is the time to rest, unwind and not think about school! Make the most of it, you don’t realise that when you enter the real world of 9-5 working you won’t get this time again! 

Don't throw out your revision notes!)

Trust me, don’t throw them away or get involved of the burning of books and notes rituals that your friends may be having. What if you have resits? You’ll definitely need them then!

Consider how much time you spent on putting them together, all the research and staying up late reading over and adding to them! Also think about what you may want to do after A-Levels, do you plan on going to Uni, and if yes what subject will you be studying?

If it happens to be a subject you studied during GCSEs or A-Levels, then it’s possible that some of what you studied will be taught in greater depth at some point during your degree; you may not realise it but your existing notes will act as the groundworks for this module and will help in giving you a basic understanding of what’s to come!

Do indulge in sleep, take naps, catch up on some ‘zzz’s’

You’ve sacrificed so much of it what with late nights (or all nighters) trying to cram and study; you’ve woken up at ridiculous hours to try and get a bit more work in. All in all, you’ve had incredibly long days and very very short nights fuelled on cups of coffee, Red Bull’s and all sorts of high sugar, high caffeine energy drinks.

Now is the time to put away your mugs, get rid of those lingering leftover cans and just enjoy sleeping. Your body needs and craves it, and it will help put you back together again, literally. Your skin, hair and eyes will all brighten up and rejuvenate and you’ll feel naturally energetic after waking up from a good sleep.

Don't worry

Yes, exams are over now but you still don’t feel fully satisfied with your performance. You feel like you could have done better, or that one question which you knew the answer to but couldn’t remember it at the time is haunting you. I know the feeling, but what’s done is done. Worrying about it isn’t going to turn back the clocks so you can redo the exam, the only thing you can do is put it behind you.

Now you’re worrying… But what if I made a mistake, what if i fail? Here are two important lessons for you to remember: MISTAKES - Means I Start To Acquire Knowledge, Experience & Skills (@ASTSupportAAli) and… FAIL - First Attempt In Learning (@clcsimon). Doesn’t seem so bad now does it?

exam recovery

Do take the opportunity to catch up on everything you’ve missed (i.e. TV, books, cinema)

During the exam season, you’ll be so, so tempted to delay revision in order to watch the latest episode of whatever series you’re into (or binge watch a whole season), or read the book of the moment. Then you realise (hopefully)… these can wait till after exams - which is true!

You can catch up on what you’ve missed after exams and you’ll enjoy it so much more. There’s a time for working hard and a time for leisure - the time for leisure is not during the time for working hard! Sit down, read, watch, eat and enjoy!

Don't let your brain go into hibernation:

During the start of every academic year, you write your name on the front of your new notebook and the feeling of it is just alien! This is from not staying proactive for the whole summer. Now I’m not telling you to keep writing and working throughout your holidays, but keep your mind working. Every now and then - maybe every week - write a sentence, read something of interest; do something to keep your brain ticking.

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