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BY VIDA " Sik Li fe l BY VIDA " Sik Try these lop five tips to get ready for your final exams HE MATRIC finals are almost here, and students around the country are starting to feel the pressure. Once the mock exams are done at the end of September, learners should have a good understanding of where they stand academically. We asked Godfrey Madanhire, a pro- fessional motivational speaker and former teacher, for advice on how to get you ready foryour big exam. Here are his helpful tips: T Know what your weakest subjects are before planning your study schedule. Identify these areas and take action by eitherjoining a study group with your peers, arranging extra classes at school or in the community or getting help from a tutor. Not planning to address the issue is planning to fail. "The earlier you can address the problem the better prepared you'll be when the finals come around," Godfrey advises. 2 Take each subject, divide the work into sections and diarise what you will study when. Seeing everything set out on a calendar will give you peace of mind. Tick tasks off as you complete them so you can see what you've accomplished. This will increase your confidence, too. Being disorganised might mean you won't be able to manage your time effectively and you might leave out subject sections that should have been studied. Set aside time daily to study and find an area where you feel the most productive. lf that is the kitchen table, ask your family to set aside the area for you. Getting into a routine is important as it allows you to get into a rhythm. Creating a poster for your schedule is also a fantastic way to remind yourself of what you should be doing. 52 10 SEPTEMBER 2015 C . www.drum.co.za Set out only those books, notes and previous exam papers you'll be using for that day and clear all other clutter from the space. Have some brain-boosting snacks on hand and study only on a satisfied tummy, or you might find yourself distracted. "Take into account the time you need to source and work through old exam papers," says Godfrey. 3 One of your biggest fears might be putting in all that effort and then drawing a blank come exam time. Concentrating during a study session will go a long way towards retaining the information. When tackling a large project, it's important to start with a first step and address the workload one task at a time, Godfrey says. "Looking at the entire problem and shying away from it will only set you back," he adds. Draw mind maps so that at a glance you can see an overview of the whole section. You should then be able to see and under- stand the connection between all the subheadings. Sections of work should be well-numbered, with clear sub-headings. Change the subject you study every two hours to provide variety and take regular, scheduled breaks. The brain can't concentrate for longer than 4O minutes. lt's best to study in one-hour bites broken TOP QUOTE ll BBE seems impossible, untii it is done. (SOURCE: EXAMTIMECOM) up into 4O minutes of study, a 10-minute break and 1O minutes for revision. Experts recommend studying for two to three hours a day during the week and four to five hours a day over weekends. Divide large tasks into smaller tasks that are easier to complete. Test yourself by making up questions about key sections in your notes or reading. There's a difference between learning and actually knowing the subject, Godfrey says. "Ask a family member if you can teach them about a subject. lf you're studying maths, try and teach the fundamentals of a certain formula to a willing participant. "When you're able to easily teach the content of what you're studying you can be sure you understand, and should pass the exam." a Stress can cause you to lose concentration when studying, so ensure you're cool and calm. Dealing with nerves is all a mental game, Godfrey explains. "Getting your head into the books is good, but you'll need a break once in a while. Plan active breaks like a walk or a run. Exercise does wonders for releasing tension." Think positively and change thoughts such as "I'll never remember all of this ASdUTlRSTOCQ 5U“. E] stuff" and "l can't cope" to positive thoughts such as "My work is planned and all I have to do is stick to my daily schedule" and "l can do this!" A change in attitude can do wonders to ease your mind and ensure you study effectively. When a moment of panic sets in, just take a minute to refocus by breathing deeply. It's a tried-and-tested way to relieve anxiety and refresh the mind. jlf. Change your social _'?- _ behaviour. lt might be hard to resist the urge to go out partying for the next three months, but you're going to have to make a few sacrifices. Getting enough rest is essential because a tired learner isn't going to learn. Fit afternoon naps into your schedule, sleep a bit later on weekends and go to bed an hour earlier in the week. Try to eat healthily, stay away from junk food with too much salt and sugar that can leave HOW PARENTS CAN HELP you wired. Rather eat brain- boosting foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and fish. Try to ensure that you drink between six and eight glasses of water a day because it flushes toxins from your body, keeping all your organs, including your brain, in top form. Being mentally prepared is important but if your body isn't up to the challenge, you'll land up struggling. Cut out technology and put your phone on silent when you study. Only text friends when you take a break from your studies or if you need help with your revision and have a cut-off time for conversations. Ban any electronic games and television until after the exams. "Remember that at the end of the exams you can expect a two-month holiday to relax. And when the holidays are done, you'll hopefully be off on a new adventure to college or university," adds Godfrey. I WHERE TO FIND HELP r'?.::' You can download a tree study guide from the Department ot Basic BllBMlfl% website h iiiil.EiRiilitiiiiii.tiji.iiiif,Biilliliil slhliiiiiEiiiil,li.iigiiiiai:; 1lmllr2g.lllllMll sry.i' It you're eelin stressed and overwhelmed, call a MBE-B, on t e South African Depression and Anxiety Group's crisis line on 0800-21-22-23 or speak to your school MBM4ltlN s'rh'o' Visit Godfrey Madanhire's (LEFT) website llllllllllllM-t.llllllNlll.BMlmlm For a list of motivational DVDs aimed at MliBllB1 personal growth.