Shortcut to exam success

With exam time upon us, students all over the island are going to extreme lengths in order to achieve top results. As a student currently in secondary school who, at this time last year was preparing to sit my Junior Cert, I know that finding time to study is hard enough without having to worry about eating well too.  

After surviving my exams last year, I’ve noticed the unhealthy eating habits of the various types of students, with the “Crammer” and the “OSPNC” (The Organised Student who Pretends Not to Care) being two of them.

The "Crammer", is your typical student who usually goes around saying something like “I stayed up studying all last night, got 1½ hours’ sleep and haven’t had my breakfast yet”, before an exam while nursing an energy drink and wolfing down a chocolate bar. After each test they can be heard complaining about how “We never even did that in class!”.

Before an exam the "OSPNC" usually says something along the lines of, “Oh hahaha I’m going to fail this, I don’t have a clue what any of this is” or “Is it (purposely says completely wrong subject) next?” They come into school each day with a fresh selection of home-grown fruit and mixed nuts and an organically produced homemade, wholemeal vegan wrap.

schoolgirls walking down the corridor

I know myself that when I’m studying, the last thing I want is to have to "waste" time going to the kitchen to eat. I often find myself ignoring mom’s text telling me that dinner is ready resulting in her bringing dinner down to me at my desk. Unfortunately not all students have that luxury which means they often forget to eat or don’t find time to and instead fill up on unhealthy, convenient snacks.

My point being, there are better ways to prepare for exams without driving yourself (and those around you) demented. The truth is that there is no shortcut or easy way out, if you want to get your top mark, you have to be willing you work hard for it.

But here are a few handy tips to help keep your concentration levels up:

  • Take regular 10 minutes breaks every 45 minutes with a longer break every 2/3 hours - Talk to your family or get out for some fresh air
  • Make time for a hobby you enjoy during the week - I play my keyboard
  • Don’t skip breakfast - Keeping a steady supply of energy throughout the day will ensure you don’t lose concentration during study and exam times.
  • For treats while studying try to prepare a box of berries and grapes to snack on instead of chocolate or sweets - It works just as well! My favourite healthy snack is apple slices with crunchy almond butter
  • Keep hydrated - I always have a glass of water beside me while studying
  • Eat regular meals  - you are less likely to reach the unhealthy snack
  • Avoid energy drinks – they give you an energy and caffeine rush but you’ll feel really tired a couple of hours later. If you find yourself falling asleep, try a tea/coffee instead. Energy drinks can contain up to 17 teaspoons of sugar!

I hope you find these tips helpful in making your study sessions more productive. Good luck!

Posted: 01/06/2017 15:13:57 by Carrie Crowley
Filed under: Diet, Exams, School, Sugar


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About Me

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Carrie Crowley
Hi, my name is Carrie Crowley and I’m a transition year student in Colaiste Na Toirbhirte, Bandon, Co. Cork and as part of the year, I am spending a week’s work experience here in safefood. My interests include playing the piano and being overly competitive at everything I do!