If your maths exam is coming up, you've probably already spent hours - if not days - studying in the library and going over yourrevision notes endlessly. But when it comes to the night before your exam, what's the best course of action? Should you be studying hard until bedtime, or getting some well-deserved rest in preparation for the big day?
In this guide, we're going to give you 10 tips for the eve of your important maths exam, from what to study to ensuring you're on top form during the exam itself. Let's take a look!
Don't overwork yourself
Tip one - don't burn yourself out the night before your exam. While it might seem productive, studying all day long isn't going to help you out when it comes to sitting your exam; you're going to end up so exhausted that you might not even retain important information.
The best way to ensure a positive outcome is by planning your revision timetable in advance, and leave yourself with plenty of time the day before your exam to rest, study a couple of topics, and spend the rest of the time preparing yourself mentally for the big day. Preparation doesn't just involve revision, it also means eating well and getting enough rest.
Study your weak points
While you shouldn't overwork yourself the night before your exam, there's nothing wrong with going over your weakest points for a few hours. After all, they might come up in the exam, so having the information fresh in your mind might help you get past those tricky questions.
So if you're going to be studying, it's a good idea to focus on the sub topics within maths that you find the most difficult. Whether it's fractions or trigonometry, give yourself a quick refresher - and cross your fingers that they don't come up in the exam!
Eat well and drink enough water
We cannot emphasise this one enough - it's absolutely essential that you nourish your body correctly before taking your exam. If you've been running on lucozade and takeaways during your revision period (we've all been there) instead try opting for lots of water and a healthy dinner the night before your exam. You don't have to deprive yourself of treats - just make sure also you're getting enough nutrients in your body to facilitate adequate rest and optimal concentration.
Have some time to yourself
Exam season is incredibly stressful for two reasons: one, you're sitting exams that are most likely going to have a determinative impact on your future job prospects. And two, you're running on auto-pilot: with so many exams to study for, you'll probably find it difficult to find time for yourself. But having time for yourself is actually important: during your free time, you're able to reset your energy when you spend time doing things you love, rather than finding yourself burnt out with little energy.
This is why it's a good idea to take some time off the day before your exam to do something you enjoy. Whether it's curling up with a good (non-Maths) book, watching a film, playing video games, or spending time with friends, you should give your batteries time to recharge before the big day.
Speak with your teacher
If you're feeling nervous about the exam, it can be a good idea to speak with your maths teacher the day before. Usually, your teachers and professors will have increased office hours for students during exam leave, so you should be able to schedule a call or quick meeting to go over any concerns.
If your teacher isn't available, you could always speak to a math tutor the day before your exam. A maths tutor will be able to give you any last-minute tips before the big day, and will be there to answer any questions that you're still struggling with. Seeing a maths tutor is a great way to enhance your exam performance, as they'll be able to
Prepare a healthy pre-exam breakfast
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day - especially when it's the day of an important maths exam! Eating a balanced breakfast has been shown to improve test performance and concentration in school-aged children and young adults, so don't miss out on this easy opportunity to give your brain a boost before the big exam. Plus, exam halls are quiet - you don't want your stomach gurgling and throwing off your concentration.
The best pre-exam breakfast is going to be something that slow-releases energy, such as oatmeal, or something nutrient-rich like a fruit smoothie. That being said, the important thing is that you eat *something.* If the only shop open on your way to school is a Greggs, so be it.
Get your bag ready
You don't want to spend time rushing around in the morning searching for pens and pencils, so it's a good idea to pack your exam kit the night before. For your maths exam, you should bring a couple of pencils, a sharpener, erasers, and any rulers that you may need. Make sure to double-check what maths exam you're taking on each day; some will require a calculator. You should also bring water (in a clear bottle) to drink during the exam.
Get enough rest
When it comes to your exam performance, sleep is essential. Having enough sleep is going to determine whether or not you make sloppy errors, misread questions, or even simply have the energy to sit the exam itself. We know that all-nighters are common during exam season, but it's a good idea to get yourself into a healthy sleeping pattern at least a week before your maths exam.
Pulling an all-nighter is going to exhaust your energy, and you'll be so tired that you won't even remember what you studied the night before. Plan efficiently, and you won't need to stay up all night studying.
Set two alarms
As we already mentioned above, exam season can be exhausting. As a result of this exhaustion, you might find that you're sleeping more often than usual, as your body tries to recuperate its lost energy. If you've noticed that you're sleeping past your alarm recently, set two alarms to make sure you get up on time. You can also arrange a friend or family member to wake you up if you're a heavy sleeper.
Check the bus and train times
If you're using public transport on the day of your exam, make sure you've already double-checked the timetable the night before. It's also a good idea to take the early bus, rather than a bus that will get you to school just on time - if there are roadworks, traffic, or adverse weather conditions, you could end up being late to the exam.
The bottom line
When it comes to the eve of your maths exam, it's in your interest to spend time resting up and nourishing your body correctly in preparation for the big day. A significant part of your success won't just be made in the exam hall, but in the days and weeks proceeding the exam. For optimal results, eat healthy, get enough rest, and stay organised.
This post was updated on 01 Aug, 2023.