Sniff a Lemon

If you want exam success then it may be time to put down the highlighter, stop burning the midnight oil – and start sniffing lemons instead!

A ‘Brain Can Do’ study programme suggests ‘positive triggers’ like smelling lemons or squeezing your ears could really help with exam stress.

Neuroscientists have been looking at how young people’s brains work to help them maximize learning. Working for five years with Queen Anne’s School, the scientists have come up with what they are calling the ultimate revision guide.

Top of the list is not studying too late, and revising at the same time of the day as your actual exam. Easier said than done if you have a full-time job, but there are the weekends.
Highlighting and underlying reams of texts was dismissed as unhelpful. Instead, you are advised to use practice tests and write your own flash cards. Visualisation of the exam room will also make the exam easier. A visit may help with that process, particularly if you are of a nervous disposition.

Other tactics for tackling nerves include deep breathing, shoulder rolling and head lifts. If this isn’t working then it may be time for the ‘Superman’ pose, the scientists say. Avoiding negative people before the exam itself is also heavily advised – interestingly more for women than men.