Nicola Morgan

Author, Speaker, Supporter

Understanding and Supporting Your Teenagers – few spaces left and I’m not doing it again!

Exam Attack is coming (again)

I was going to make a joke about it being the second coming but there’s always someone who will take a joke the wrong way, so I didn’t. I hope you’re impressed by my restraint.

Anyway, yes, this is a new and very different version of Exam Attack. The first one, which I self-published as a slim ebook a few years ago was recently picked up by my editors at Hachette Children’s Books, who also published Positively Teenage and Body Brilliant. They spotted Exam Attack and liked it so much that they bought the rights. I took the slim ebook (and school licence) off the market and have completely and extensively rewritten it as a full-length book (print and electronic), with loads of extra detail about revising and learning, as well as the original core aspects of managing stress during exams. It will be published on August 13th this year.

Stress is not an enemy unless you let it get out of control. Stress is what will enable you to produce your best work in exams so Exam Attack does not try to make you float into them on a cloud of zen. Exam Attack shows you how to harness the positives and avoid the negatives, while also using state-of-the-science knowledge about how brains learn best.

You’ll find exam planners and time-tables, food ideas for when you don’t feel like eating but need a brain boost, a lot of help with sleep, and a whole load of evidence-based ideas for helping the revision material process into long-term memory. There’s so much good stuff that I’ve put the whole contents list here:

SECTION ONE: THE RIGHT MINDSET

  • Imagine you’re an athlete
  • Growth mindset – learn by doing
  • Stress – don’t fear it
  • The importance of well-being
  • Everyone’s different
  • Personality and exams
  • Neurodiversity and exams – learning differences
    • Dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia
    • The autistic spectrum
    • Memory problems
    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Illness
  • Your Home Situation

SECTION TWO: PLANNING AND PREPARATION

Planning

  • Know what each exam will entail
  • Know what each exam is for
  • Make an adaptable revision timetable
  • Practising exam skills and situations
  • Asking for help early

Prepare your work spaces

  • Noisy or quiet
  • Physical comfort
  • Avoiding interruptions
  • Access to equipment

Stress buddies and revision partners

  • Stress buddy
  • Revision partner

SECTION THREE: REVISION TIPS

  • Practice and your brain
  • Learning styles
  • Good note-taking
  • Best ways to learn and revise
  • Concentration, procrastination and distraction
  • -Managing distractions of screens, phones and social media
  • – Other points about screens and procrastination
    •   Circadian rhythms
    •   Habit loops
    •   The Pomodoro Technique
  • Schedules for each work session
  • SMART goal-setting

SECTION FOUR: BE PRACTICAL ABOUT WELL-BEING

  • The Table of Well-being
  • Food and Water
    • How to get the right foods
    • Foods to aim for
    • Superfoods
    • Recipes
    • Ideas for foods to eat in exam time (and any time!)
  • Water
    • Say a total no to energy drinks
  • Exercise
    • Exercises that only take half an hour or less
    • Exercise that take longer but could be fun
  • Sleep
    • General guidelines for good sleep
    • What about when sleep won’t come?
  • Relaxation
    • When?
    • How? What?
    • Computer gaming for relaxation
    • Reading for relaxation
    • Breathing for relaxation
    • Anti-panic strategy
    • Five-finger-breathing

SECTION FIVE: COUNTDOWN TO EXAMS

  • Stage One: Before the start of the last school holiday before exams
  • Stage Two: The holiday before exams
  • Stage Three: (Roughly) week three before the first exam
  • Stage Four: The last two weeks before exams
  • Stage Five: The day before the first exam
  • Stage Six: Each exam morning
  • Stage Seven: In the exam room
  • After each exam
  • Don’t care too much

Appendices

  • Tips list
  • Top Tips to Beat Exam Stress
  • Top Tips for Revision Periods
  • Top Study Tips
  • Top Tips in an Exam
  • Revision timetable examples and resources
  • Other resources

I’m known as The Teenage Brain Woman but actually it was the science of learning that first got me interested in brains in the first place. So this topic is right up my street. There will be free teaching notes nearer to publication time in August, just in time for the next school year. But what about THIS year’s exams, I hear you say? Don’t worry: I will republish all the tips from the old Exam Attack, and loads of blog posts with clear, calm, empowering advice. Please come back and read them, print them, share them, do anything with them except sell them!

Here is a link a page with my free resources.

Together we can attack exams and beat them into success.

Do comment but please remember that this site is for all ages.

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