Ask any professional Painter and Decorator and they'll confirm the importance of preparation. Sure hugely tempting to have quick wipe down of the paintwork, a solitary flick with a sheet of sandpaper and on to the exciting stuff of fresh colour!
In reality this lacklustre approach to decorating preparation will not deliver crisp, beautiful, long term benefits... and that, my friends, applies to exam preparation.
Foundation, research, practice and planning are key - slow and steady will win the race.
Definitely avoid last minute cramming and burning the midnight oil. This causing stress, tiredness, clouding of the mind and anxiety. Instead build up on the core foundation. As with decorating preparation, time spent on the basics will reap huge rewards. Build up your learning and take time to unravel any aspect that you struggle to decipher or remember.
Work with modular chunks of information, be familiar with the unfamiliar, use repetition, link concepts and bring the flat one dimension words on paper to life - time to get creative albeit through Mind Mapping, sticky notes, historic timelines on lengths of wallpaper, scientific experiments etc
Cement your learning - if stress on the day kicks in - you'll be able to rely on your well practiced, cemented foundational understanding of your topic. Last minute cramming for a tired stressed out mind, will not be your friend on the day!
To that point, examination success is not merely about knowing your subject - it's vitally important to know your exam board, style of questions and exactly how the different boards want the questions answered; style, content and volume. For anyone who has recently learnt to drive and sat the Theory Test - this is exactly what I mean... it's certainly an acquired skill that's for sure!
In summary be informed, be well practised and transform your preferred style, in to the required style for each exam board. Take a deep breath, steady the nerves and slowly read and digest the questions.
Resist the Hare temptation and tap in to your inner Tortoise!