Sitting Common Entrance exams this week: how to prepare each day
By Natalie Bailey
06 Jun
After months of preparation the Independent School Examination Board (ISEB) Common Entrance exams begin today. As you support your child over the next few days, we thought it might be helpful to share some of the exam week tips given in the Galore Park Study Skills book.

Before the exam
  • Have the equipment ready the night before
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Avoid last minute cramming
  • Be determined: positive thinking is really important
  • Be ready for two types of exam paper:
  1. Hard: don’t panic. It’s the same for everyone. Your brain does not work as efficiently if you get stressed!
  2. Easy: be on your guard, avoid careless mistakes
  • Do a breathing exercise before going into the exam room so you are calm and ready to retrieve the facts from your brain
During the exam
Remember to:
  • Keep your watch on the desk so you can keep an eye on the time
  • Divide your time sensibly between all the questions – if a question is too tough, go on to the next one
  • Go back and have another go at those tough questions if you have time at the end
  • Check your answers if you have time at the end. Here are a few questions you could ask yourself:
  1. Do my answers make sense?
  2. Have I spelled any long words or names that appear on the exam paper correctly?
  3. Are any mathematical calculations I have carried out correct? 

Eat a brain-friendly diet
It is important it is to eat a brain-friendly diet to help boost your energy and brain function.
Here are the top 10 brain foods:
  1. Oily fish
  2. Eggs
  3. Nuts and seeds
  4. Whole grains
  5. Oats and oatmeal
  6. Berries
  7. Beans and pulses
  8. Colourful fruit and vegetables
  9. Dairy foods
  10. Red, lean meat
Avoid Junk food it’s full of additives that will damage your concentration. Sugar-coated breakfast cereals will give you a quick energy burst but are followed by a much longer energy slump. Energy drinks and other fizzy drinks are rich in sugar too and can make you hyperactive. This will block your concentration.

Drink plenty of water
Water supplies the brain with the energy it needs to send messages from one neuron to the next. The brain cannot store water so you need to drink regularly.  Have a drink whenever you are thirsty.  Even mild dehydration will damage your concentration.
We hope you find these tips helpful, not only for the exams this week but in all future exams. We wish your child every success!

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Tags: 13+, Common Entrance, Elizabeth Holtom, Entrance Exams, Independent School Examination Board, ISEB, Revision, Study Skills, Tips

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