Hang In There!

There are few events in life more scary than A-levels.

Don't worry. We're here to help.
Follow the tips below to boost your peak performance.
GRDIENT
Hang In There!
There are few events in life more scary than A-levels.

Don't worry. We're here to help.
Follow the tips below to boost your peak performance.
A-levels is downright scary
There are few events in life more scary than A-levels. Other milestones in your life may be stressful (e.g. wedding, first child etc), but for most of us mere mortals, A-levels is downright scary - even if you have spent the last 2 years fervantly completing ALL tutorials, attended all lectures and doing tons of practice papers. But here's the clincher: unless you perform well on that one single day, ALL your hard work and ALL your aspirations may suffer a setback. That's REAL stress. REAL pressure right there.
Pressure + Stress = Vicious Cycle

Unfortunately, pressure and stress tends to form a vicious cycle. For example, you know you need to sleep well for the paper tomorrow, and yet you spend a lot of time worrying that you won't have enough sleep, causing you not to sleep properly. And because you woke up knowing that you didn't sleep well, you will walk into the exam hall with just that little bit more stress, EVEN if you know academically you're well-prepared.
Peak Performance

Here at Grdient, we know exactly what A-level is like, and we know exactly how to reach Peak Performance. In this short article, we'll give you some tips, so that you can get that extra edge to reach your peak performance (glad you stopped for 2 minutes to fill in the survey didn't you?). Here's some last minute tips to help you reach peak performance in 4 sections:
The Mind
Eliminating exam anxiety. Journey of a thousand miles begins with a good night's sleep. Have a Mini-break
The Body
Move your body. Nutrition
Preparation
Materials. Transportation. Evacuation plan.
Pre-Olympics Workout
Confidence building. Have a plan. Visualization
The Mind
Exam Anxiety: The person who says he/she is not stressed is a liar. Trust us, Even the President's Scholars are stressed. It is completely natural to feel anxious: It means that you want to do well! The trick/hack is to redirect that anxiety into something positive, because stress and anxiety can help to keep you awake and alert, help you stay laser-focused and motivated, IF you channel them positively. When you find your thoughts drifting into images of armageddon, slowly focus your mind onto a CONCRETE task with a clearly-defined outcome: Collating your notes for the next revision session, planning your revision timetable, doing 10 mathematics questions etc.

Sleep: Let's face it, it's the A-levels. It's 95% about your mind, and 5% about your wrist (for writing). So it's absolutely important that you focus on making sure your mind is in tip-top condition. It's well-researched that the night before the exam, an hour spent resting/sleeping is better spent compared to cramming.

Take Mini-Breaks: The brain can only take so much stretching in a single sitting. So at the end of every study period, say 60 minutes to 90 minutes, give yourself a short 3 to 5 minutes break. Stand up, away from your study desk, close your eyes, take some deep breathes. Working through "the wall" continuously for hours on end will be counter-productive. Get into a routine of short breaks after the end of each study period: you'll keep yourself motivated and go even further (Note: Experience shows that a "Facebook break" never ends after 5 minutes! So don't surf facebook!)
Wake Up. Kick Ass. Repeat.

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The Body
Move Your Body: We know, sitting down hours on end in the school library MAY seem productive, but it's actually bad for your body and makes you more stressed! At the end of a day's hard revision, or at the end of the week, do yourself (and your body) a favour by doing some physical exercise: It could be 30 minute walk around your estate, or a run. Just make sure you get your body moving and all those tensed up muscles loosened.

Nutrition: There's no use in having a brilliant mind if the body gives way. So make sure to eat normally and well. Unlike Ironman athletes, there's no need to Carbo-load the day/night before a paper. Just eat normally, as you usually do. Don't change your meals.
Do Something Today That
Your Future Self Will Thank You For.
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Preparation
Materials: It's a long stretch of highly stressful exams. As mentioned above, you can't possibly spent every single hour revising. Sometimes it pays to "declutter" your mind by spending 30 minutes organising your notes and materials for the next paper, or to arrange them in some logical sequence. If you're a well-prepared student, you may have a timetable before A-level started, but certainly you should also have a timetable for these few weeks! Do include periods for resting and breaks!

Transportation: In the past week or so, public transport has broken down, and you'll never know! So make sure to check transportation updates as soon as you wake up! So that you can make a better decision on whether to eat your bun on the move (set off earlier), or slowly eat your bun with your milo at your comfy sofa.

Evacuation Plan: On a related note, to maximise your time on revision, also think of how you're gonna get the way out of your school after the paper. 20 minutes spent on chit-chatting with your friend or waiting for a bus could be time better spent on revision.
Push Yourself. Because No One Else
Is Going To Do It For You.
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Pre-Olympics Workout
Confidence Building: On the day before your paper (or the morning before your afternoon paper), don't kill yourself by attempt the top 10 hardest A-level questions - it doesn't help anything because questions never repeat and the probability that a similar question may appear is low - it's a "hard" question for a reason! Give yourself a confidence boost by speeding through some easy questions.

Have a plan: Have a plan for your paper (and each paper is different). If there's different sections, work out EXACTLY how long it will take you for each section, what you should do when you get stuck. And then REHEARSE your plan. For example, if your general strategy is to skim through the paper and jump straight to Section B, then practice that. Get the routine stuff down, and the difficult things will take care of themselves.

Visualization: If Olympians do it, so should you. Almost every elite athlete does some kind of mental exercise before the big day/big competition. They will imagine the whole day taking place EXACTLY as planned, starting all the way from waking up, brushing teeth to breezing through the paper and emerging from the exam hall triumphant.
I CAN and I WILL.