Should Pupils Cut Down on Sport During Exam Time?
Exam time – we know how it feels. There’s a lot of pressure on, and revision can feel like it’s sapping all your time. After you’ve hit the books, it can feel like there’s not much time or energy left for the things you enjoy; but cutting back on sport? That could be a mistake.
Where does Sport Fit into Exam Revision?
Sportsmen and sportswomen know that over-exerting their bodies will wear them out. If they train too often and too hard, they could actually worsen their performance or injure themselves. Spacing out training sessions lets them recover, which keeps their bodies at peak performance – so when the time comes to compete, they’ll be on top form.
Your brain works in a similar fashion. Overdoing the revision will wear you out in different ways, but it can still affect your performance when it counts.
Traditionally, the old saying was “work and play don’t mix” – but nobody’s saying that anymore. Now we know that when it comes to revision, mixing up work and play is a good thing – as long as you find a balance. Too much of anything isn’t good for you, and that goes for exam preparations too.
Keeping up with your sporting responsibilities can help keep you feeling normal when exam pressure’s building up. It can help you blow off steam when you’re feeling overwhelmed and give you a positive outlet when you’re stressed out. Getting the blood flowing is good for the mind and the body.
So sport and revision are great companions, but don’t just take our word for it: even Ireland rugby captain Fiona Coghlan says that ditching sports in favour of revision is one of the “biggest mistakes” a student can make.
Exams Aren’t The Apocalypse
We know that exams are a heavy weight on the shoulders, but relaxing and dividing your time properly is the key to a happier, more productive exam period. Let’s stress now that yes, exams are very important – but let’s also explain that they are not the end of the world!
How you prepare in the run-up to exams is just as important as your performance on the day: if you do nothing but revise, you might be worse off. And cramming? Well, that’s like trying to play a whole football match in 45 minutes!
How can it be possible to harm your performance by studying more?
Well for one, revising all day long, every day, can be really boring. When you’re bored, you’re much less likely to be engaged with what you’re doing and can become distracted more easily.
Heavy revision schedules can also make you feel like you’re missing out on things you really want to do, which can get you down. That’s not a healthy mindset to be in when you’re trying to focus and study.
It can make any anxieties you have about exams even worse. That’s not going to help you perform better on the day.
It’s much better to plan your time in a way that lets you do things you love to do, and to get effective, meaningful revision time. It’s all about balance – having a healthy amount of leisure time and a healthy amount of study time.
And remember, it’s okay to have some nerves about exams – maybe even a good thing. But if you’re becoming anxious, worried and upset, that’s not okay. Yes, your exams are very important, but so are you and how you feel.
Just think: you can’t possibly mess up so bad that you’ll die! Nobody ever got hurt in an exam! If you’re proud of your preparation efforts, then you know you’re doing your best. Go easy on yourself, find your balance and give yourself time to recover – just like with your sports.
Sport in Our Soul
At our independent school in Dorset, sport is an important part of school life. We’ve invested in an extensive program of sport and athletics at Clayesmore, with excellent facilities and equipment. We believe in the power of sport: that it has a positive impact on everyone who takes part.