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More tips to help students do their best during exam period

The steps you can take to ensure you perform at your best during exams.

Get a good night's sleep

Do not stay up all night cramming. After five or six years of secondary education, a late night of study will not make much difference to your knowledge of a subject.

An early night will leave you refreshed and better prepared mentally for the following morning.

Arrive early

You need to be relaxed on the day of the exam in order to feel in control of the situation, which is difficult to achieve if you rush into the exam hall as the exam starts.

You will need about 15 minutes of 'quiet-time' to mentally go over your 'game plan' for one last time.

Be prepared

Have the obvious tools ready for your exams, such as pencils, rulers, pens etc. Make sure you have specific tools, such as calculators for maths or coloured drawing pencils for art history, ready.

The last thing you need is to have a lot of last minute energy wasted on frantically trying to source these items.

*Clive Byrne, director, National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD)

Avoid eye strain

The 20:20:20 rule - take a 20-second break every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away.

This gives the focusing muscles a chance to relax before they are put to work again.

Remember to blink

Work in good light, preferably from behind and over your shoulder. Don't hold study material too close to you, but rather, at the normal working distance of 25-40cm (10-15 inches).

Wear the appropriate glasses if you require prescription glasses. Study with your glasses on rather than your contact lenses, if possible.

Use lubricant tear drops if the eyes feel dry - specifically ask for preservative-free drops.

Omega-3 supplements are great for the eyes and the tear-film and have the added bonus of improving mental capacity.

If you are studying on your laptop or PC, the screen should preferably be at eye level and 40-70cm (15-28 inches) away from you. When you are asleep, your eyes are resting too and you wake up feeling refreshed and eye ready.

* Dr Arthur Cummings, medical director, Wellington Eye Clinic, Beacon Medical Campus, Dublin

Dealing with asthma

Be prepared - visit your ­doctor or nurse and have plan in place for managing your asthma and allergies.

Take your preventer ­medication daily, as prescribed, and make sure you are taking your inhaler properly.

Keep an eye on the pollen count at www.asthma.ie.

Know your triggers and reduce your exposure to them if you can - simple strategies like washing hair before bed, changing clothes ­before ­entering the bedroom, ­keeping pets downstairs and keeping car windows closed on the journey to school can make a noticeable difference.

Let your teacher/exam ­supervisor know about your asthma or allergies - you may need to avoid sitting by the window.

Have your asthma reliever inhaler with you during the exam in case you experience worsening symptoms.

*Asthma Society

Irish Independent