The Conversation Spain
Keys to preparing the EvAU after a year of pandemic
Shutterstock / zixia The Baccalaureate Assessment for University Access (EvAU) is perhaps one of the academic tests that cause the most anxiety and nervousness for young students. And not only because of its format, defended by some and reviled by others, but because in this test their academic and professional future are at stake. With pandemic fatigue hovering over our thoughts and after an atypical course in which the restrictions have set an uncertain course, students can feel more insecure than ever, something that, without a doubt, can directly affect them in the achievement of the proposed objective. However, the tenacity of the educational community and the availability of new digital tools during this course, especially those that have facilitated online teaching, have made it possible to continue with classes and the planned work, helping students to cope, safely, to the choice of his academic future, which this year will be marked by a change of course as a result of the influence of Covid-19. Therefore, the work of teachers, family, friends and society in general is to continue giving guidelines and projecting positive, albeit realistic, messages that promote attitudes with which students generate self-confidence and increase their motivation, thus promoting the best of each one of them when facing the University entrance exam. How to get calmer Although, and although the recommendations that are going to be given should characterize a daily form of study and work, it would be recommended that, in the days prior to the test, they are fulfilled in a much more convincing way. There are guidelines that are an inseparable part of student life and that we could group into two large groups: study habits and healthy lifestyle habits. Study habits Maintaining a structured study schedule is essential for good organization. This schedule should not only allow dedicating the study hours that each one needs to consolidate the knowledge that has been acquired during the course, but it should facilitate, within current limitations, combining this activity with others such as social life, leisure and rest. We must ensure that the study hours are of the highest quality, and for this we must try that, during those working hours, we are able to isolate ourselves and focus on the task we propose ourselves, avoiding distractions, especially those related to social networks and social media. technologies, as long as they are not necessary for the study. Getting used to noise is also necessary since, on many occasions, studying in an idyllic place, without distractions, helps concentration, but it can get away from the reality we find ourselves with on the day of the exam, hindering the proper development of this. It is recommended that, on some occasions, and when we have established knowledge of the subject, we can alternate the study in isolation with the study in libraries or places that may be more similar to the place where the test will take place. Healthy lifestyle habits 1. Physical exercise. Every day the relationship between healthy lifestyle habits (physical exercise, diet and sleep) and cognitive performance becomes more important. Recent studies indicate that a sedentary life negatively influences the cognitive and emotional development of people, especially young people. In fact, physical exercise has been shown to positively influence cognitive performance even after just a single session of aerobic physical exercise. 2. Diet. Another important factor in healthy lifestyle habits is diet. The type of diet can have a great impact on cognition, since diets rich in saturated fats and monosaccharides can decrease the availability, among others, of neurotrophic factors (proteins involved in survival and neuronal connectivity), which directly influence in functions such as memory or attention. Diets in which saturated fats are restricted in favor of polyunsaturated fats, such as omega 3 and 6, and the consumption of glucoses and refined sugars is reduced, increase the synthesis of these proteins, improving the performance of cognitive functions. 3. Dream. The quality of sleep is also key. Various studies have found a correlation between sleep problems and poor cognitive performance. In this sense, we know that there is a reduction in the activation of the prefrontal cortex when sleep restrictions occur for several days, mainly affecting functions such as attention, working memory and self-regulation, as well as the emotional state. 4. Emotional state. We know that emotions directly influence learning and only an adequate emotional state will allow meaningful learning to take place, facilitating the evocation of these on the day of the exam. Adequate study habits, maintain a healthy and balanced diet, carry out physical exercise regularly and respect sleep hours, avoiding marathon study sessions with the help of energy drinks that help us maintain a state of wakefulness, will be the best guarantees of adequate preparation for the present and the academic future of young people. Now it is time to maintain the effort made during the course with which both the students and their teachers have managed, with an extra enthusiasm, dedication and creativity, to turn the difficulty into a learning opportunity. This article was originally published in The Conversation. Read the original. Aitor Álvarez Bardón does not receive a salary, nor does he carry out consulting work, nor does he own shares, nor does he receive financing from any company or organization that may benefit from this article, and he has declared that he lacks relevant links beyond the academic position cited.