How to tackle the exam and deadlines period: tips and advice
University exam periods can be overwhelming for even the most experienced students.We’ve put together a list of our best tips and advice for tackling the difficult exam periods you’ll face during your degree.
- Look at the bigger picture. Split your time evenly across your commitments – you don’t want to spend two weeks on one exam and only three days on another.
- Set a revision deadline. Cramming the night before an exam will only make you feel worse and most of what you revise probably won’t go in. Give yourself a cut-off point and make food, relaxation and rest your priorities after that point.
- When it comes to setting targets, be realistic. Setting difficult targets will stress you out even more, and if they don’t get completed, you’ll feel disappointed.
- Many modules will have past exams for you to use. Doing these will help you understand what will be expected of you on the big day. It’s also advisable to have a go at one under the same conditions of the actual exam.
- There are plenty of apps and tools to get you focused and organised throughout the exam period (and the rest of the semester too!). Get some help with focusing, making to-do lists and project management.
- Back up your work! It’s so important to back up whatever you’re working on. Save it to a cloud drive or email it to yourself.
- You may find it beneficial to study outside of your room. This removes the distractions that working at home can present, and allows you to associate your home as being a place of relaxation and comfort. Win-win!
- Booking study spaces in the library is quick and simple. Head to the booking website and click on the room & time slot that suits you best. There are group study spaces as well as carrels for solo studying. These rooms are perfect for focused revision or coursework sessions.
- Both the library and IT services frequently tweet about labs and bookable study space availability during the exam periods.
Rewards and breaks
- You might find that splitting your 24 hours into three will help you set yourself up for the day – 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for revision, 8 hours for personal time (eating, exercising, socialising, etc).
- If you work best under pressure, set yourself a time limit to get your work done before going to do something else. Setting a break time will make you more productive as you work to get it done before then. Try to be strict with yourself, or get a friend to hold you accountable.
- Avoid eating and working at the same time. Eating during your breaks is a simple way of separating work and personal time.
Looking after yourself
- Exercise has been proven to help improve mood and brain function, yet it’s normally the first thing that goes when exams arrive. Make sure to set some time aside where you can get some exercise in, be it a run around campus, a few lengths of the pool or a session in the gym.
- It can be tempting to comfort eat during stressful periods, but remember the basics: foods with slow releasing energy will help you revise more effectively for longer. Pasta, fish and eggs are all great examples of the foods you want to be getting in for exams and deadlines.
- Keep your immune system topped up with lots of vegetables!
- Routines can fall way out of order during busy periods, which can make you feel agitated and tired. Figure out when and how you work best, and try to adjust your existing routine to that.
The exam period can be very intense, but if you take the advice above on board, you’ll sail straight through to calmer waters. Looking for a little more support? Check out the dedicated exam support website to find out what services the University can offer you. We wish you the best of luck with your exams!
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