April 19, 2023
Preparing for exams
Exams are coming. We're sorry for the reminder. But there are ways to prepare and feel less stressed during your exam period. We have some tips and tricks in this blog post to help you stay calm and ready.
For some of you, exams are in a week. And it might not feel like it right now, but there are ways to get through this time without being too stressed and staying on top of your revision.
Remember, that your mental health and taking care of yourself is still important during exams and deadlines.
Find what works for you
Studying the same way doesn’t work for everyone. Some people learn visually, whilst others need something to listen to. If you learn by writing neat and pretty notes to revise from, that’s great! And you should continue doing it, but if that doesn’t work for you, then that’s okay. Different people need and use different ways to learn things.
Give yourself enough time
We’re sorry to be the ones to break the news but leaving yourself with one night to learn the entire course is not going to work. It won’t do you any good to put that amount stress and pressure on yourself. Plan out how many exams and assignments you have, what days you have them on and work out the best way to study and prepare for each one. This will also give you the chance to speak to tutors about anything that you’re struggling with before the deadline.
“Engage with the materials. Have a structured approach to revision. Avoid learning the entire course in one night. Use the reading lists.” – Phil, Society and Culture Pathway Lead
Remember to take breaks
Short study sessions with breaks is one of the best ways to study, research shows. It’s recommended to do 25 minutes, take a small 5-10 minute break and then go back to studying. Repeat this cycle.
Revising for exams and finishing assignments are both tiring and stressful. Humans tend to do things out of necessity and rewards. Rewards are known to help special pathways in our brain become more active and make us feel good. You’re also allowed to reward yourself for studying and getting through something difficult.
There’s a good chance, no matter how well prepared you are, that you’re going to feel stressed. Firstly, you need to know that this is normal. It’s a big moment in your life and for your academics. But there are things you can do to help you destress and feel more like yourself again such as enough sleep, different relaxation techniques and other ways mentioned below.
Remember to take time for yourself
Whilst preparing for exams and deadlines, it’s important to make time to do things you enjoy and that will help you destress. Make it something you enjoy doing and that will help you take your mind away from the stresses of deadlines and exams. It can be something you like to do on your own or with friends, but remember, assignments and exams do not exist during this time.
Eat, sleep, exercise, repeat
Running on little sleep and little food will not help you and lead you to feeling burnt out, exhausted and overwhelmed. Make time to eat meals, something that will fill you up and give you the energy you need. As tempting as it may feel to stay up and revise all night, it won’t make you feel very good in the morning and you still may have to attend classes or drop-in sessions. Exercise is really good for us and our brains, not matter how painful it may be to get started, you’ll feel a lot better afterwards.