T’was the season to be jolly. After all, you’ve just spent your holidays being spoilt with copious amounts of great food, even better wine, mistletoe-induced kisses and of course the highlight visit from a familiar old face with a little round belly, that shakes when he laughs, like a bowl full of jelly! Life really doesn’t get much better than the Christmas holidays, but alas, all good things must come to an end and unfortunately for us, getting back to reality means getting ready for university exams.
While the festivities may be over, there’s one surprise left. Along with the other gifts you were given, Uniplaces has put together the Student Guide to Surviving Exam Time!
Don’t worry, no thanks are necessary. Just make sure you take a read of our merry memorandum below and tag a friend who you think is in need of a sprinkle of seasonal SOS.
First things first, it’s time to remember your boy scout training: Always be prepared! That’s right, before you do anything else, check through the list below to ensure that you’re thoroughly prepared and ready to sit it. If you answer no to anything, adapt your current behaviour to ensure that you can answer yes.
Pre – University Exam Preparation Checklist:
- Do you know where to find your exam timetable online?
- Have you made a revision plan for the weeks leading up to your exams?
- Do you know where the exam room is?
- Do you have a few past exam papers or questions to review?
- Have you prepared all the resources, materials and stationary that you need and are allowed to bring into the exam?
- Are you aware of the formats of your exams such as multiple choice, open book or regular?
- Have you stocked up on lots of fruit and vegetables for those stress-induced snack binges?
- Have you started to regulate your sleeping patterns to ensure you get a good night’s sleep?
- Are you keeping well hydrated?
- Have you factored in at least 30 mins of exercise a day between your revision periods?
While many of these points may seem tedious, preparation is the key to university exam success. Knowing which strategies to apply to which examination formats help reduce time wastage, affording you greater opportunities to answer each question to the best of your ability, while great mental and physical health directly affect your alertness and help channel your focus. Make sure that you’ve made yourself a priority, and you’re already on your way to performing at your optimum capacity!
Five Failsafe Exam Tips You Can’t Afford To Miss
Now that you have your checklist, here are a few failsafe tips and tricks to help you ace those assessments:
1. Spread out your revision
Committing something to memory takes time. Research has shown that spreading out revision sessions on a particular topic is more effective than spending the same amount of time in one go. This is known as spacing because it allows for time in between studying to forget and re-learn material. Short spells of approximately 20-30 minutes work the best because your concentration is much higher.
Say it with me: bacon exercise is good for me! Even by going for a small 30-minute jog in between study sessions can make a huge difference to your wellbeing. In a previous article on tips to help you study more effectively, we highlighted that going outside to get fresh air is essential for better revision as not only has it been scientifically proven to help you feel more refreshed, heighten focus and attention to detail afterwards, but by reducing anxiety and raising self-esteem, it helps you deal better with stressful situations. It’s nature’s Xanax with a side effect of toned abs, ass and legs, so we’ll make ours a double helping.
Sadly not a nod to saliva swopping or head banging, KISS stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. Research by the clever folks at Stanford University has shown that doing too many things at the same time makes us less productive and focused. So if you want to check your social media accounts or grab a quick bite to eat, leave the books for half an hour and enjoy 30 minutes of swiping left or right, scrolling through a stream of memes and GIFs or whip up a nutritious snack. If your mind is drifting and worried about other things, you’ll spend more time frustrated and fighting with yourself to study. The lack of results from this method will mean that you will become even more stressed and less focused, leading to an unproductive and unmotivated spiral of exam doom.
4. Do plenty of past papers
You’ve heard it plenty of times before, but it’s still as true as it always has been: practice makes perfect. Many exam boards put a lot of emphasis on exam technique, so often simply familiarising yourself with the format before the exam can help save time and earn you extra marks.
While the questions may not be the same as the previous years, but some examiners do get a little lazy so you may get lucky with similar questions popping up.
Another great strategy is to look through your semester’s seminar and lecture topics, highlight the questions they address and write out an answers to each of these under exam conditions. Practice these over and over to test your recall of knowledge and prepare answers for some or all of the questions you predict.
5. Variety is the spice of life
As we mentioned in our previous article about university exam tips, our brains can be stimulated by a variety of methods and so successful studying techniques involve mixing up a variety of different tactics such as reading through revision notes today, checking the same topic online tomorrow and meeting friends to discuss the topic the day after.
Speaking of variety, why not take a short break now and discover how to study more effectively by watching our short video!
And for those prone to procrastination, we have our very own procrastination roulette wheel for you to have a spin on…
Good luck. God speed. It might not feel like it, but exam hell will be over soon…
Thanks for reading this post! We hope to see you soon, coming back for more.
Got a great tip? Leave us a comment and let us know your tips and tricks for surviving exam time.
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