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Exam Preparation Tips

By ResidenceLifeAssistant 21 Mar 2024

Exam season is pending… and we know that exams can be a very stressful time for university students. This blog is our exam survival guide. How you can plan for your exams, organise your time and de stress during this difficult time.

Exams can be very stressful and often you can feel lost with what you’re doing. The pay off though can be really worth it and you can really feel a sense of achievement when youve finished. They are also a good alternative if you want a break from those long essays which are very common at university. 

How to plan for exams

- The best way  to plan for exams  is to revise. It sounds typical but knowing your knowledge will make you feel much better about the exam. If you go in feeling confident it is likely you will do better overall. Try and look at what content may be included and create a list ticking off as you go. You can also make revising fun. Why not treat yourself to some nice paper and pens and get creative with it. Or play a game with your course mates as you go through your flash cards. Revising doesn’t have to mean just sitting at a test book staring. It can be fun too. You could create posters, songs, poems all of which can help you remember the knowledge in new and creative ways. 

- Ask your lecturer for any tips and advice. Remember, they will have had many students in the same position as you. Also, if you’re revising and you’re unsure of something, always ask. Your lecturers are there to help. 

Organise your time

— Try and do this ahead of time if you can. You will need to be revising in the months up until the exam so it is important to plan your time effectively. Buy a nice calendar you can stick to the fridge or hang up in your room and write on this your exam dates. From here split up your revision into sections and write down when to do what. This way you can ensure you fit it all in and don’t miss anything out.

- Learn that its okay to say no. Exams are a stressful time and you can’t have too many other commitments within this time. If someone asks you to do something and you don’t want to and feel as though you should be revising, its okay to say no and rearrange for once exams are finished. Whatever will make you feel most prepared.

- Make sure you take time off. You can’t revise all the time and do nothing else. Eventually you will stop taking in information and it could become negative on your mental health. Make sure to give yourself regular breaks and also longer breaks too. They say the human brain can only concentrate for 45 minutes before needing a 15 minute break so try and do this. Also, take yourself for walks or to do things you like. Have a movie night with friends or go for coffee. It is important to still have a balance.

Tips on how to de-stress

— Meditation is a great way to wind down after a day of revising and being stressed. There are many great apps which can help you with this such as headspace and calm. Or you could do it yourself by finding a calm space, putting on some relaxing music and try to clear your thoughts, relaxing into the music and focusing on being present. There also may be some meditation classes around you so also be sure to check these out. 

- Take yourself on a walk and focus on taking in the surroundings. Any time a thought crosses your mind try and remove it. Instead focus on the trees, the grass, the noises of the bird.

- Watch your favourite comfort show. It’s okay to have breaks doing regular things sometimes. If you notice yourself loosing focus whilst studying, take a break to get a nice snack and watch your show. Taking your mind away from it can really help.

- If you struggle with getting overwhelmed and stressed during the exam, put your pen down for 30 seconds, take some deep breaths breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Take a sip of water and gather yourself before continuing. Even having a minute of calm can help.  Remember, once the exam is done it's done and that is one down and one off your shoulders!

- Remember to get a good night sleep and eat well. Sleep can really affect your brain function. It is not worth staying up for longer trying to cram everything in. Sleep is much more worth it so prioritise this. Also make sure you are eating proper meals as food is fuel. 

- If you are really struggling with exam stress be sure to contact the university’s welfare team who can offer you support and advice. 

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We hope this blog has helped you slightly with your exam preparations. Good luck to anyone that has any exams coming up. You will do great. Remember you are more than capable and can do it and once you have done it you will feel much better. 

Welfare Support | Coventry University