Planning for exams

It’s hard to believe, but exams are nearly here. There are many things you can do to ensure you perform better in exams and achieve great results. Exam time can be a hugely stressful period in your life, so why not try and reduce your stress levels by being organised, focused and healthy at this time? Once you’ve got the initial exam details such as date, time and place covered – check out the following tips and tricks the Library has put together to help you plan the lead up to your exams, and be more than ready on the day!

Make a plan

  • Prepare a study plan for each each day of the week. Timetable when your exams are and when you can fit in study time for each exam.
  • Talk to your employers early to let them know you need to limit your shifts/hours while studying.
  • Create a study space that is large enough, comfortable, quiet, well lit, organised, and has no distractions nearby. Find a quite place to study in your Library or Learning Commons.
  • Make sure you have everything you need for each study session.
  • Use flow charts and diagrams. Put your information into a format that allows you to visualize information and create a visual memory.
  • Take regular study breaks. New knowledge doesn’t get absorbed after 90 minutes of continuous study. Most websites recommend taking a break every 45 minutes to ensure you stay focused. Alternating subjects for your study will help you to sustain your concentration and interest.

Self care

  • Exercise for 20 minutes before an exam. Research shows it can boost your memory and brain power.
  • Schedule activities you enjoy into your study plan, as this can reduce your stress levels.
  • Don’t get hungry when studying, and reward your study with a treat to keep motivated! Nutritious foods will keep your energy levels going all day – so snack wisely!
  • Remember rest and relaxation, especially before bed, to slow your brain activity down. Check out this range of meditation and mindfulness podcasts and apps to help with relaxation.
  • Download an app to help with your exam stress. REACHOUT has some great app suggestions for keeping exam stress under control.
  • COVID is limiting social interactions already, but make sure you keep socialising to a minimum during exam periods. Save the virtual parties for after exams are done!

Looking for help?

Did you know your Academic Skills team can help you prepare for each of your upcoming exams? Appointments can be made via Skype, email or over the phone. Academic Skills advisers can help you plan a study schedule, assist you with revision techniques, discuss what to expect on exam day and teach you strategies to stay calm and focused. You can book weekday or weekend appointments, whichever suits your schedule. The team also have online workshops to help you learn the best ways to tackle your upcoming exams – why not watch this Sitting exams – strategies and tips workshop recorded by the Academic Skills staff.

Check out this Charlie post for more great exam preparation tips, and If you need help finding resources for exams or finding study spaces, please contact us at the Library. Best of luck to everyone in their exams – remember you know more than you think!