Published: June 20, 2018
As exam season has finally come to an end, it’s time to start enjoying summer. Finally, a well-deserved break! Exams can be very stressful for some but there are some ways to reduce this which I’d like to share with you for the future.
Don’t leave revising to the last minute
The best way to stay on track with revision is to start revising every time you learn something new. It is a great idea to build up your revision material as you go along. For example, after each lecture or seminar, you could copy your notes or test yourself on the new information. This is a much better way to remember key points rather than trying to cram huge amounts in at one time.
Find the revision technique that’s right for you
No one person is the same and therefore we all learn and remember information in different ways. Test out a few revision methods until you find the one that helps you the most. Why not try flash-cards, rewriting notes, asking a friend or family member to test you or teaching someone else the facts you have learned? Remember, just reading over your notes isn’t very useful unless you have a photographic memory.
Find time to rest
Don’t push yourself too hard. Treat yourself with breaks in between revision to avoid overloading your brain. Find time to do fun things with friends or ways to chill out. Constant revision isn’t healthy so try to find the right balance to help you. Making a revision plan could help. Why not plan each day out with the hours you’re going to revise and the hours you need to spend doing other things? Sticking to a plan means you won’t lose track of your studies. Working a part-time job on a 0-hour contract while studying at uni, I understand that this can be difficult, but even a loose plan can help you along. Don’t be disheartened if you need to tweak it slightly.
Find the right environment
This will be different for everyone but the key point is to remove all distractions. Some people find it easier revising with background music while others need complete silence but sitting up at a desk is often a better option than laying on your bed or sitting in front of the TV. Putting your phone on silent or night mode for a short while will also remove a lot of distractions.
Practice past exam papers
Almost all exam boards release at least one past exam paper for you to attempt. This is the best way to get a feel for the exam and understand what you will have to face on the exam day. That way, you will feel somewhat familiar with what you are given and hopefully less stressed.
Don’t go at it alone
Try not to panic and struggle with anything by yourself. Your lecturers and professors are there to help you - that’s their job alongside teaching you. If you’re stuck on something, need help or have a question you think might be silly, drop them an e-mail or find them on campus. I can almost guarantee they’ll have heard what you’re saying before. Otherwise, there are other people on your course who can support you. Talking to each other about the subject can help ease stress and improve your understanding.
I hope these tips help you in the future but for now, good luck for when your final results come through.