Exams: What’s your game plan?

By Alice Dent

It’s that time of the year again. Despite feeling like you’ve only just recovered from the chocolate-coma that is Easter, revision period has rolled around and it’s time to start tackling those looming deadlines. Here are my top tips to make this time as stress-free as possible.

  1. ORGANISE YOUR TIME– Make sure you’re aware of your deadline dates well in advance. Knowing which submission dates you need to work towards will allow you to tackle your workload sensibly, and will avoid any last-minute cramming in the library the night before your essay is due in. Be aware of your exam time, date and venue so you don’t get any nasty surprises on the day. You could make yourself a revision timetable with allocated subjects to revise at a certain time, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself to stick to this. Just allow yourself enough time to dedicate to all of your assignments and you will put yourself in a great position for success.

  2. FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU – It goes without saying that not everybody learns in the same way. I have a friend who can only study in her room with all the lights off, and another who only begins her revision at 11pm. I prefer getting to the library early and spending my morning and early afternoon there, so I can be back in time to chill out and binge-watch Made In Chelsea in the evening. Don’t get stressed out by how many pages of revision notes that girl in your seminar says she has done, or that friend who constantly asks you “How are you feeling about your exams?” Everyone works differently. Go at your own pace, stay in control and use revision methods that work for you.

  3. HEALTHY BODY, HEALTHY MIND – Don’t allow the stress of deadlines to compromise your health and wellbeing. Get enough sleep and make sure you schedule yourself days off (even if that does just consist of watching Netflix in bed). Having said that, make sure you get out of the house and go for a walk – taking regular breaks will allow you to clear your head and return to your essay with a fresh mind. Resist the urge to eat that fourth packet of crisps, and try to eat three healthy balanced meals a day instead. Your body and mind will thank you for it later.

RELAX – Most importantly, stay grounded. Don’t panic. The truth is, you’re going to have those days where your stress levels are rising, and you consider whether you really are cut out for your degree. When this happens, take a step back and re-calibrate your mind. This is especially important on the day of your exam too. Realise that you have done all that you can, and last-minute revision outside the exam hall can only be detrimental. Relax, prepare and be positive. You can do this. Good luck!

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