Tips For Exam Preparation

So exams are just around the corner and it is time to start preparing! The earlier you start preparing, the better, so make sure you start ASAP. If you don’t know where to start or how to prepare, don’t you worry! I got you covered my friend. The following tips are a combination of my personal experience and advice from the Student Development Advisers, the true experts on everything study related. So here we go!

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Look at you exam timetable

If you haven’t already, please take a look at your exam timetable here. This is the number one thing that you have to do before anything else. Looking at your exam timetable will allow you to make a good study plan. Make sure you write down the time, venue and location of each of your exams. We all know someone that missed an exam because they got the venue or time mixed up. Nothing throws you off more than getting to the wrong venue and having to take a long stroll across uni to get to the correct classroom. Also, remember that if you miss an exam there’s very little chance of resitting unless you apply for special consideration. Make sure you check out what you can bring into the exam venue as well.

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Make a good game plan

Once you’ve taken a good look at your exam timetable, it is time to start planning what you are going to study each day. I like to look at each Subject Learning Guide and identify my weakest points. This allows me to know where I’ll spend the most time. Also, I like to start preparing for my exams several days before. Last semester I was lucky enough to have my exams relatively spread out, two on the first two days, two on the last two. That gave a very good gap for preparing. If this is your case, you can start studying from mid or late week 12, half day one subject, half day the other for the first two exams. Then, when those are over, repeat the process with the other two. The only bad thing was watching the celebratory Snapchat stories of my friends that had already finished, but hey, nothing’s perfect.

If you are not that lucky (I’m not this semester), and your exams are close together, a little bit more of planning is required. This being the case, you should start as soon possible! Take advantage of week 12 and SWOT VAC as much as you can. As I did with last semester, I like to split my exams in two halves, the first two and the last two. I’m going to use week 12 to prepare for the first 2, and SWOT VAC to prepare for the last two! This way, when the date gets closer, I just need to review and I’m ready to go. Of course, having classes in week 12, this strategy requires a little bit of effort and avoiding Netflix at all costs.

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Find your own strategy

Everybody has different learning strategies. I like to take notes and summarise every topic, but for some people that is just useless. Whether it’s making flashcards, highlighting your textbooks, making drawings or songs, find what helps you the most and stick to it! Colour coding concepts and topics is a very popular method as well. Ultimately, being comfortable with your learning strategy is the best way to get results. Just avoid trying to memorise large chunks of content in one go, try to understand it. If you can explain the concept you are learning to a person that knows nothing about it, you are on the right track. Also, take a look at past exam papers and solve them! This will give you a good idea on what to expect when the day comes.

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Manage your time

So I am a very big fan of schedules. It really helps me to plan my time this way! Scheduling my study sessions by topic allows me to be more organised and avoid procrastination (not all the time though). If you are going to make a calendar, make sure you leave some time for breaks, exercise or other activities, and enough sleep. Doing activities you enjoy during exam time is very important for relieving stress and anxiety. Also, proper sleep and nutrition will allow you to learn and perform better.

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Team up and get help

If you can, get yourself a study mate or group. This is a good strategy that will keep all of you motivated and will make studying a lot more fun. Study together and test each other on key concepts and topics. Also, if you need further help, check out your Subject Learning Guide for any consultation sessions that might be available for your subjects. If you need extra help, you can talk to the Peer Learning Advisers and they’ll surely help you out.

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During the exam

The day that you are actually sitting on the exam, you’ll probably a little bit nervous. Make sure you take some deep breaths and relax because you’ve got it. When they give you the exam, make sure you read it thoroughly and understand every instruction and question. If you don’t understand something, just ask, better safe than sorry! When exam time starts, look for those topics you feel the most comfortable with and answer those questions first. This will give you a boost in confidence for the rest of the exam and you’ll have some points secured.

Reward yourself when you finish

Finally, plan something cool and rewarding after each exam. Schedule some activity that you really enjoy and reward yourself with it when a exam is finished. Having something to look forward to is a source of motivation and will keep you going when things get rough. Whether is eating your favourite food, coffee with friends, going for a bike ride, plan something and do it! Also, you can plan something even bigger for when you finish your last final for even more motivation!

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So that’s is guys, I hope you find these tips useful! Just make sure you allow enough time for preparing and find your strategy and you will rock those exams. Special thanks to the super cool Student Development Advisers for giving me their pro tips on exam preparation. They can help you out with your planning and study strategies, so make sure you give them a visit. Check out this link for more information and schedule an appointment. I wish you all the best of luck and I know you will do very well. See you in another post!

Alejandro