It’s Vacation Time! (Well SWOT Vac time)…

SWOT Vac (Study Without Teaching Vacation) – so we are sort of on vacation… but don’t switch off just yet… we have a few more weeks to go before exams are over.


How can we make the most out of SWOT Vac?

Here are a few ideas to keep you on track this week:

Chunk Your Study Time


We can’t study the whole day and expect we will retain the information.  Work out which part of the day you work best and use this time to do the harder work.  Maybe you work best mid morning, so use this time to go over your notes etc., and keep it to short spurts with breaks in between.  We are all different, but I find I work well for about 30 minutes then I take a 10 min break before getting back into it.  I usually repeat the same thing a few times so that the information sinks in.  Last semester I had a fair bit of rote learning for an exam.  I found taking my study cards out with me on a walk and learning while walking helped me stay focussed.

Take away distractions


Mobile phones, Messaging, Snap chat, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Stan, Fetch T.V. – these are all distractions we can switch off for a few hours each day so we make the most out of our SWOT Vac week.  We don’t have to eliminate them and go into hibernation for the whole week, maybe save them for your reward time (see below).

You can also try using Study Music to help you focus.  This one was recommended to the STAR Team (that’s the team the blog works under) by an Academic.  Try it out – it just might work for you.

Reward yourself


I don’t know… sometimes late in semester I feel a little like a contestant on survivor… there are things I have to go without or not do to prioritise my studies… so after we have finished our planned study for the day, lets reward ourselves!  Binge on some Netflix, check in with your social media, go see a movie, hang out with your friends… whatever you enjoy doing, it is good to reward yourself with a good break doing something you love.

Eat well and often


This one is common sense, but when we get busy and tired, it can be so easy to go the ‘take away option’.  If you have to eat take away, then choose a better option, like a good burger with salad or grilled fish and salad from your local fish and chip shop.  Snack on fruits, vegetables and nuts and drink lots of water.

Keep moving


You can keep moving in your own unique way.  I like to walk while I study, but for a lot of us this is not an option.  So make some time for some gentle exercise to clear your head and give your back and legs a much needed break from sitting in front of your computer/notebooks for long periods of time.

Sleep well


Treat yourself to early nights and get in some good deep sleep before morning.  I head to bed at 10 so I am asleep by 10.30pm and find myself waking before my alarm.  This is the best time for me to get the best, most restful sleep.  You know what works for you – try and stick to this during study and exam time.

Check your exam timetable and your student emails


Things can change, or perhaps you may have written down the wrong information when you first looked at the time table, so check in with the time table again, to make sure you have the right Day, Time and Location for your exams.   It is also a good idea to check what you are allowed to take into your exam.  You student emails might have information from your subject coordinators, so it is good to keep checking in with these regularly.

Good luck and remember: