Ideas and tips to help you when the time for exams comes back
Exams have always been the most stressful time in university, especially for first-year students that are new to the whole experience. Although everyone is used to some kind of preparations because of their experience at school, revising in university is completely different and very often stressful. London Met’s Student blog has some tips to help you through revision.
Yes, it sounds obvious but starting as early as possible will help you massively to avoid the stress. Even if you can’t bring yourself to sit down and start revising straight away, just starting to organise your notes and picking up the right books to help, is more than enough to start your preparation. When writing an essay, choosing your referencing books first is the most important thing. It will help you putting a focus on your thesis and formulate your main arguments. Make sure you read the notes you’ve written throughout the semester; it will refresh your memory and help you start building the essay in your mind.
Take regular breaks
You might think that is best to study for as long as possible but after a while, your mind just stops absorbing most of the information. Also, if you’re studying for a long time without a break, you’ll soon find yourself finding all types of distraction. So, even if you’ve decided to spend your whole day in the library, make sure you give yourself a short break every two-three hours. Giving yourself small treats every time you finish something is a good way of remembering to hit pause. Plus, treats can be a great stimulation!
Stock up with the right snacks
Everyone loves junk food, but during revision it's your worst enemy, so try and avoid it as much as possible. Instead, stock up with some brain food. There are foods out there, rich in nutrition, that are proven to help with concentration and memory. Make sure you add fish, nuts, seeds, yoghurt and blueberries to your diet. They’ll also give you plenty of energy throughout the day. Sugar may seem appealing, but it won’t help much when your energy levels come crush down after an hour or so.
Understand what you read
Make sure you understand what you are reading instead of just trying to remember it for until the exam pasts. Yes, it will take more time to read through all the texts and let everything sink in, but once you can explain what you’ve been reading without having to check your notes, you’ve got it. A little trick you can use is having post-it notes spread around your desk or even your room. Seeing them over and over again will make you remember them without even trying.
Discuss with friends
Talking about what you have learned with your friend and fellow students brings out your strengths and weaknesses. You will have a better idea of which texts you’ll need to focus on more and which ones you’ve already mastered. Discussion can also help a lot when you’re facing trouble understanding a piece of information. By bouncing ideas off each other, you can always learn something new or better. Just try to avoid the stressed type of students as they can easily make you feel uncertain or under pressure.
Taking exams or writing essay always looks like a lot of work and even impossible at times, but when the day of the exam comes or your deadline creeps in, just remember to breathe because you’re amazing and you’ve got this!