It’s early June: that means it’s prime examination period. Whether you’re a first year or finalist, exams never cease to be a source of anxiety. There’s plenty of advice out there on how to get through exams but these are our top tips.
Can’t listen to music while studying? You’re not alone. While some swear by music as an aide memoire, others find it distracting – especially music with lyrics. Ambient sounds may be ideal for you though. What are ambient sounds? Every day sounds that we notice and filter out but are noticeable when absent. Coffee shop murmurs, rolling waves on a beach, chirping birds and light wind in the grasses at a park or woodland. Studies prove these sounds help concentration and focus. So, if music isn’t doing it for you, try some ambient sounds.
You’re not a workhorse. In fact, even workhorses need time to rest, sleep, and eat. Productivity drops when you push yourself to the limit, get no sleep, and don’t eat properly. One problem associated with taking breaks is the productivity guilt – we feel we should always be doing something.
Whether you use a time planner or simply wing it with a general idea of what you’re going to revise today, schedule in some breaks.
Along with regular, healthy, sufficient breaks – you need rewards. Build them into your routine as focal points to help you get through. All work doesn’t just make someone dull; it exhausts them and reduces information retention. To quote another phrase, a change is as good as a rest. You don’t need to splurge lots of money on Amazon as a reward or buy yourself a takeaway. Just give yourself some gaming time, beach time, reading time, or do something you like to do to relax. Leave the study material at home though.
No doubt by now you’re aware of home offices. They were a thing before COVID but have proliferated since 2020 when almost everyone who could work from home had to do so.
You don’t need a whole room – a workspace in a corner of your room should be enough. Make it visibly a workspace by removing most non-work things as though it really is a home office.
Finally, one of the most tried and tested examples of them all, mock exams. Universities provide past exam papers online and in the library for you to practice. Make good use of these by creating exam conditions at home. Don’t be tempted to look up answers – that defeats the point, but test your memory and knowledge against your lecture and seminar notes.
These can improve your strong points and iron out issues where you are weak.