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Effective ways to organise exams

We are officially in the heart of the exam period, one of the most stressful times in student life and efficient time, as well as material management, is more than needed. We hear various tips and organizing advice and I am here today to share my personal top means to get through this demanding period and improve your preparation strategy.

Tip #1

Determining and structuring your material: First and most impactful preparation level is the collection of all useful and appropriate material. This year has been different and the whole structure of courses has shifted significantly. It is now that identifying and organizing the relevant videos, pdf, papers, articles etc., can prove the most important. Make sure to find the relevant material and only save in a file the needed ones.

Tip #2

After you create the essential material file you need to structure the timetable to go through those files. What I usually do is decide how many days I can dedicate to prepare for this course exam and after that estimate the workload to efficiently allocate it based on my timetable. You also need to keep in mind that focusing and staying persistent to the timetable is the key to effective preparation.

Sometimes of course unexpected events occur, and you might get slightly out of your program but remember that what really matters is being able to adjust and reallocate if needed. In case you get way behind you may need to consider adjusting the days in total. For example, if you believe a course is a little bit easier for you, you can reduce some days you otherwise would have allocated to that course and better prepare for the most difficult and demanding ones.

Tip #3

The final and most helpful tip for me is locating the relevant and useful tools you can utilize to better prepare and save time. An example would be to find and familiarize yourself with online tools such as calculators or software that can help you significantly reduce the needed time when being tested and focus on more demanding aspects. To be able to take good advantage of this year’s shift to open book, however, you need to be careful while trying to target the most efficient tools. It may happen that you will end up losing more time than you thought if you don’t fully familiarize yourself with the tools prior to the examination. Excel spreadsheets have also been of great help for me. Creating appropriate sheets and ex-ante models in excel with functions based on your course material can save you tons of time trust me on this one. Excel is also more user friendly and easier to use than other unfamiliar online tools. When searching for those tools it can be helpful to do some prior research and track reviews from academics, students or experts. This might save you from unexpected surprises.


A textbook and a notepad with a pen and pencil