Hi guys! As you know January is the month where semester 1 exams take place, it’s the time of the year where the learning commons is jam packed and your textbook keeps getting recalled by the library. It was a stressful month, and pretty uneventful due to the long hours indoors with my face buried in a book (or more often my laptop).
Since I don’t have much interesting events to share with you guys, I’ve decided that I would like to talk about a few tips I use while coping with the exam stress.
- Work consistently throughout the semester
I know this is hard, it is my new year’s resolution every year and it is still not happening. However, even if you are up to date for 60% of your lectures, it is so much easier to try to catch up with the other 40% than having to cram 100% of the semester in the last 3 weeks before exams.
- Do not panic!
If you feel like you don’t have enough time or you have too much to study, make sure you calm down and think about a strategic way to fit it all in with a study timeline and it is extremely important to stick to it. Work smart, there is no point spending too much time on something that will barely be tested in the exams, the amount of reading in our courses can be overwhelming, so be selective. When there are options in the exams (e.g. choose 2 questions out of 3) , prepare hard for 2 of them and just skim through the last, if you’re working against time, you have to take your chances. Another tip is to make use of the office hours, I have heard of students going into a lecturer’s office thinking that they know absolutely nothing, but after a good 30 minutes conversation with the lecturer, came out feeling a lot more confident about themselves and the exams.
- Take care of yourself
You do not want to be down with a cold or flu during exam season. The weather in January isn’t the greatest and students often fall ill. Make sure to keep warm, eat healthy and sleep well. It will be very tiring for the body and the brain if you are running on 4 hours of sleep every day and the only thing keeping you awake is coffee. Make sure you rest well and have proper meals, that way you will probably feel and work better.
- Be prepared
Download your exam timetable, make sure you know when and where your exams are. You do not want to be studying for the wrong exam or worse, ending up in the wrong exam venue because you were not prepared. Know what you can bring into the exam hall, make sure you have your student ID, stationaries and be there on time. I also try to make sure that I do not have a heavy meal (especially greasy and hot/spicy food) before exams as it tends to make me sleepy. However, I do not like to go for an exam hungry. Therefore, I usually keep a cereal bar/a small snack in my bag in case I get hungry before the exams.
- Try your best
Sometimes you study hard for an exam and the lecturer decides to throw a curveball your way, it does get to you (and everyone in the hall as well). Do not be disheartened and carry on with what you can do. Sometimes a question in the exams that seems really complicated really isn’t after you’ve calmed down and read it carefully. Try your best in answering the questions and have enough confidence that it will bring you the grade you aimed for!
I might not be the best person to take advice from because I do have moments where I feel like pulling all my hair out at the amount of work I have to do, but I do hope that some of these tips will be able to help you in some way.
Till next time!