Preparing for Summer Exams

two students studying together with a stack of books on the table

Summer exams are around the corner, and it can be a bit of a stressful time and feel a little bit overwhelming. There are a few tips I’d like to share, and as I am graduating this year, talk about what I have found most useful and what I have thought is not helpful (mistakes to avoid). I will also share some resources, such as the Study Advice website from the University. You should also try to make the most of the Library, both online and offline, as well as study groups with friends or others on your course. You can find advice for your studies and exams from the University. If you are feeling that you are finding it difficult to cope and need help, such as with mental health or other problems, please don’t hesitate to contact Student Support.

Planning Revision 

Something that I have found useful is planning what you want to revise and when and try to stick to a guide to ensure you have covered everything. However, you should remember that plans can change and try not to be too rigid and feel guilty and ‘give up’ if something takes longer than expected – especially as this is often the case and many studies have shown that students underestimate how long assignments or revision will take. Therefore, starting early, and being flexible with a timetable is useful, as well as not leaving everything until the last minute (as tempting as this is). Set goals at the start of each day, which will make you feel more motivated and think of studying during the day, as well as feeling accomplished with each small step. Try not to focus on the revision you need to do, as this may make you feel too overwhelmed to begin studying. A mistake I believe should be avoided is spending too much time creating a timetable, as there is no way to know exactly how long things will take and will hinder getting started and make you feel as though there is too much to complete. Therefore, a rough guide and idea is better than a strict and rigid timetable that covers a large length of time. 

Getting Started 

As I mentioned before, setting small goals each day will make you feel as though you are achieving something and are more likely to feel an energy boost and accomplished, enough to want to continue and that you are making a difference in the amount of work you have to get through. We all know getting started is the most difficult thing, so try not to think about the amount you need to do, as this can be discouraging. On top of this, plans can change, and it is difficult to know what you feel is most important a week from now, so try not to spend too long on planning your revision or making a ‘perfect’ timetable, as this could just waste time and feel frustrating. Just getting started is the most useful thing, as from then on you will gain an idea of what needs to be done. Try to avoid distractions, such as your phone, which you can try to put in a different room. However, you should plan in small breaks to have something to look forward to and move around a bit. You can also try to listen to music or a podcast while you work, as I have found this makes it easier to get started and not think about the large amount of revision I need to complete.

Checking Exam Timetable and Information 

Remember to check your personal summer exam timetable on RISIS, which can be found under the ‘Information’ and then ‘Exams Info’ section. You will be able to see the time and date of all your summer exams, as well as the time and duration of each exam. You can also find your anonymous candidate number at the top of the screen. 

Other General Tips 

Remember to take breaks and give yourself treats to relax and to not feel too overwhelmed. To relieve stress, also try to keep active, go outside and spend time talking to friends or family. Keeping active will take your mind off of studying and release endorphins, giving you a natural energy boost and feeling happy. Make sure you are eating healthily and well, in addition to getting enough sleep, as this will improve your concentration and mood. Focusing too much on exams can also have a negative impact on your mental health and overall grade. If you are having trouble or need help, don’t hesitate to contact Student Support

Exam periods are often stressful times but keeping ahead of your revision and not leaving it until the last minute, as well as remembering to take frequent breaks and keep active and healthy, will help relieve some of this stress. Remember to sleep well, keep hydrated and eat healthily with plenty of nutrients, such as plenty of fruits and vegetables, to maintain feeling well and have energy. A healthy body and mind I believe is one of the most important and effective things to make you feel motivated and able to get through the studying and exams you need to complete.

Start planning your revision and set small goals for each day or week, to ensure you stay motivated and feel as though you are completing tasks. Try to plan in some breaks, such as taking a walk and going outside, instead of scrolling through your phone or other common distractions which may be unhelpful. Plan out a sleep schedule with enough sleep, as well as make sure you are eating properly and healthily (for example try out some new recipes involving plenty of fruits and vegetables, which is also perfect for the warmer Spring weather), to maintain a healthy body and mind while you revise.

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