As we head into the third and final term of University, that can only mean one thing: exams. But before you start hyperventilating at the mere thought of sitting in a silent room powering through an essay in just a couple of hours, we’ve got some handy tips and tricks to help you cope with the onslaught of exam stress on its way:
Make a Timetable
If you’re unfortunate enough to have several exams crammed into one week (maybe even with more than one on the same day), then you’re going to make sure you get very organised. The more organised you are and the more you have planned out, the more calm and ready you will feel to tackle those exams.
Start with a simple timetable of when your exams are and assess how much time you have between each one. If you have an exam on a Monday, for example, and then another exam the day after on the Tuesday, then you’re going to need to plan for revision for both of those exams alongside each other. You definitely shouldn’t focus all your time on the Monday exam revision and then try to cram in everything for Tuesday’s exam on the Monday night.
Make a timetable for revision based on when your exams are and how long you think it will take you to revise all the material. Hopefully you’ll have already started revising over the Easter holidays, but if not, don’t panic. Get out a fresh Excel document and plan out your revision hours leading up to those exam dates. But don’t panic too much if a revision session takes longer than you planned or gets skipped, just rejig the timetable as you go along.
Get Plenty of Sleep
It shouldn’t need to be said that all-nighters are not a good idea. It might seem like you’ll get more hours of revision, but you’ll be so tired and drained from a lack of sleep that it’s unlikely you’ll retain as much information as you would if you’d had a good night’s rest.
Make sure you’re consistently getting at least eight hours sleep on the days leading up to your exams. It will aid your revision, help you stay alert and motivated and, most importantly, should mean you won’t accidentally sleep in and miss any exams.
Eat Well and Get Exercise
Exercise might seem like the last thing on your mind when you have studying to do, but you’ll feel much better for it. Exercise gets the blood pumping, helping you to feel more alert and energised. Even just a short walk outside counts as exercise, and it’ll get you out of your bedroom for a while so you can clear your head and think better.
Alongside that, try to avoid bingeing on takeaways. You might feel like you can’t waste time cooking healthy meals, but the right food during times of stress is incredibly important. It’ll give you the right kind of energy to keep you going throughout the day, it won’t cause a sudden drop in energy like a high calorie takeaway will.
Set Realistic Goals
Thinking about your exams all in one go and all the material that you need to revise will be incredibly overwhelming and will stress you out. Break up everything you need to do into smaller chunks but remember to be realistic about it all.
You should know what kind of learner you are and how long it takes you to retain information. When planning out your revision, keep your goals realistic within your own abilities and style of learning. If you try to cram in too much revision in one go, you’ll become frustrated. Plan in time for breaks and have a look over some past papers so you’re aware of what you’re up against.
Make Time for Yourself
Probably the most important addition to this list is to make sure you make time for yourself. Exams are a stressful time for students and it’s important to take time out to do things for yourself so you don’t experience burnout.
Whether it’s watching your favourite film, heading to the pub with friends or even just indulging in a nice bath, make sure you schedule in some relaxation time around your revision. If you have friends on your course all doing the same exam, you could arrange a revision session together and then plan to hang out afterwards. Learning with people studying the same topic as you can help you learn the material more easily, and you’ll feel much less stressed knowing you’re all in the same boat and can share your worries with one another over a pint.
From everyone here at Student Housing Lancaster, we wish you luck with your upcoming exams. Keep calm, do your best and you’re certain to succeed.