UMASS Blog

5 tips for getting you ready for exams

Exam and assignment deadlines looming over you? Look no further. Follow these tips and ideas to help feel prepared for your exams:

1) Be organised

You’ve probably heard your teacher say this a hundred times over, and your parents too. But being organised, making lists and staying on top of tasks really helps you get everything you need in order so you’re not left panicking about things you didn’t think to do or complete.

 

2) Eat, drink and sleep well

Students will continue to tell you about their bad habits that are heightened by exam stress.  Some people resort to fast-food and some forget to eat at all, so make sure you’re eating healthily and drinking enough water.  If you’re getting the nutrition your body needs you will have one less thing to worry about! Exams are known to cause lack of sleep and bad dreams so make sure you get a good night of sleep and let your brain recover and get ready for the day of revision ahead.

 

 

3) Do fun things unrelated to your exam

Before exams we are sucked into exam-reality. We don’t do or discuss anything BUT our exams – don’t let this happen! Go out, go for a run, watch that movie you’ve been holding off for a while. Revising constantly might not be the solution. Relaxing and taking your mind away from exams will give your mind some time to recover! I’m a big fan of baking and football so when I get a spare minute during exam season I like to take a break by baking up a tasty carrot-cake or hitting the stadium – do something that takes your mind off work and that way you’ll be even more ready to ace those exams.

 

4) Discuss your work and assignments with others

Get a group together and work through chunks of material with each other. Do you have any practical exams? Practice on family and friends. Do you have to lots and lots of case studies to review? Organise a revision mock trial with your friends. Doing work in groups can help ease the toil of revision and it makes revision far more fun! Add some snacks and it’ll be more entertaining than revising alone on a desk – although there are more ways we can work successfully so find what works for you and follow it.

5) Do the work and be prepared (but don’t over-prepare)

Make sure you put effort into being prepared for your exam. Know the objectives early on and what your professor or teacher expects of you. This will help you to answer the questions with a strong knowledge base. I find it helps to have a plan for revising in order to ensure I have completed my vision in time for my exam.

Before going to university, I did a test online (see link below) which told me that I’m mainly an audio-visual learner, so I know that listening to and watching podcasts is an effective way for me to revise and do so efficiently. I really recommend that you find out how you learn best and how you can use what your course offers, such as podcasts, to better improve your revision style. Importantly you must realise you won’t always know every single detail for an upcoming exam and it’s okay to feel this. It’s important to cover the main foundations and every detail you learn is useful, as you can use additional information to help boost your grades, but don’t lose your focus by becoming frustrated at how little you’ve learnt – keep working hard and stay motivated, it’ll pay off in the end.

A bonus tip: The University hosts mindfulness meditation workshops which are held in the library to help alleviate stress and nerves, which I’ve linked below. If you’re not too keen on mindfulness, there is a napping pod in the Alan Gilbert which I highly recommend. Use naps to boost your energy levels throughout the day and get re-vitalised when you’re feeling a little demotivated or tired –  as we all do…

 

Resources you’ll love:

 

What type of learner are you? https://www.rdi.co.uk/what-type-of-learner-are-you/

 

Alan Gilbert Learning Commons Napping Pod/ZZZ Zone http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/locations-and-opening-hours/learning-commons/zzz-zone/

Mindfulness meditation https://www.counsellingservice.manchester.ac.uk/workshopsfurtherinformation/mindfulnessmeditation/