Another exam season survived! As a final year student I feel your pain…and relief now that it’s all over. But this exam season, I was sick of my unhealthy habits and panic flash-card making; so I tried out some new tricks- here are my most useful tips:
Before we begin…
This exam season I needed to have a stern talk with myself before I even began revising. There is a lot to be said for entering an exam period with a positive and realistic mindset. Be kind to yourself, honest about what you can achieve and determined enough to make it happen. There is a tricky balance between keeping yourself accountable but also giving yourself some slack when you need it. The best advice I could give would be to go into any exam period with the best intentions possible.
There are loads of tips out there on how to be most ‘productive’, but it is all very subjective. Here are some really simple but effective tools that got me through!
Firstly, find the time of day that works best for you. If you’re an early bird use that to your advantage and get up and at it. If you know that complying with your alarm will just leave you blurry-eyed for the rest of the day, give your body the extra hour of rest it needs and try revising later on. My next tip would be to break it up. Hours and hours of staring at the same screen in the same seat without any breaks is most probably going to drive you into the ground. Work out how long your optimal working period is – for example, I work best in 50-minute intervals and give myself a short break after each revision slot as this helps you to keep alert throughout the day. Mix up your study space, vary your revision methods, practice and test yourself. That’s my process. If you work best listening to something then why not try and find a podcast or audiobook on your topic? If in doubt, someone out there has made a Spotify ‘IC Playlist’ …there are some good ones on there!
Look after yourself!
Sleep is important, as is recognising your limits. There is no shame in not always replying to the competitive group chats of who has been camped out in the Diamond for the longest amount of time. Remove yourself from situations that aren’t helpful and instead try spending quality time with the people who make you laugh after a long day, as this will help you rest and prepare for your next session. Whilst revising, don’t forget yourself, after all, we are only human and burning out in the first few days is never the answer. If you’re taking some time out to look after yourself during exams and stressful situations they are always going to feel more manageable and ultimately be more successful.