Time management is key
Avoid unwanted stress and last minute panicking by studying in advance. Do a little bit every day, or write a study schedule that suits you and your lifestyle, and you’re well on your way to walking into the exam hall feeling confident and prepared. If you’re submitting a portfolio or essays, start doing work as soon as it’s available to you, and work steadily throughout the semester, and before you know it, you have an almost completed portfolio or a well-planned essay well before hand-in.
Look at old exam papers to get an idea of what could crop up in yours, as well as making sure you’re keyed up on whatever topic could come up. If you get any of the answers wrong or you’re not familiar with the question, this provides the perfect opportunity to use flash cards, notes, or whatever method works best for you, to test yourself on the missing knowledge and develop areas that you’re less confident about.
Keep motivation high
Studying can get tedious, especially when you’re tempted to do other, more fun, things. Motivate yourself by writing down what you have achieved, so you can visualise your hard work, and give yourself rewards. Tell yourself that you’ll watch that episode of your favourite show, hang out with your friends on Saturday, or indulge yourself with your favourite snack, but only after you’ve finished a set amount of revision or work that you set yourself for that day.
Allow yourself to relax
Giving yourself time out from studying and working to enjoy life outside of revision is important. Spend time with friends, family and pets, play your favourite games, read a book (for fun!), watch your current fave TV show, or whatever it is that allows you to wind down, this is especially pleasing when you’ve finished a bunch of work or revision the day before. Remember: do not feel guilty for spending time away from work/revision – you really deserve it!
Get good rest
Limit your intake of caffeine and don’t be tempted to work late into the night, relying on energy drinks and coffee to sustain you. You’ll miss out on important sleep that you really need. Look after yourself and, if you manage your time properly with the other tips offered up, you should be able to avoid working late entirely and ensure you get proper rest every night, especially the night before an exam or hand-in – that’s really important!
Exercise and eat well
Your mind and body will thank you if you keep up with exercise, at least 20 minutes a few times a day, and make sure you’re eating and drinking healthy things often. Sitting at your desk and eating unhealthy snacks and energy drinks will only aid in you feeling grumpy and irritated, which is no good to you. Keeping up with regular exercise, even just a walk around the block, and eating well will help you to feel invigorated and refreshed when you sit back at your desk.
Talk to your friends
You are not going through this alone – in fact, you are surrounded by people going through exactly the same as you. Talk to your friends and peers, share study techniques, and find time to just hang out and talk about anything. Knowing that you’re not alone and sharing your worries (which are completely normal, even if you are well prepared) will make you feel better and more confident that you can do this – because you really can!