Getting over that final hurdle : Exam Prep

It’s that time of year again, when the end of the year is so close you can almost touch it, but before you can really relax, you have to deal with the dreaded final exams. We wouldn’t blame you if you felt like doing this:

But before you do, remember that the end is in sight, and before you know it, you’ll be kicking back on the beach, exams a distant memory. Here are a few hints for avoiding stress and getting through the final weeks of semester.

The easiest way to avoid (or manage) stress in these final weeks is to have a study plan and gather all the important information (such as date, time & location of your exam) as soon as possible so that it doesn’t cause unnecessary panic the night before or the morning of.

Some study tips to help you prepare in the days and weeks before your exam include:

  • Take advantage of the revision questions at the end of chapters in your textbook (if available);
  • Be active, not passive. Avoid just reading over your notes or textbook – highlight, underline, rewrite or create concept maps instead;
  • Revise regularly, not just a couple of days or the day before. The more you revise, the easier it becomes to remember;
  • Make mnemonics (words or sentences to help you remember), charts or flash cards;
  • Eliminate distractions;
  • Chunk your time, and take regular breaks;
  • Write your own exam questions and swap them with a friend.

On the day of your exam:

  • Get to your exam early, and ensure you’ve got the right materials with you, including your student card;
  • Use any perusal time to identify questions you can answer easily and answer these first;
  • Read all questions at least twice;
  • Leave plenty of time to review at the end.

If you’ve run out of time to do much of the above, you might like to check out this structured approach to cramming.

Finding it difficult to get motivated? Try these handy hints from Counselling about overcoming procrastination.

And check out Studywell for tips about preparing for different types of exams, including multiple choice, short answer, and essay.

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