Bloom of doom

Exams! by  Jan Smith (CC BY 2.0)

Exams! by Jan Smith
(CC BY 2.0)

Poor Jacarandas. In Queensland they’re a signal that end of year exams are upon us and as such, the blooms strike fear, panic and desperation in students’ hearts and their beauty largely goes unappreciated.

So, what can you do once the mass of purple fills the skies – and carpets the paths – to survive exam madness?

  • Firstly, know your enemy. There are many different types of exams: multiple choice; short answer; and open book just to name a few. Each has different performance requirements and therefore, a different preparation strategy. Studywell has lots of exam advice including how to identify what you’re facing and how to prepare for each different exam type.
  • Double check the basics. Well before the day, check the exam timetable and then check it again. Know where you’re going, what time and work out how you’re going to get there. Exam rooms are usually in different places than your lectures so check the campus map and familiarise yourself with where you need to go.
  • Formulate a plan of attack. Put in place strategies to organise your time and organise your notes. Gather all the information you need together – lecture notes, recordings of lectures, textbooks, readings, quizzes, lab reports – before you start studying to make sure you have all the information at hand.
  • Phone a friend. Study with a buddy or form a study group. You’ll help keep each other motivated and can quiz each other and share techniques for revising.
  • Eat and Sleep. Good nutrition and staying hydrated are key to performing at your best  – as easy as it would be to fall into the trap of takeaway and caffeine. Plan to get adequate sleep in your study schedule as your brain’s retention and retrieval performance will be hampered by inadequate zzz’s.
  • Don’t panic. It’s easy to start to feel overwhelmed, even if you have a good study plan in place. Here’s some strategies to combat exam anxiety and don’t be afraid to talk to someone if it all starts getting too much.

Wishing you all the best of luck  this exam period  and be assured, one day you will be able to gaze upon the Jacarandas with fondness rather than loathing.

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