Near the end of the semester it can be such a relief to hand in that last assignment or submit that final blog post, but for most students the work is far from over. Preparing for exams can be a real challenge when motivation and energy levels are low so it helps to have a few effective strategies in place.
Set up your study environment
Display your timetable and let everyone in the house know you are preparing for exams
Set up a dedicated space for study to help you focus
If you’re studying in the library choose a quiet spot and use headphones to block out noise
Create a plan for the exam period – including relaxation/sleep habits/nutrition/exercise
If you live alone prepare meals in advance and freeze them for easy access during exams
Think about how you can limit distractions such as online notifications, chat and social media
Own your time
Make a detailed timetable for each exam (unit) – try concentrating on one per day
Make sure you know the details for each exam – log in to Blackboard for updates from lecturers
Check that you understand the type of exam that you will be doing
Organise and store revision notes so that you can refer to them easily
Break your study into 30-minute chunks and plan exactly what you will focus on
Try different methods to revise content
Summarise the key points for each week’s topic
Quiz yourself to identify what you need to work on
Use apps such as Quizlet or stick to hardcopy cards to carry around with you.
Make a list of things you’re not confident about you may want to do
Create your own set of questions to answer
Find a study buddy and test each other
Try any practice tests that are made available to you – note what you found difficult
While it’s important to have a study plan and stick to a routine don’t underestimate the power of a break. Give yourself a morning or afternoon off during exam time. See friends, go shopping, watch a movie, do some exercise. Taking some time out will refresh you so that you can return to study with a clear mind and purpose.
And, if it’s all getting too much for you make sure you reach out for support. Talk to friends, family, peers or access the free services at QUT Student Counselling and Welfare.
Make sure your mental health and wellbeing are a priority!