Short answer questions test your recall of information and ability to apply knowledge. This requires an active approach to revision as it’s not enough just to ‘know’ the content. It’s really important to activate your knowledge by practising answers and testing your recall of information.
You can make your exam preparation more effective by setting goals for each revision session and having strategies for the exam itself.
• Study in short blocks (no longer than 50 minutes)
• Understand and memorise key terms, theories, concepts, and applications
• Make concept maps to see how theories and concepts relate
• Think about how to apply the theories and concepts to real world scenarios
• Practise any relevant calculations or formula
• Complete all questions from textbooks, online quizzes or tutorials
• Make sure you access all practice questions and past exam papers
• Develop and answer your own set of questions
• Work with a study buddy to test and motivate each other
• Carefully check the marks allocated for each question
• Make a quick plan for how long you can spend on each section
• If a question is worth 10% of the marks, then it deserves 10% of exam time
• Plan to have some time at the end to check your answers
• Read the instructions carefully and note if you need to use full sentences or paragraphs
• Answer questions you are most confident about first
• Make sure that you are addressing the question and not going off track
• If you run out of time, make sure you at least write something for each remaining question
It can be tempting to keep pushing yourself during revision but if your concentration level starts to slip, it’s much better to take a break and start again when you are more alert.
If you’re keen to learn more about exam prep and different types of assessment at QUT check out our online resources.
And above all, a positive, calm mindset will go a long way to exam success!!
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!
Whether you are new to uni or returning to study after a break, it can be both exciting and overwhelming when the semester finally begins. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you have everything you need to set yourself up for success.
Download the QUT app
This is a great first step in getting organised. The free student app really helps you manage your studies. Use it to search and register for all kinds of eventsand keep track of your classes. If you are on campus it can even help find a car park, check shuttle bus times and locate rooms.
We all know that one of the keys to student success is being organised but it’s not always easy to achieve. Most of us are trying to balance study with work, family, sport, socialising and other commitments so it often feels like a juggling act. Luckily there’s a range of free online tools to help you feel organised in all areas of your life.
We’ve chosen a few of our favourite apps to get you started:
In the second half of semester assessments can take priority but it’s also important to plan for exams. Exam Countdown helps you organise and prioritise your time in the lead up to exams.
Todoist links with the apps you already use so that you have one central, organised hub for getting things done.
Take your notes everywhere and access them across all of your devices with Evernote. You can also add photos and audio recordings to help revise for each of your units.
Use Brainscape to create your own flashcards of terminology or key theories and test yourself. You can also share your lists and browse existing cards. This is great for medical terminology in particular.
Music makes the world go round and it has also been proven to help you focus. Find your own study playlist on Spotify to help you get in the zone.
And remember to look after your wellbeing with some stress busters. Calm is an amazing app for wellbeing and mindfulness with 100+ guided meditations.
It’s that time of semester when the workload starts mounting and exams are looming. It’s natural to feel anxious about everything you’ve got going on but the key is not to let things overwhelm you.
Try these simple strategies to help you stress less and feel more in control.
Try not to let your assignments and exam revision take over your whole life. Maintain a balance and continue to do things that you enjoy. Spend time doing activities that will relax you, such as listening to music, going for a walk, cooking or catching up with friends.
Make a plan
It sounds simple enough but it’s surprising how many students actually don’t plan their time. Make a plan for the days leading up to your assessment deadlines and exams so that you can manage your time effectively. Divide your day into study blocks and dedicate each one to a different unit. Make sure you also include time for work, relaxing, family, friends and SLEEP.
Get enough sleep
We all know how important sleep is but when you’re stressed it’s easy to stay up late finishing assignments or cramming for exams. Sometimes it’s better to stop what you’re doing and tackle it again after a good sleep. Make sure you get plenty of rest leading up to exams, especially the night before. When you feel refreshed and energised you can think more clearly.
Look after your body
Good nutrition is not only essential for your physical health but it also plays a significant role in maintaining your mental health. It may be tempting to reach for fast food or quick snacks from the vending machine but you’re better off choosing with some brain boosting ingredients like nuts, seeds, fruit and whole grains. Avoid having too much caffeine as it can work against you by increasing your stress levels and anxiety.
Talk to others
Often when you’re really stressed it seems as though everyone else has things under control. That’s usually not the case and chances are that your friends and classmates are also feeling some pressure. By opening up and talking about your concerns you can help each other put things into perspective and manage your concerns.
We all cope with things differently but if you feel that you have too much to cope with it’s important to ask for help. QUT has a range of support resources and confidential counseling.
University study can be a challenge when you have competing demands from home, work, relationships, sport and socialising. So what makes a successful student?
This video provides eight useful tips that you can use to make university life easier. Tips include finding solutions, working on relationships and the importance of mental and physical fitness.
Making flashcards is a great way to learn new terms and definitions. In the past, this meant buying some pieces of card, writing a term on one side and a definition on the other. Quizlet brings this process online and allows you to take your cards anywhere on your device. An added bonus is that it also has a range of games and quizzes to test your knowledge. You do have to create an account but it’s free!