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Top tips for exam prep

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!

    Preparing for uni

    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.

    App Store download
    Google Play download

    Connect with on social media

    There are a range of social media channels to help you connect with QUT and your peers. Check out the official channels to stay up to date with all things QUT.

    Facebook
    Twitter
    Insta

    You will also find many more connections through your faculty so make sure you look out for this info in your units.

    Attend orientation and study skills sessions

    Make sure you join your essential orientation events. They cover everything you need to know about studying in your faculty and give you a chance to meet others.
    Look out for other workshops to help you prepare for study at university.

    Don’t worry if you miss something as most session will be recorded and available to access online.

    Have everything you need

    Be ready to start with all the text books and study materials you need for each unit. Once you have enrolled you can view your personalised booklist.
    Don’t forget to check out what’s available in QUT Library as it stocks a small supply of prescribed readings and textbooks.

    Top apps for being organised

    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.

    Don’t forget, if you feel that you have too much to cope with it’s ok to ask for help. QUT has a range of support resources and confidential counseling.

    Stress less – take control of your life

    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.

    Be active
    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.

    Making flashcards with Quizlet

    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!

    Start making your Quizlet flashcards now or learn more about it in the following video.

    Source: https://youtu.be/Jo6ITr9yt4Y