Tag Archives: exam prep

Taking Care of Your Wellbeing During Exams

For many of us the idea of sitting an exam can be a stressful and overwhelming experience therefore during these times it is important that we remember to take care of ourselves and our wellbeing.

Here are some handy tips to reduce stress and help you to get through the exam season:

  • Take regular breaks and schedule in fun things to do.
  • Revise with a friend.
  • Get outside and soak in some sun and fresh air.
  • Be active.
  • Celebrate small wins, reward yourself each time you complete a task or answer an equation correct.
  • Enjoy a good meal.
  • Spend time with friends and family.
  • Treat yourself to a soak in the bath or a hot shower.
  • Try writing a to do list for the day and tick off tasks as you complete them. Just the act of feeling like you are in control of your revision can help.

Most importantly remember to be kind to yourself. You are doing a great job!

Tips from a UC Mentor: celebrate small wins to help manage exam stress

As we head into the break, one of our UC Mentors has put together some of their top tips to help you feel focused, well and prepared for upcoming exams.

As students, we are all learning to manage stress – from balancing our studies to social lives to work schedules. Regardless, we continue to push ourselves to achieve our goals.

For some, the goal is to finish off the semester with straight A’s, while for others it’s about simply making it through the exam season without burning out.

Wherever you find yourself on this spectrum, the best way to help manage your stress is finding balance. While it is important to focus on your studies and prepare yourself the best you can for your assessments, it is equally important to reward yourself for the small successes!

Spend an hour reviewing notes and then take 15 minutes to have a cup of tea and listen to music. Plan out your study for the day but save room to bake some cookies or go to the gym. If you’re studying on campus, take a break and grab a coffee with a friend! Give yourself time to rest because having something to look forward to each day will save you from burning out.

My ideal, balanced study day starts off with a good breakfast and coffee, followed by sitting down and planning exactly what I want to achieve for the day. Personally, I am more productive in the morning/earlier in the day so I always aim to finish up with my study by 5pm. For my breaks I like to play music or watch an episode on TV and try to do some level of physical activity every day – whether that is going to the gym or just some quick home yoga!

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help, UC has lots of support services available including Student Care and the Academic Skills Centre. A great place to start is checking out: https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/support/. If you feel like a peer student Mentor would help moving forward then check out UC’s mentoring programmes:  https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/support/get-support/new/mentoring-programmes/.

Keep working hard, talking to your friends, and celebrating the small victories, because we are all in the same boat and are here to support each other. Good luck and look after yourselves!”

Ella Guillemot-Mene,
2nd Year Student, Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership & UC Student Mentor

3 reasons to add exercise to your exam prep strategy – and win a PushMe session!

What’s your best tip for nailing your exam prep?  Energy drinks and coffee might be the common go-to, but they’re really not the best choice!      

Just think about how you’ve felt immediately after exercise?  Focused? Energised? Motivated?  Had some of your best ideas to solve that unsolvable problem?  That’s no accident!

Exercise kick starts the brain and releases proteins that improve your cognitive performance. It also releases endorphins which decrease your stress levels and make you happier – leveling your mood state.  Finally, it boosts your energy levels.  I know, that sounds counter-intuitive, but really, you’ve good to spend energy to get energy!

So, rather than reach for the caffeine, we suggest getting some cardio in. Any kind of cardio, just as long as you get your heart rate up! Get a little puffed.  Go for a quick 15 minute walk up around the campus, or if it’s wet, up and down the stairs. Hey, if that seems too much, take the lift up and walk down the stairs to start with! If you’ve got more time, stick to your usual routine – be that a jog/run, hitting the gym or shooting some hoops.

All that exercise is going to use fuel and cause you to sweat. To make sure you don’t get ‘the tired’ later on, make sure you stay hydrated (with water!) and eat throughout the day. If it’s a big exercise session, then eat a good meal (like your lunch or breakfast) within 30 minute of exercise finishing. Water water water all day! Those extra trips to the bathroom will get you moving a bit more, which is a good thing!

Tell us your best tip for exam prep by leaving a comment below, and we’ll pick one person to win a PushMe session with one of our trainers.