Tag Archives: exam prep

Get ready for exams with these top study tips

Exams are nearly here! Take a look at some tips below to help you make the most of your study time. You’ve got this. 

1. Organise your study space
Make sure you have a comfortable chair, good lighting and a desk free of distraction. Seems simple, but can make such a difference. 

2. Use a study timetable
Work out how much time you’ll spend studying for each exam. Keep a to-do list of the different tasks you need to do each day – such as different textbook chapters to read and take notes on.

3. Figure out your study style
If you’re a visual learner then things like diagrams, mindmaps, colour coded notes and flashcards may be good learning tools for you.

If you’re a verbal learner you could read your notes out loud, talk to others about what you’ve learnt, listen to voice recordings of your notes and use tools like acronyms or rhymes.

4. Get a study group together
Form a study group so you can revise with others. Try question and answer sessions.

5. Go through your notes
Gather your lecture notes and decide what the most important areas of focus are. Review your notes by reading actively – concentrate on what you are reading. Condense your notes and underline/highlight key terms.

6. Make the most of your resources
Use past exam papers for practice. You can get these from the library, or through your lecturer. These allow you to see what questions are typically asked and what is expected of you.

7. Give yourself a break
Study getting a bit intense? Take regular breaks, get some exercise, eat well and make sure you get some sleep. Research suggests if you keep moving and eating well you will find it easier to concentrate and retain information, so it’s definitely worth making time to take a break.

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