How to Survive Exam Term

This term can be tough, but it doesn’t need to be impossible

cambridge students exam term Exams self-help

For most of us, Easter term only means one thing: exams. And let's be real, nobody's excited for it. In fact, the panic's probably going to set in very soon. But exams don't need to take control of your life.

Here are some helpful tips on how to get through them and make the most of the next eight weeks.

Build your own support network

The nice thing about Easter term is that everyone's in the same boat. And though we're all sinking slowly, we can at least go down together.

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This means, at least, that if you're feeling stressed and panicked, you're not alone. Don't let the mountains of books and exam questions distract you from the fact that your friends, tutors, or support staff are never far away.

Of course, everyone is different when it comes to feeling comfortable with opening up, or in how much support they need. Just as there's no pressure to tell someone how you're feeling, there's never any pressure to stay silent.

Break up your schedule

It's easy to get settled in the library at 9am (well, maybe not that early), only to suddenly look up and realise that it's midnight, and you've done absolutely nothing.

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You don't need to let yourself end up like this (Photo: Edan Simpson)

There are so many easy ways to avoid this situation. Making the hours of study count is probably going to be half the challenge. If you're the organised type, don't just plan regular breaks – give yourself time to keep on doing the things you love.

Easter Term might even be the best time to start something new, especially if it'll help you stay on top of things. Mindfulness classes, yoga, and so much more are on all offer to try out. In the summer months, a walk outside town is always a good way to spend the afternoon.

Give yourself incentives

It can feel like forever, but exam term only lasts a few weeks. So, provided your exam timetable isn't completely awful, it's always a nice idea to treat yourself after every exam – whether that's grabbing a coffee or watching a film before the hard work starts back up again.

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The last exam always seems to drag on forever, so plan something that you can look forward to as a reason to put the final bit of effort in. Going out, popping home, or just having a takeaway and a quiet night in, it's time to reward yourself for getting through a pretty grim time and enjoy some much-earned TLC.

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You are your top priority

After all, the most important thing to remember is yourself. Seeing people you've never met before suddenly appear in the library pulling all nighters is enough to make you put extra pressure on yourself. Pushing yourself can be rewarding, but only so long as it's not at the expense of your wellbeing.

It's more than OK to take a step back when things start to get overwhelming – which, let's face it, they will. Knowing when to stop and take a minute for yourself is more important than doing that extra exam question or reading one last book.

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There's nothing like puppy therapy to beat those revision blues

Exam term might be important, but in the long run, taking care yourself for these few short weeks will be more worthwile than endless hours spent cramming in the library.

And the more you look after yourself, the better those results will end up being!

Cover photo: Fiona McNally