10 ways to get you through exam season
It’s beginning to look a lot like c… crying in the library
Not only does December mean Christmas is coming, it unfortunately means it’s deadline season. A season of dread, stress and fatigue and not to mention multiple trips to the library. We have made a full-proof plan of 10 ways to get you through your assessments, ready to go home for the holidays.
Stayed fuelled and hydrated
There’s nothing better than a little sweet treat run to Morrisons before you settle down to do your work. Use it as a motivator, go and get your favourite chocolate, snacks, and drinks to keep you fuelled and energised. And don’t forget to get yourself a little reward once you’ve finished.
Blurting is an underrated method of active recall. Take a piece of paper or an empty word doc and set a time for a minute or two and spend that blurting all of the information you already know, even if you are unsure it’s exactly correct. Once the time is up, spend twenty – thirty minutes reading and revising the content you don’t remember, then do another two minute blurt. Repeat this as many times as you want/need to in order to boss your assessments.
Use the module handbook
Tutors are not lying when they say everything you need to know is in the handbook. They’re written for a reason and contain the information they use to mark your work. Use the learning objectives and marking breakdown like a game of bingo. Tick off everything you have done and then you’ll see what you can do to improve.
Use your tutors
Your tutors are the ones grading your work. They know what they want from you. Use them. Ask for extra clarification or for a guide in the right direction to find the paper you need to reference. They’re paid to help you – remember that. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Have a to-do list
Plan what you need to do. There is nothing worse than sitting down to do your work and finding out there are a million things you’ve forgotten about that you need to do. Take each day one at a time and spend five minutes planning what you will do that day, including when you will take breaks, cook dinner, do your washing etc. Tick off everything you do and not only will you get so much more work done but you will feel so much more accomplished at the end of the day. (But don’t get too bummed if you don’t complete everything you planned to).
Don’t burn yourself out. Remember to take some time for yourself and split up your study time. You can only consume so much information at one time. Even if you are writing an essay, taking time for yourself can improve what you are writing so much as you will eventually stop thinking about what you are writing and will make it so much harder for you in the long run. More breaks equals less waffling.
Get enough sleep
Everyone does an all-nighter at some point but don’t make it a habit. Make sure you get enough sleep so that you can concentrate better. Even if you have to take a nap, listen to your body. If you are tired, get some rest. You will feel so much better and you will study better.
When writing an essay or a creative piece of text, you need it to sound right and flow well. Using the text-to-speech function on Word is a great way to help you stay on top of that and make sure your writing is as good as it can be. If it doesn’t sound right you will know, if you’ve spelt something wrong it’ll be more noticeable than you reading it in your head. It will even pick up more issues than if you read your work out loud.
Talk to your friends
If you are struggling, chances are your coursemates are too. Or at least some of them. Ask each other, sometimes you need someone different to explain something to you in order to understand. Your friends know you best and can easily explain something to you in a way that they know you will understand. Work together (don’t copy or cheat, of course), two heads working on a task are better than one.
Most importantly: relax
Now we don’t mean, ignore it and hope you miraculously get a first by doing nothing. Regardless of how close to the deadline you are, take your time and go at your own pace. Don’t skip plans just for the sake of it, you can work on your assessments and still have a social life. You’ve got this, you can do it, just don’t rush for the sake of it.