The Ultimate Guide To Surviving Exam Season

The Ultimate Guide To Surviving Exam Season

Ah, exam season – the time of year that sends shivers down the spines of students everywhere. But fear not! With the right approach and a bit of preparation, you can tackle your exams with confidence and come out on top. Let’s explore some essential tips and strategies to help you survive and thrive during exam season. 

1. Plan Your Study Schedule 

Whatever you do, avoid procrastinating until the night before your exam to start an intense cram session. The key to success during exam season is effective time management. Start by creating a study planner that breaks down your revision into manageable chunks. Allocate specific time slots for each subject or topic, and be sure to include regular breaks to avoid burnout. By planning ahead, you’ll stay organized and focused, maximising your study time and minimising stress. 


2. Find Your Ideal Study Method 

We all learn differently, so it’s essential to find a study method that works best for you. Whether you’re a visual learner who benefits from diagrams and videos or a hands-on learner who prefers interactive activities, experiment with different study techniques to discover what resonates most with you. Don’t be afraid to mix things up and try new approaches until you find the perfect fit. 

Here are some tried-and-tested study methods that many students find effective: 

  1. Active Recall: Instead of just reading your notes, test yourself on the material. Create flashcards, answer practice questions, or explain the concepts to someone else to reinforce your understanding. 
  2. Spaced Repetition: Break your study sessions into shorter, spaced intervals over time. This helps maximize learning and retention. You can use spaced repetition software like Anki to schedule review sessions and reinforce the material at the best times. 
  3. Pomodoro Technique: This simple time management method involves working in short, focused bursts, typically 25 minutes long, followed by short breaks. Set a timer to stay focused during study sessions, and take regular breaks to rest and recharge. 
  4. Chunking: Break large amounts of information into smaller, manageable chunks. Organise the material into categories or themes, and focus on mastering one chunk at a time before moving on to the next. This makes studying more digestible and helps improve understanding. 

3. Use AI 

Want to take your studying to the next level? Meet AI-powered study companions like ChatGPT! AI tools can provide instant answers to your burning questions, offer explanations on complex topics, and can even quiz you on your knowledge. Whether you are reviewing flashcards, testing your knowledge recall, or brainstorming essay ideas, AI is there to lend a helping hand. Plus, it’s available 24/7, so you can get the assistance you need, say goodbye to waiting forever for your lecturers to reply! With AI by your side, studying becomes more interactive, efficient, and dare we say, fun? Give it a try and see how ChatGPT can supercharge your study sessions! Check out our list of Top 10 Best Apps for Studying for more useful studying tools. 


4. Studying Alone vs With Others 

Studying with a group or flying solo? It’s a tough call. Group study sessions with other students can be great for bouncing ideas around, getting different perspectives, and staying accountable. Plus, they can make studying less lonely.

But let’s face it, sometimes they can get distracting, and it’s easy to get off track. On the flip side, studying alone means you can often focus better, and go at your own pace. It’s all about finding what works best for you. Try both approaches and see which one helps you retain information and ace those exams! 

group studying

5. Take Care of Yourself 

During exam season, it’s easy to neglect self-care in favour of endless hours of studying. However, taking care of your physical and mental well-being is crucial for maintaining focus and productivity and getting the most out of your study time. Be sure to prioritise activities like exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep to keep your mind and body in peak condition.  

Getting 7-8 hours’ sleep during exam season is vital! With longer sleep duration the night before an examination often associated with higher course grades. Remember, a healthy student is a successful student.  

It’s said that you are what you eat, therefore exam period is not the time to skip meals or consume excessive amounts of junk food. Staying on top of your nutrition is one of the best ways to take care of your mind and body whilst you’re feeling stressed. A takeaway may often seem like a tempting and convenient choice for those late night study sessions, however they often have a high sugar content which can eventually leave you feeling fatigued. Improve your focus by staying hydrated and eating foods high in vitamin B, like leafy greens, plus foods that have been proven to increase your cognitive function such as fatty fish, blueberries, dark chocolate, and nuts! 


6. Seek Support 

Exam season can be tough, but you aren’t in it alone! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with your studies, don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Whether it’s a chat with a friend, a visit to your university’s support services, or joining a virtual study group with classmates, seeking help can give you the boost you need when things get tough. 

support at university

And hey, be sure to cut yourself some slack during exam season. It’s totally normal to feel stressed or anxious but try not to be too hard on yourself. Take moments to celebrate your progress, recognise your efforts, and remember that exams are just one part of your academic journey. Practising a little self-compassion goes a long way in helping you stay positive and resilient throughout exam season. You’ve got this! 

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