Exams are literally just around the corner for many of our students and looming large following the end of Semester 1. This is exciting because it means the end is tantalisingly close – you just need to get over this final hurdle. But don’t fret, we’ve got you covered with some top tips for helping be fully prepared and ready to face exams with your best foot forward.
- To cram or not to cram. Cramming is a common way for many students to prepare for exams. That is, trying to shove as much information in your poor, overloaded , stressed out brain in as short a time as possible. While the adrenaline associated with cramming can make you more efficient and does actually work for a very small amount people, the general scientific consensus is that cramming actually inhibits information retention by promoting anxiety. So give yourself sufficient time to study and study in intervals with regular breaks to allow time for your brain to reboot and realign
- Stress less. This sounds counterintuitive as preparing for exams can be a stressful process, but your preparation for exams should include a strategy for minimising stress. This can include minimising your contact with people who are anxious about exams or that stress you out, and taking time out to engage in activities that reduce stress. This could include playing sports, spending with friends, yoga, meditation or all of the above. Reducing stress actively helps with memory boosting and information retention
- Eat well. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Balance those “ treat, comfort foods with real, healthy foods that boost your brain. Don’t skip meals and try to avoid eating later in the day, even during a late night study sesh, as it can impact your sleep
- Make room in your schedule for sleep. It minimises stress, helps retain and process information and just makes you feel better
- Be prepared. Don’t leave your studies to the last minute and if you’ve got multiple subjects to study for, complete a plan in the weeks leading up to exams to help you get through
- Exercise has been proven to have a positive impact on memory retention. Even 20 mins can make a big difference, so make sure you add that to your schedule
- Reviewing past exam papers can also help significantly in your preparation for exams. The library has access to a broad database of past exam papers and the friendly staff are very happy to help you find them, or just ask your lecturer
- Minimise distractions. Try and minimise distractions as much as possible. Find a quiet, comfortable place to study and try and remove the temptation to message/chat with friends, go on social media, watch TV or other technologically driven distractions. Schedule in some “distracting time” for short periods as a reward for sustained time periods of study.