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Study habits for exams

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Students sitting together and studying

We’re nearly at the end of the semester! Exam season can bring stress and anxiety to many students, so surviving (and succeeding) during this tricky time may seem impossible. If you’re like most students, you’re probably feeling a bit anxious. This is totally normal. The good news is that there are many things that you can do to prepare – you’ve got this!

Avoid the cram

“If I watch my lectures at two-times speed till 2am and get four hours of sleep, I’ll be fine.” Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there and we know it’s not a great idea! For many of us, the exam period can consist of three, four or even five exams. Avoid the cram by giving yourself as much study time as possible and prepare early. Review your exam timetable and allow yourself to schedule accordingly. Initially, set small achievable goals that can be completed easily, allowing you to get into a study habit.

Find a study buddy

Scaling down your social activities to make time for study can make exams a lonely time – grab a study buddy and make it fun! One of the best things about studying with other people is that it provides a social aspect to your study routine. Another key benefit of studying in small groups is that you can pick up on small pieces of information you may have missed throughout the semester or learn a new way to approach a problem.

Put the phone down

This one is hard! Social media is very distracting and makes it hard to do intensive, worthwhile study; Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, the list goes on. Luckily, there are so many apps that you can download to help you reduce the time you waste on your phone. For example, Forest is a great app that allows you to ‘grow trees’ whilst you study and leaving the app will cause your tree to die.

Still unsure about exams and studying?

If you need a refresher or feel like your study habits could do with some tweaking, a great place to start is with the Study Skills module on UniSkills in the Library website. Here you can learn skills like how to manage your time effectively and goal setting.

You might like to try the Tests and exams module which is full of exam tips to better prepare yourself. You can adapt these practices for regular study throughout your time at uni, like checking the learning outcomes for each week (most exam questions are based on them!) and active recall.

Uni can be very stressful; you should feel proud that you have made it this far. If you would like additional help, contact the team at the Student Wellbeing Advisory Service. There are many resources on campus to help you ace your final tests and assignments – make sure you ask if you need help.

Best of luck!

Written by Mitchell Humphreys, Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) student and Lena Niklasson, Bachelor of Health Sciences (Nutrition and Health Promotion) student.

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