It’s that time of year again, where piles of books take over your bedroom, stress spots begin to show and late nights in the library are too frequent an occurrence - it’s exam time.
In the excitement and hustle of moving back to university, time can often fly by. Before we know it, we’re sitting in the exam hall biting our finger nails, wondering why we didn’t do more to prepare. So here are a few tips to ease the stress of exams and make sure you get top marks.
As a third year student, I understand the pressure and stress that exams can cause, but this can be reduced by preparing early. During lectures, it’s always a good idea to take notes, whether you’re writing by hand or typing a laptop. This way, you’re engaging with the lecture topic and you also have more specific notes to look back on when it’s exam time.
Use all resources available and speak to lecturers
If you have sound knowledge of the course, content is key to learning information, so be sure to access all resources made available to you. For example, online content given to you by lecturers, like papers, videos, past exam papers, marking criteria for essays, and online quizzes. All these resources can help expand your knowledge on course topics and ensure you’ve got everything you need to start revising. If you’re struggling to understand a topic, or need help, speaking directly to your lecturers can be helpful. Whether it’s face-to-face, through email, an online forum, or discussion board (if you’re university has these).
Organise revision time
Hopefully you now have all the information needed to start organising your time effectively so you can revise content for all your modules well in advance of exams. Creating a schedule for revision allows you to plan your time wisely. Additionally, this also means you have plenty of time to revise relevant content thoroughly so you’re confident with the information for exams.
Plan extra reading around your subject
When it comes to getting top marks in many subjects, extra reading is an important aspect. By reading further than your lecture content, you can demonstrate to your marker that you’ve put in extra work rather than the bare minimum. Therefore, arranging time to delve deeper into topics not only increases your chances of achieving a first, but may also improve your understanding of the topic itself.
Revise information repeatedly
Repetition is key to remembering information. Going over past information repeatedly until it can be remembered from memory is beneficial for exams and there’s many ways to do it. The easiest way is to simply re-write information, then test yourself afterwards through quizzes or writing by memory to check if the information has sunk in.
Practise exam conditions
Finally, it’s important to test your knowledge in the context of which you’ll be examined. For example, if you’re required to write an essay during your exam, it’s a good idea to use past paper questions to write out an essay in the time you’ll be allocated during exam conditions. This then prepares you for the exam itself. After doing this, having these essays checked over by another student or lecturer will enable you to see possible room for improvements. It’s then important to use these marks to review your work and try again.