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Tips for surviving (and thriving) exams

With exam time fully upon us, it is important to take a step back and check that you are using your preparation times effectively, as how you revise for an exam can be as important as what you revise.

  • Give yourself time: ‘Cramming’, spending one large chunk of time just before an exam to study, has been proven to not be effective. It is much more effective, and much less stressful, to plan multiple shorter sessions to revise your subject. Not only will you retain more information, but you will be able to change up your strategies if you notice your study session isn’t working for you.
  • Revisit previous exams: Utilise any of the previous years’ exams and practice exams you can access to familiarise yourself with the types of questions asked, and to get used to exam conditions. (The link below provides more detail on how to best prepare for different types of questions.)
  • Keep your calm: Exam times are stressful enough as it is, planning your revision in a way to avoid any undue stress means you have more headspace for what’s important. Remember to schedule your study sessions, leave room for breaks to rest, both mentally and physically, make sure to keep a healthy eating and sleeping pattern to avoid suffering mental fog brought on by fatigue. The fresher you can feel going into your exam, the better you’ll do.
  • Read your writing: Reviewing what you’ve been writing is vitally important to improve cognitive recall; it is important not to fall into the trap of only spending your revision time making notes and not allowing time to then go over your notes. If possible, try reviewing your notes in different methods, try creating diagrams that help explain your notes, or orally explaining what you have been studying to either another person or just to a microphone to allow yourself to hear the information as well as read, write and speak it.

*All tips sourced from Latrobe university website: https://www.latrobe.edu.au/students/study-resources/learning/achieve/exam-prep, visit the page to read more about these tips, as well as gaining access to many other resources.