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6 Top Tips on Coping with Exams

Exam StressWith the Easter break a fading memory for students at Cardiff University, UWIC and Atrium (did I miss anyone?), the end of the academic year is hurtling fast towards us. For some, the bulk of essays and coursework may be behind you, with just a few final deadlines meaning that you end the term not with a bang, but a whimper. For others, particularly final years, it’s almost time to hand in dissertations, while final exams loom alarmingly on the horizon.

So how is it best to cope during these stressful times? Here are some tips for Cardiff students (and anyone else facing deadlines…):

1.      Plan ahead
Plan your time between your different essays and exam revision topics. But don’t make Rimmer from Red Dwarf’s mistake!

Rimmer: Look, I've got my engineering re-sit on Monday; I don't know anything. Where's my revision timetable?
Lister: Wait, is this the thing? In all different colours, with all the subjects divided into study periods and rest periods and self-testing times?
Rimmer: It took me seven weeks to make it. I've got to cram my whole revision into one night!

2.      Understand the big picture, rather than just memorizing details
It’s easy to get bogged down in trying to remember all the facts and details. While these are important, if you make sure you understand the big picture first, then it’ll be that much easier to remember how the details fit in.

3.      Turn off your phone and Internet
Will the world really end if you don’t get that text or see that Facebook update for a few hours? No, and your concentration will thank you for it.

4.      Find somewhere quiet
While living in a student house can be great fun, it can also be full of distractions. Exam time can be particularly fraught, with frayed nerves all round. A quiet spot in a library somewhere can be a real boost.

5.      Work with friends
On the other hand, revision and essay-writing can be a lonely process. If you’re friends are work-motivated, then ease the pain by teaming up with friends who also want to get on with revision and essay writing. But make sure that you egg each other on at working, and not at procrastinating!

6.      Set aside time to rest
Yes, you need a break! After a day hard at work in the library, reward yourself with an evening off to chill out. It’s much better that way than to chill out all day and punish yourself with an all-nighter to catch up. Your memory, learning and sanity will all benefit from planning a good balance of work and rest.

What tips would you add to the list? Share them on our Facebook page or Tweet us. Good luck with your exams!

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