Exam block is creeping up and end of semester (EOS) is almost upon us. Can you believe it? It has felt really fast since I came back from clinical practicum and onto campus again. The last two weeks have just flown by. I have 3 exams worth 50-60% each and I am guessing many of you will have something similar, so the pressure will be building!
Below are a few tips and tricks for getting into the ‘zone’ for exam study:
I suppose the first tip is to remember to relax before you put your head down. Start preparing for exams but do take some time for yourself and to catch up with friends before you get ‘bogged down’.
2. The early bird gets the worm
Yes, it is a little cliché sounding but you know it’s true. If you plan on studying at the library, you will need to come early. If you didn’t already know by now, the library is open 24/7 for study week. Coming early is especially important if you plan on being on the main floor or are trying to get a room with friends for that last minute exam prep session. On most days, the other levels of the library generally start getting busy around 10am, so you can usually come in a little later if you need to study in the quiet areas.
3. Stock up
Load up on healthy snacks. To do well, you need to have “good fuel” to keep going. Studying for exams is a stressful time so you need all the energy you can get! You don’t want to be getting blood sugar swings when you spend 9-6 in the library studying, struggling to get through till your 1pm coffee (or like me, my iced chocolate), when all you have had to eat was a piece of toast on your way to uni. Yes, a bucket of lollies, to share, is fine but you do need to eat healthier meals/snacks.
I found these in my local Woolies, and they are pretty good! I suppose they are like snack balls. There’s no need for making your own (when you need every extra minute of the morning in bed). They’re individually wrapped, super yummy and the ingredients are pretty decent also.
Also, it’s especially important to bring food if you are staying late on campus as most shops close at around 5pm. Please take note if you prefer “all-nighters” instead of studying in the daytime, I sometimes still get caught out and forget.
4. Get organised
Organise your study priorities. If you are anything like me, I can’t focus very well studying online so I like to print things out hardcopy. Focus on the subjects that are the most difficult and are worth the most first. What I tend to do is bind all my notes and lectures and in the order I would like to study. As I go through the book, I tear off the papers I don’t need, and that’s how I cut down and revise. I keep doing this until I only have not much to revise, and then my study notes will end up being only several pages at the end. Plus, it’s much better than having loose notes everywhere.
5. Highlighters and sticky notes galore!
Use colourful stationery to make your study notes less harsh on the eyes. Create a “study system”, using clear visuals and highlighters to help differentiate notes and make things stand out. For example, I tend to highlight things in blue which need to get done immediately, and highlight in green for the things I need to review. Plus, who doesn’t like psychedelic neon colours (and added swirls) on their notes? It’s much more refreshing when you compare them with staring at boring black and whites.
6. Set the mood
This tip is pretty silly but I suggest you to get a nice background on your computer. You will probably be on your computer a lot, so it helps that there is something interesting to look at when you are switching between screens. Also, make sure your Desktop and Document Folders aren’t cluttered so you can fill them up with study links and downloaded files in a neat fashion. You don’t want to be searching through 100 files when you are trying to find that Lecture Capture you downloaded last week!
7. For the nursing students…
Just a little reminder to start thinking about potential hospitals or areas you may want to work in, join up with the Queensland Nurses Union ASAP and start preparing your documents for the Australian Health Practitioner Association for your registration.
However, just in case you still don’t know or you have yet to utilise the services of Careers and Employment, why not give them a visit? You can get your documents signed by a Justice of the Peace and even get them to help with your resume and provide you with pamphlets on things you may need to brush up on. Update your details on CareerBoard and even check the Careers page on the Griffith website or on Facebook!
…Anyway, these are just some of my tips and tricks for preparing for exam time. I hope you all study hard and get some good results. After that, you can reward yourself with a nice mid-semester break. But at the moment, all those weeks of learning are (hopefully) finally starting to tie up and you are beginning to revise (or maybe, nearing the end of your revision time?). Remember not to get too stressed, because you do know that you’ve learnt the content, it’s just getting over the last hurdle and applying it to the exam context.
Best of luck to everyone!