With deadlines upon or looming on the horizon for many of us, and exams worryingly near, the last few days of November and the start of December is a hectic time. Juggling social events like the last balls of the semester, Christmas dinners and Thanksgiving celebrations with university work and planning travel arrangements can make this period seem even more daunting. However, it is possible to make it through to the Christmas holidays alive. Here are some of the best tips and tricks to ensure you survive exam season.
When it comes to revision week, it really helps to keep things consistent. Waking up at a set time and studying for a specific number of hours each day will help you structure your time. It may feel a bit robotic, but amidst all the chaos a little bit of consistency can be just what you need to get everything done. Find out when you are most productive and centre your study routine around that time.
Before you start studying, make sure you write a checklist of everything you need to do or go over. This ensures you can keep track of what you still need to do, plus you get the satisfaction of ticking something off the list once you’ve completed a task!
Make sure to schedule time for keeping fit, even if it’s just to take a walk along West Sands, do some light yoga or go to the gym for an hour. This will not only help you to relax and escape from the library or your desk, but will also make your study sessions more productive, as physical activity has been found to have a positive impact on concentration, memory and energy levels.
If you find your mind wandering, take a break! It is nearly always impossible to try and maintain focus for successive hours on end when studying, so it’s ok to stop cramming to talk to friends, relax, read, or watch a bit of Netflix.
Studying with a friend can be helpful, especially if you’re the type of person who needs to be held accountable when they’re working. It makes exam season a little less lonely and can really motivate you to get work done when you find yourself in a slump.
It can be tempting to survive off instant food and convenient sugary snacks to save time but eating healthily can improve your brain function. Drinking plenty of water, eating balanced meals and loading up on slow-release carbohydrates before exams can maximize concentration.
We’ve all heard about those infamous all-nighters pulled right before exams, but if you structure your time effectively those won’t be necessary. Getting more sleep is directly linked to better exam performance, so make sure to get some all-important shut eye.
If you’re easily distracted by social media, try leaving your phone in a separate room or putting it somewhere it isn’t visible to ensure you aren’t tempted to waste time scrolling through TikTok or Instagram. You can also get Google Chrome extensions that block specific social media websites, so you won’t be tempted to reply to Facebook messages or check the latest Crushes posts.
It’s always good to keep in mind that exams are not the be all and end all. Staying calm and keeping things in perspective will make this difficult time of year so much easier. You’ve got this!