With exams just around the corner, it’s easy to get stressed out. However, if you prepare properly then time can be on your side instead of working against you. Now that exam timetables have been released, it’s the perfect time to get organised.
The first thing to do is create a study timetable. Work out how much time there is available to you – classes, work, and big events will all take a chunk out of your study time, so find out how much free time you can dedicate to revision.
Next, decide how much time you will devote to each subject. Exams that are worth 100 per cent of a module grade will obviously require more study than an exam worth 10 per cent. Also be sure to prioritise depending on when your exams are – the sooner the exam, the sooner you need to start studying.
Be realistic with the time you have and what you can achieve. You can’t expect to teach yourself eleven weeks’ worth of work in five days, so don’t try to. Work out what topics are most important to cover and focus on them.
Find out what style of assessment you will be facing and tailor your study style accordingly. Preparation for a multiple choice exam will be different than an essay style exam. If possible, get your hands on some past papers (available through Loop and DCU Library Services) as these will give you the best insight into how your exam will be structured and how challenging the questions will be.
When it comes to actually revising, it’s crucial that you have a productive study environment. Make sure your desk is free of clutter, your space is free of distractions, and always have a bottle of water and some snacks handy.
Remember to take frequent breaks – it is possible to study too much and burn out, so it’s essential that you give yourself a rest. Just make sure your break isn’t longer than the time you spent studying! Even taking fifteen minutes to get some fresh air, chat to a friend, or have a cup of tea is enough to refresh your brain.
Most importantly, don’t panic. No exam is worth sacrificing your mental well-being for. Remember that if things don’t go as planned, you can contact your lecturer or the Registry Office about appeals and resits.
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