Top tips for studying for exams

To shave off stress with exams, a little preparation is key. Success with study is all about the organisation, not procrastination. First up, confirm your exam dates and add these to your diary. Then you can start scheduling your study using these simple exam prep tips.

  1. Start your study preparation well in advance of any tests – four weeks out is an optimal figure.
  2. Download any exam or assessment prep from Blackboard or gather together anything you've printed out beforehand.
  3. Understand what type of exam you'll be sitting: multiple choice, open book or long answer, and what's expected of you.
  4. Set up a study and work timetable, making sure you schedule in time for exercise, catching up with friends or doing something you enjoy.
  5. Schedule your study for times that benefit you – when are you at your most alert/enthusiastic? Early mornings can work for some – so set your alarm to get up earlier than your housemates and study for an hour before breakfast – or plan for mid-afternoon library sessions between lectures.
  6. Take advantage of short 15 minute breaks to cram and plan. If you travel on a bus or train to work use this time while you're travelling (or waiting for a bus) to study.
  7. Prioritise your toughest subjects, or those worth the most, and allocate more time for studying these.
  8. What works for you? Reading out loud? Recording then listening back? Rewriting notes in your own words? Highlighting? Practice runs? Experiment, and then do what works.
  9. Stay well-hydrated, drinking plenty of water while you're studying - particularly if you've increased your caffeine allowance. Keep your snacks light and nutritious (nuts and fruit are good). And take a break after 60 minutes to stretch, walk around and get refreshed.
  10. Just do it. Don't procrastinate – sit down,set a timer and start studying!