Study tips for exams: Study skills to help you during exams

07 June, 2016

Stressed out by study? Unsure of where to begin? Check out our guide which will show you study skills and techniques to help you make the most of your exam study.

It’s that time of year, exams are near and final assignments are due! We have seen plenty of highly focused and slightly stressed students in the Henry Grunfeld Library working on their final assignments and preparing for exams.

If you are feeling the pressure at the moment, remember, this is normal. The period leading up to examinations is one of the most common pressure points of the academic year, according to Dorothy Bedford and Elizabeth Wilson, authors of Study skills for foundation degrees (2013).

Here are some quick tips from Bedford and Wilson (2013) for exam preparation:

• Draw up a revision timetable, allocating topics to days but building in some flexibility.

• Work through questions from past papers if they are available. After revising a topic, answer a question on it, and then compare your answer to your notes.

• The night before the exam, it is important you are prepared and well-rested. Have your clothes and equipment ready the night before the exam so you are not running around in a panic. Get some sleep, cramming facts the night before an exam is counter-productive.

On the day of the exam, remember to have something to eat before leaving home. You may be nervous but eating is important so you are able to perform as well as possible. 

Once the exam is over, try to avoid post-mortem discussions with other students if you are feeling anxious. Just tell yourself you have done the best you can at this stage, and move on.

For more information about how to handle exams and revision, I strongly recommend Bedford and Wilson’s (2013) book. It has lots of tips on coping with exams and managing stress.

Another fantastic resource with tips on stress management is The Leadership Channel. There are a number of talks about stress and coping strategies, procrastination, and working efficiently. Here are a few of Beverly Beuermann-King’s (2014) ideas for handling stress:

• Set an alarm to go off every couple of hours during your work (or study) day. When it goes off, take a break by going for a walk or doing some stretches.

• When you begin to feel stressed out, take several deep breaths. Focus only on your breathing, not what is going on around you.

• Put your situation in perspective. Although it may feel like the end of the world, it probably isn't.

• Find the silver lining and move forward.

Finally, good luck to all students working on their assignments and exams. Remember the Library Services Team is here to help! We can be contacted by email, phone or in person at the Henry Grunfeld Library

Please feel free to contact the KnowledgeBank team for references.