With exams on the horizon we’ve pulled together some tips and ideas for to help put you in a healthy exam mindset.
Look after your health and wellbeing
No matter how much you revise, not taking care of your mental and physical wellbeing will ultimately have a detrimental impact on your results. This is a time to be conscientious about your health. Maintaining a balanced diet will make you feel better about yourself, and will give you the energy and nutrients you need to work effectively. Making simple changes like choosing to eat wholegrain food is a good idea during your exams as it steadily releases glucose into the bloodstream, therefore helping you to work and concentrate for longer periods of time. Similarly, eating nuts or coldwater fish like tuna or salmon provide a rich source of amino acids which will enhance your ability to efficiently revise. On the day of your exam, make sure you give yourself a filling and nutritious breakfast. For healthy recipes and ideas, have a look here.
Sacrificing your sleep by working through the night is both counterproductive and can have a negative effect on your mental health. Aim for between 8 and 10 hours sleep to keep yourself in the best frame of mind. You need to rest in order to process what you’re learning. If you have trouble sleeping, consider a white noise app to block distractions and reduce stress or try out some of our wellbeing resources.
Taking breaks from revision to stretch your legs and getting some fresh air is an excellent way of looking after your wellbeing during this stressful time. Walking will clear your head so that you’ll feel refreshed and more focused when you return to your studies. At UWTSD, we are lucky to be surrounded by some of the UK’s most stunning scenery and are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing walking routes. Find something that suits you here.
Exercising before an exam has been proven to boost memory. If you live nearby, you may want to consider walking to the university campus on the day of your exam. It will help you to focus your thoughts, and will leave you feeling more relaxed.
Remember to take frequent breaks and enjoy yourself – having a positive, healthy mindset and being relaxed is invaluable during this time. And maybe try one of our recommended podcasts while you refresh and recharge.
Make sure you’re organised
Being organised is vital when it comes to exam revision. You’ll want to keep your notes in order and your study area tidy from the outset as mess can easily get out of hand and contribute further to stress. Keeping on top of it will help your head to feel clearer and you will be more prepared for effective study. Using platforms like OneNote can help to keep your revision tidy and organised. Rather than having to use lots of paper, you can type, write or draw straight onto the app from your device. It is also a brilliant way of collaborating and sharing ideas with your peers.
We all become easily distracted over the exam period, and the best way to combat this is to get rid of distractions. Divert your attention from your phone by turning it off while you revise. If you find yourself frequently checking social media, consider downloading an app like SelfControl (Mac) or ColdTurkey (Windows). These will stop you from procrastinating by blocking your access to websites on your ‘blacklist’ at chosen times. For more apps to help you revise, click here.
It’s impossible to learn everything so remember to be realistic when you approach your revision. Identifying what’s important and what’s not as important from the beginning and learning to prioritise your workload will be crucial. When you feel confident in your understanding, focus on what particularly interests you about your course and link your own ideas. Your work will always be better when the reader can sense your enthusiasm and it will also increase your enjoyment.
Revision is different for everyone, and it’s important to identify what works best for you. Ed Smith discusses some fascinating approaches in this article in The New Statesman, which you may find useful.
Practical Top tips
Planning time to study with friends and peers can offer extra support and be a great motivator. Check the library opening times and book a study room here
We all know repetition helps us learn but did you know studying the same stuff in different places can help strengthen memory? Find more science-backed study tips here
Most of us are a mix of visual, audio, written and kinaesthetic learners but how can we use these to our advantage? Check out strategies to help you absorb more information
Do you prefer to study in the morning or evening? With music or in total silence? Plan your study around what works best for you.
The day of the exam – Make sure you know where you need to be, what time you need to be there and how long the journey takes. Be early to avoid last minute stress. And be sure to set an alarm!
Ask for support
Always remember that if you are struggling, there are plenty of people at UWTSD to support you. Visit the library, talk to your tutors and peers, or for further guidance you can get in touch with Student Services.
Share your study tips with us at @UWTSDStudents