Exam Survival Tips

Exams are around the corner--are you prepared?

Here is a list of necessary study tips to get you ready for your first set of midterms:

Find your study space

    Whether it is at home or at school, you need a place that you associate with studying and focus. Pick a spot where you will be free from distraction, and use ear plugs or music to drown out noises around you that will pull your attention away from study. It may also be a good idea to have a couple of different “go to” places just make sure you don’t become bored returning to the same setting over and over again.

Set a time

    Set a goal to study without a break or distraction for a certain amount of time, achieve it and then reward yourself with a bit of break to do something fun or relaxing to get some headspace and then get back to work again. For example give yourself a 10 minute break to read your favourite magazine, or take a walk around the library. But don’t take up something that is too distracting like Facebook or YouTube that can pull you away from study longer than it should.

Feed your brain

    Hunger can be the biggest distraction of all! Make sure you have some portable snacks on hand that you can dig into while you're deep in study so that you can concentrate, but also so you don’t have to break your study routine up by roaming around looking for something to eat. Pack a lunch or just some snacks and refreshments to have on hand.

Wear comfortable clothes

    Be comfy because you should be in it for the long haul. Again, discomfort such as being too hot or too cold will lead to more distraction. Dress in layers so you can adjust your temperature as you see fit or for the change in environment as you move your study spaces around for variety

Go to bed

    The more tired you are, the longer it takes to learn! Make sure you find time to sleep; pulling all-nighters to study will leave you feeling drowsy and your focus will again be distracted. A routine with little to no sleep on an ongoing basis will only result in tiredness, lack of concentration, difficulty with memory and ultimately will lead to poor performance on that exam, the one you’ve been staying up all night to study for!

Set an alarm or two

    Arriving late to an exam can result in being denied the opportunity to write and a make-up option may not be possible. Know when and where your exam is set to be written, especially if it will be in a room other than your normal classroom. Make sure you know how to get there, and arrive at least 10 minutes early to ensure you’re in the right place. In some courses, multiple sections of a course may be writing in a large room together, so you may have to sift through crowds of people to find your right space.

It is not a race

    Take the time you need to complete your work on exam day. Read the instructions carefully, double check your answers and make sure you have answered as confidently as possible.



September 3, 2013