Study Skills Support – Exams


Even the sound of the word has many people palpitating. Imagine, however, if preparing for, and completing, exams wasn’t so stressful. What would they feel like then? Maybe you would feel a little more relaxed and be able to perform better?

Maybe you would have given yourself plenty of time to revise your subject?

Maybe you organised a study timetable. Maybe you even timetabled some breaks so that your brain gets the chance to refresh and relax, absorbing all of that information? Maybe you checked to see how your brain works best and followed those learning styles. Imagine if you voice-recorded (and re-listened to) your revision instead of passively reading through book after book? Maybe you formed a small study group with your colleagues to discuss and share things? What if you taught the subject to someone else, knowing that if you can teach them, you must know it pretty well yourself? Imagine how relaxed you might feel now?

Maybe you gave yourself enough sleep so that you woke up each day feeling refreshed, also knowing that sleep aides memory? Imagine if you were eating and drinking healthily too, so that your mind and body stayed alert and well hydrated?

Now imagine you made clear notes of where and when the exam was and plans of how to get there safely and in good time? Imagine how more relaxed you might feel then? Maybe you spent time before the exam re-reading some clearly written notes or rehearsing some topics you might need to write about? Maybe you spent the time checking that you had everything you had prepared the night before: a pen, water, another pen (just in case), something to keep your energy levels constant?

I wonder how you would feel if you were in the exam hall analysing the instructions and questions carefully, underlining the key terms and thinking about exactly what you need to do and when, breathing deeply and calmly as you were doing it. Imagine if you brainstormed your ideas to get them onto the page, planning your responses using your preferred methods-lists, mind-maps…? Maybe you then chose the most relevant points from your notes to form the basis of your answers? Imagine, still breathing deeply and calmly, you structured your response as required, using an introduction, main body and conclusion or in whichever format was needed? What if you finished the exam by checking all of your work, leaving as little unfinished as possible?

How would you feel about exams if you did some or all of those things? It might not be as bad next time round, mightn’t it?

Don’t forget that the library and study skills support teams are here to help too.

To book a support session visit the library website: One to One Support

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