Hi all! Hope you guys are doing well and working really hard for whatever exams you have.
I just had my last CHIP (Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology) lecture this afternoon, this means that I am officially done with my first year at university after my exams in June. Time flies!
I have been working really hard for my course work and preparing for my exams, so I thought it might be a good idea to share some of the study tips I found online, the ones that my lecturer suggested to us, and a few that I came up with for myself (which you might or might not find it useful).
Let’s get to it!
- Time Management
As we get busier with our study and other commitments, it is very important for us to manage our time effectively. Planning your time helps you to focus on your goals and achieve them. For example, you can create a revision time table and more importantly you will need to stick to it. I mean, what’s the point to have a timetable if you are not going to follow it. I recommend creating a weekly one first, focusing on the short term to establish a regular working routine. And also, create a longer term timetable (e.g. ones that cover the whole of your semester) to help you plan your studies further ahead. Your time table should not only include your revision plan but also your other commitments and some free time for leisure and social activities. If you are worried that you might spend too much time on your other commitments or socialising with friends, prioritise your revision first and the things (academic ones) that you need to get done with. Mark all of the deadlines and exam dates on your time table so it makes it more clear to you when your exams are and when you need to start revising.
- Set goals, but realistic ones!
Sometimes we struggle with achieving our objectives or sometimes we even fail to. But why? That is because a lot of the time we set ourselves unrealistic goals and did not have a plan to achieve them. If we set ourselves small, short term ones, but all of those little ones lead to your ultimate goals, you will find it easier to manage and achieve. So break down your goals and set targets for yourself.
- Get to know yourself
Find out an area where it works best for you. It can be your dorm room, the library, try a few places to see where you will focus better and are more productive. For me, it’s either my dorm room or the individual study area in the library. As much as I like working with other people, sometimes it is easier for me to focus and get work done if I am alone. Are you a morning person or a night owl? You might notice sometimes you are more productive at night whereas you feel dead in the morning. But that’s okay, everyone’s biological clock is different and if you think you work better at night then work at night. Don’t force yourself to work in the morning if you can’t even focus or makes you feel even more tired during the day. Me personally, I work better at night, especially for revisions and readings. But obviously I still need to go to lectures in the morning so in the afternoon I would usually take a power nap to recharge myself and then work again in the evening.
- Eat, Sleep, Revise and Relax!
I understand exams and coursework can be really stressful, especially when they seem to come at you all at once. A lot of students find it really difficult to balance their social life and study. Many people are either to focus on one-side or the other. But it is important to take good care of yourself especially during the exams period. Remember to get enough sleep and eat healthy, it is very tempting to order takeaways when you are to focused on your revision and can’t be bothered to cook ( I know, I have been there). However, you have to remind yourself that eating unhealthy food is not going to help you become more productive when you spend an hour deciding what to order and then another hour waiting for the food. So take 30 mins to prepare yourself a healthy meal that’s going to help you stay in shape and boost your productivity. There are lots of recipes online for quick and easy meals you can prepare especially for yourself. ( Try: https://studentrecipes.com )Also, don’t forget to exercise. I know, I know, it takes up your time and it’s hard to get yourself motivated to go outside for a run. But studies have shown that exercise help to reduce stress and anxiety as well as boosting productivity. You don’t have to do it everyday if you really haven’t go the time, try 2-3 times a week, and 20- 30 minutes each. It can be a short run, some cardio or some body weight training you can do it your room. ( For more information: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/features/exercising-exam-success)
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help ( no matter what)!
Exams can be quite daunting and really stressful sometimes. However, you should know that you can always ask for help from your peers, teachers, lecturers and family. You might have a few questions about a topic you want to ask but your friends aren’t being very helpful, try going to your teachers, professors. I am sure they will always be happy to help. Or you might find yourself struggling to relax and getting too stressed, go talk to people you trust and you think you can rely on. Don’t keep all the issues to yourself, sometimes it is better to get it out and ask for other people’s advice and opinion. Also, seeking professional helps is always the right thing to do. Here at Surrey university, you can go to the Centre for Wellbeing, they offer support for personal issues and advice for things like reducing stress and managing your time. ( For more information: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/currentstudents/wellbeing/health/)
So that’s it for today! I hope it helps and please feel free to email us if you have any questions!
See you next time, Diana x