Exam tips

My fourth exam period…they don’t get any easier.

Maybe you’re a prospective student reading this wondering what Exam periods are like at The University of Surrey…or perhaps you’re a current student intrigued as to how other students navigate their way through the exam periods while studying for a degree. Truly: this post will probably only re-enforce typical stereotypes and suggest stress-beating methods that already exist. However: there’s one difference between my tips, and tips from LADBible or Buzzfeed. Mine actually work!

1. Plenty of Sleep

I’d be a huge hypocrite if I didn’t admit that being a student involves a LOT of binge watching Netflix series (I’m currently addicted to Suits – what a show!). However, one of the most underrated exam tips which nearly every student ignores, is that getting enough sleep is important. Sometimes I work better at night time, but I always make sure I sleep in and don’t get woken up. Not only does sleep refresh you and reset your mind: for me at least, it also gives me renewed enthusiasm for the day ahead. This makes studying a whole lot easier and ultimately helps me in my exam preparation.

2. Don’t feel guilty about chillin’

One hour work: three hours doing nothing/playing Xbox/watching tv. That seems to be my current ratio. While that doesn’t sound particularly productive or healthy: it serves only to illustrate a point I’m making. Too many students (everywhere not just at Surrey) criticize themselves for taking a few hours out to relax and rest. Of course it’s important to get study hours in but don’t work yourself to the bone without having some ‘you’ time. There’s definitely a limit to the amount of work hours I can complete in a row without a cup of tea and a quick YouTube video. Hint: It’s not procrastination if it’s planned. Right?

3.Getting Stressed? Watch some penguins on the most adorable live stream ever.

Click play on the video below.

Do I need to say any more?

4. Break up your work into manageable chunks.

I’ve never found reading page after page of textbook to be productive in terms of revision. For me, splitting my lectures and learning objectives for the day into manageable chunks (one lecture at a time, for example) – is something I’ve found really useful. It might sound a bit obvious – and perhaps everyone does it self consciously. However, writing it down and then crossing it off a list when its done is psychologically satisfying and always gives me a feeling of achievement – something I use to spur myself on.


5. Remember Exams aren’t there to catch you out!

The penultimate thing I think it’s worth mentioning is that lecturers aren’t purposefully dropping you in it by not teaching you what you need to know. Exam boards aren’t hoping you’ll fail – and the University isn’t scheduling you for 9am exams because they want you to oversleep and achieve 40%. Everyone’s on your side and always will be! Exams are difficult for a reason: they’re designed to test your knowledge. However, they’re NOT the be-all and end-all. University is so much more than just exam period after exam period.

6. Finally, everyone is different.

We all learn in different ways just like we all have different natural abilities to absorb information. Each individual encounters University differently and possesses unique learning styles. Who’s to say what’s right and wrong?

Remember the above points and maybe they’ll be useful: maybe they won’t. Hopefully, however, they’ll have helped you think about your own learning style and encouraged a feeling of confidence within. You can do it!

Need support during Examination Time at The University of Surrey? The Centre for Welbeing, Student Life Mentoring Team and Personal Tutors are here to help.