The semester is nearing the end and another 15 weeks has passed. ‘Where has this semester gone?’ I keep asking myself. It really is scary how time flies. They say time flies when you are having fun…I don’t know if you would call assignments, labs and tutorials fun though. Hmm…I guess all of us university students have things we need to get through to get to the interesting things, like nursing placements and graduating, so that we can become qualified in our field of work. So exams are in three weeks time. Even just saying the word ‘exam’ makes me feel sick in the stomach. I get very nervous for exams, because firstly I want to pass, and secondly because I want to achieve the very best result that I can.
This is a typical example of how a lot of uni students study for exams…NOT A GOOD IDEA! Cramming for exams is not only stressful, but it is physically impossible to remember 15 weeks’ worth of work in one night.
Or if you answer this mathematical question like this person did, I can guarantee you will FAIL…but you might make your teachers laugh!
The quote about multiple choice exams: ‘When in doubt; choose C’ is a MYTH!
Do not do this. Instead use a process of elimination: by ruling out the answers that are incorrect and then choosing the answer that you think is most accurate.
I don’t want you all failing your exams, so I cannot stress enough… do not do what some students have done in the above pictures. Now on a more serious note I will tell you all of the best study habits and study preparations that I have learnt that help me stay calm around exam time.
The most important strategy for studying for exams is to choose a suitable study environment. You may have a desk or office room in your home where you are able to study. Make sure that you remove all distractions that may prevent you from studying…and yes this does mean going a few days without Facebook (or at least limiting the amount of time you spend on Facebook around exams). Make sure you take a short break from study every 30 minutes. Go and get a drink of water or eat some chocolate to reward yourself for your hard work. I also find that going outside to get a breath of fresh air always refreshes my mind and helps energise me to get back into study mode.
Another effective approach to studying is listening to lectures a second time or re-writing your lectures and notes. My high-school maths teacher always told me that repetition will get you the results. My high-school teacher was right…repeating something or re-writing something over and over again is the best way to get information to ‘stick’ in your brain. It is painful at the time re-writing your notes…but it is all worth it in the end when you find out that you have passed your subjects for the semester!
A fun way to study for exams is to study with friends. Find a group of friends and get together to go over the course objectives. It is great to study with friends because you can quiz each other and help explain confusing principles to one another. Another fun way to remember information is to make up an acronym, rhyme or poem about a particular topic…it is a lot easier to remember something when you can sing it to yourself! I remember when I was little I used to say a poem to remember the planets in our solar system: Mars, Venus, Earth, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (My Very Energetic Ma Just Sat Up Near Pa). It is amazing how I can remember it still to this day…it just goes to show how fun rhymes or poems can help us remember important facts and information.
The night before your exams it is a really good idea to double check what room your exam is in. Ensure that you have a decent sleep that night. At least 7-8 hours of sleep is a good amount, so that you are able to function properly the next day and so that you aren’t found yawning in your exams. I always find that on the day of my exams I feel better when I have a quick look back over my notes to refresh my memory. Don’t forget to take into your exam your: student ID, stationary and a water bottle, so that you don’t get thirsty. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths before you start your exam – this always helps me to relax and stay calm in my exams!
A great resource on the USQ online website is an entire web page dedicated to exam preparation and all the best exam tips. Here is the link for your convenience: http://www.usq.edu.au/learningcentre/alsonline/assessment/exam/examprep
I hope that all of my study tips will help all you awesome university students out there to pass your exams with flying colours. Most of all it is important that you try your absolute hardest and that you believe in yourself and your abilities!
“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.”
“Believing in yourself is the first secret of success.”
Happy studying and all the best of luck for your exams. Stay positive, we can do this!!!