Five things you should be doing if you’re feeling unprepared for exams

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Sorry, but how have we arrived at this time in semester already? It feels like only yesterday that I was having a lit responsible time at the start of semester launch party, and final exams were a distant thought.

Now, I find myself typing frantically at my desk, surrounded by ample amounts of paper and empty cups of coffee/tea. It is difficult to remain calm and level-headed during exams – if you do manage this, give a gal your tips! In preparation for the week from hell, we have devised a list of five things to start doing in order to attempt a zen approach for finals.

Work out what time of day you are most productive

Personally, I am a morning girl. I like to rise early, hit the books and smash a fair amount of work by 1pm. At this time, I find my concentration dwindling, so I will try and regain some study stamina by going for a run, or eating some lunch.

A study actually found that, “Students tend to be more productive in the morning”. So, if you’re approaching study in the afternoon, and cannot seem to read more than a few words before crashing, go to bed earlier and get up early to smash some revision! You never know, it may just work wonders.

Complete a practice question WITHOUT the worked solutions beside you

Everyone is guilty of this. Of course the solution makes sense, but could you do it by yourself in an exam situation? It’s scary when you find yourself in a final, freaking because you can’t remember whether you multiply or divide that final number. It then becomes a snowball effect, where you start to lose confidence because of that hiccup. What if the entire question is wrong?

Do yourself a favour: try and attempt the problem without any aids (even if you butcher your response). Puzzled? Hit up a consult session, and hopefully the lecturer can try and clear up your confusion.

Contact randoms friends in the course

You may have arrived at study week, and made no attempt to engage in human contact. But surely, you can track down one person in your course. Even if you have to randomly message them through the student forum, or post on the discussion board on your online account. Sometimes, knowing where other students are struggling can really ease anxiety and stress. As the team from HSM sing, “We are all in this together!”

Give yourself scheduled study breaks

This is so important. Just make sure they are well deserved and try to avoid Netflix, because we all know how that usually turns out!

Remind yourself: it is only an exam

It’s hard not to think that doing less than sound in an exam won’t dramatically impact your future. But, it won’t. There is stress, and then there is stress. Usually, the right preparation will reap rewards, and there is no feeling more satisfying than this.

If you do poorly because you haven’t prepared, then there is a lesson to learn: put more effort in next time. If you don’t do amazingly because exams are just not your thing, just keep trooping on. Moral of the story: life won’t stop.

There are so many feelings that surround exam period. The goal is to ease the anxiety, and use that energy to prepare. Start by doing some of these things, and maybe you will receive better results, as well as being more productive with your time. Just remember, Netflix will still be there after your final exam!

Ailish Parr

Ailish is never happy just sitting still and has a secret love for #qanda. She is studying a double degree at the University of Queensland but always makes time for coffee and socialising.

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