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As the weather brightens and the days get warmer and longer, summer feels like it’s almost here. However, unfortunately for many students the change in seasons signals that exam season is fast approaching. But don’t worry as we’ve put together our 7 top tips to take some of that exam stress away!

1 – Start early!

Although the prospect of starting your revision may be daunting, research has shown that starting revision sooner rather than later, can significantly increase your memory recall when it comes to taking the test. Many students have also reported feeling much more prepared for an examination when starting their revision 2 to 3 months’ prior. This was compared to those who ‘crammed’ 3 months of revision into 1 night before hand, who expressed that they felt more pressured and underprepared when walking into the exam room. 

2 – Get yourself settled in your optimum working environment

Where you chose to do your revision is almost as important as how long you decide to revise for. For example, starting your revision in bed may sound like a good idea, but the temptation to nap might win you over, revising in a coffee shop may lead to being distracted and revising in a pub will almost certainly induce procrastination. Many University students opt for taking advantage of the University’s Library facilities or study suites. Alternatively, you could revise at your desk in your room, wherever you choose to study, make sure there are no distractions and hide your mobile phone! 

3- What type of learner are you?

Have you ever been through a situation where you have studied for hours but felt none of the information is going into your brain? Well chances are it has, but also, you may be studying in a way that doesn’t suit your learning style. If you like to visualise things, then why not try colour coded spider diagrams? If you learn through watching things, try and find YouTube explanations or view our ‘Expert Explains’ videos. Revision is a very personal thing, and what may work for your friend may not work for you, try a few different methods until you find an approach that suits you.   

4 – Exercise!

I’m sure you’ve already heard about the benefits daily exercise can bring to both your mental and physical health, incorporating a simple 30 to 60 min walk or jog into your revision plan could see additional benefits to your studies such as increased productivity and reduced tiredness and stress.   

5 – Practise, then practise, then practise a bit more

It’s no secret that practise makes perfect, and the same rule applies to revision. Going over past papers, and re-writing revision notes are a perfect way of getting to know the exam format, time pressure and also how much you should write for each question depending on the marks given. Ask you tutor for some example papers and familiarise yourself with the exam writing style.

6 – Sleep

This might be the best tip on here! Research conducted by Harvard University suggests that sleep plays an important role in memory and information retention both before and after learning a new set of information. Lack of sleep affects a person’s mood, motivation and perception of information/ events, therefore, experts state that 7 to 9 hours is the optimum amount of time needed to gain prime cognitive function. So, when it comes to bed time, switch off from revision and relax, bet you don’t need telling that twice!   

And don’t forget too…

7 – Think positive and reward yourself

In the mist of all the stress, remember, it’s not all about the revision! Yes, studying is an important part of the university experience, however, reward yourself with breaks and find your balance between work and leisure. Find time to relax and think positive.

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