Did you want to go to a party the other day just to find out that everyone is sitting inside and studying? Did you go to a bar and not see any of your friends? Those are all signs that the exam period has started.
What does exam period even mean for the majority of people? If you’re one of the lucky few who only has a few essays or a test and you’re done with your semester, your frustration with exam period is totally understandable. It’s as if everyone suddenly realised that university was for studying and behaved accordingly.
But if you’re not as lucky and you belong to the crowd that actually has to read books, and you’re wondering if it’s even possible to live through all that, we have some tips for you to make it survivable.
1. Revise before sleep
You might start studying early in the morning or maybe you’re not an early bird and prefer starting at around 1 pm… when you wake up. However, plenty of studies show that you are able to better retain new information when you study right before sleep. During sleep, our brain creates neurological connections that allow us to retain information. So, don’t feel bad about taking a nap every 2 hours because you fall asleep out of boredom as it helps your studying process more than pulling all-nighters.
But this only applies to brand new information, not to the things that you already know and need to revise. Don’t blame us when this trick doesn’t help you remember that elusive 17th century England that you read about 10 000 times already. Let this be your motto for this exam period: the more you sleep the more you know.
2. Make bullet points for essays
Even when you are one of the lucky few who has to “just” write 10 essays with 10 pages each, you might struggle with filling your mission. If you are unsure how to start or continue or finish your essays, it gets easier when you make bullet points about all ideas you have. Then do another round where you remove points that match the others the least and whatever doesn’t feel suitable for the topic. Keep doing this until you are left with few most important points that you can build on. If the essay is asking for your opinion, make sure you decide what you are claiming and create counter-arguments that you will refuse.
Don’t forget to divide your essay into introduction, body and conclusion and the perfect essay is ready to be turned in and marked. Only 9 more to go!
Suddenly, cleaning that dark corner in your room that was never cleaned before is the most important job in the world. While we agree that it’s important to keep your room in order, we are pretty sure that corner could wait one exam period before being sparkling clean.
We are not saying that cleaning isn’t important but we are sure that you don’t have to clean windows every day. They could survive a day or two. And besides, you are just avoiding your studying duties, aren’t you?
Make a list of things that are truly important and the deadlines until when they have to be done. If it helps, make a daily plan of every single activity on a day that you make and set rewards for yourself when you successfully complete your tasks.
4. Caffeine… caffeine… and caffeine
Maybe, normally, you don’t even stay in the same room as a cup of coffee but during exam period, that liquid is more valuable than gold. But we would recommend to ease up on it and rather start studying a day earlier than usual. Who are we kidding, everyone starts studying right before the exams. If you still want to pull an all-nighter, keep in mind that coffee and caffeine are not healthy for your body. Fortunately for you, nature created many substitutes that work just as well as coffee and won’t slowly destroy your body from inside. For example:
Green tea - while it contains a bit of caffeine, it also includes L-theanine which is an acid that will help you focus, so it’s two in one.
Licorice tea - caffeine-free but it supports your adrenal glands, that are responsible for reacting to stress. Which means it will calm you down and on top of that, it also restores your energy for even more quality studying.
You can find many more alternatives and chose those that are the best for you. It can be a valid reason for procrastinating, after all, you’re trying to do something nice for your body, right?
Remember that it’s important to get enough sleep before exams and be in the best condition possible so you can ace them. Don’t worry, exam period might be tough but it’s fortunately really short so you will sleep twice and suddenly it’s all over. Mainly because you will sleep just twice the entire exam period. We wish you all the best and good luck!