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How to Survive Exam & Deadline Season (List)

ExamsTips and AdviceUniversity

After nearly a year of procrastination, before you know it, you've reached April and May. All of a sudden you have multiple exams and coursework deadlines approaching but you don't feel prepared at all. We've all been there, and every year the same thing happens. But fear not! Hopefully by reading this article you’ll feel a lot calmer and ready to sit (and smash) those exams.

First of all, take a moment to breathe. You've got this. It might seem hideously overwhelming right now, but just like you've done before, and will do again, you will get through it. Now, let's get this done...

1. Make a revision/work timetable

Sit down and plan when all your exams and deadlines are, and set aside some time each day when you will be working. Plan what you will be focusing on each day leading up to your different deadlines and try to stick to it! Be realistic about how long you will be able to focus per day to avoid feelings of failure if you don't actually manage to do all the work you originally planned to do. By planning what you will be studying and when, you will be able to prioritise work in order of your deadlines so that you will be prepared in advance.

2. Treat yourself to some new stationary

If you're anything like me, buying new stationary could be a great way to motivate yourself into doing some work. Buy yourself a nice new pen or a fancy notebook to treat yourself as a reward for all the hard work you've done so far, whilst keeping all that motivation going. Having things such as post-it-notes, highlighters and different sticky labels are all great for colour coordinating different work keeping you organised and making your work more visually exciting to look at. If stationary isn't your thing, maybe get a plant for your desk or something that will make you feel better about being holed up in your room - but not a distraction!

3. Keep communicating

This is a time where it would be easy to shut yourself off from the world and get lost in a mountain of textbooks. However, this isn't always the most useful thing to do. Remember to keep in contact with your lecturers if you have any questions about any of the work you are doing, in order to avoid any unexpected surprises on the day of your exam. Meet up with friends on your course and exchange different ideas around the subject too as this is a fun way of testing your knowledge as well as helping each other out. Often by just discussing the topics you're learning about you will pick up new pieces of information that you may have missed in the lecture, as well as giving new ideas to your friends.

4. Look after yourself

While spending hours studying in your room and doing all-nighters at the library may sound tempting, you must remember to take care of yourself too. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep a day to give your brain time to rest and convert your revision into long-term memory. Remember to keep hydrated and try to eat healthy meals whenever possible. Often, doing some light exercise can help you to unwind and let off some steam in a healthy manner. Making sure that you are looking after yourself is just as important as studying.

5. Remember to have some relaxation time

I'm not suggesting taking loads of days off in a row and leaving all your work until the last minute, but you do have to take some time to relax. Even if you set a time in the evening that you will stop working for the day or give yourself the occasional afternoon off to spend some time with friends, you'll feel much better. It's easy during the exam and deadline period to become overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do. But by taking regular breaks, and making sure that the time you spend not working is made fun and relaxing. Then, when you go back to your work, you will feel more alert as your brain will have been given time to take in all the information you've already learnt. I hope that by reading these tips this exam and deadline season won't be so terrifying and all your hard work will be worth it. Good luck!

Have you got any other sure-fire ways to calmly approach exam and deadline season? Let us know on Twitter


emilia walker grb author

Emilia Walker is a student at the University of Portsmouth studying English Literature. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and going to the beach.

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