Tuesday, 6 May 2014

♥ Keeping Calm Through Exam Period!

May means exams and coursework deadlines. All I've seen on twitter is masses of people worried about exam revision and dissertation deadlines, so I though I'd add to my Organisation Skills post with a few of my ideas on how to stay calm throughout the busy time that is the end of the academic year.

Revision Plans
Planning what days and times to revise is crucial. When I was in school I would usually start revision a month before the exam and work towards getting all the syllabus into my head and then sitting down with past papers a few weeks before the exam day. I think it's really really important to do this when you have GCSE's or A Levels to worry about. You'll get to May and realise you have four exams in the same week and you will not be able to cram revision in for every subject at the last minute. The Study Planner shown in my photo is from Paperchase and is a really handy tool to highlight what you have to do and set yourself out mini deadlines.

Essay Plans
I've never done well with exams, so I chose to do a degree that was solely based on 'coursework'. This means instead of having exams to revise for at the end of the semester, I have essays or creative pieces for three modules to hand in - this means almost 10,000 words of academic/creative work. It seems really daunting when you have five essays all due in within a week and my approach is the same as it was with revision. Start a month before the deadline day and start by picking questions you think you know a little about and are interested in. When you've decided on which question to do you can make an essay plan. A 2500 word essay will typically have a 250 words in both the introduction and conclusion, then four or five strong points within the main body compromising of about 500 words each. To get your ideas for the essay do some further reading on the topic and note down any books or websites used so you can add them to the bibliography. These books may also be used as references. I use an app called ReferenceMe to help me to do this. I can scan the bar code of books with my iPad camera and it creates the reference! It's super handy and saves a load of time. When you've written the essay, read back each paragraph and check over footnotes and references and make sure you're relating back to the question!

Time Out
Universities have libraries that are open 24/7 which is really handy if you feel you'd work better in the silence of the night (you'd be surprised how many people do all nighters in them!). It can be hard to get your work done when you're in halls and there's always something going on so it's really good to be strict with yourself. Take a morning to go and work for a few hours and get big chunks done in one go so you're not struggling with essays and revision every single day. Take five minute breaks to have a cigarette or get a cup of coffee and then go back to your computer and do a solid slot of writing or revision. When you've had enough - go home, eat, shower and sleep. Make time for yourself and do something you enjoy, even if it's just watching Made In Chelsea with the girls in the evening.

Exam Day/Deadline Day
It's the night before D-Day and you don't feel prepared? Have a nice long shower, curl up with a movie and have revision cards to flick through. Double check anything you're unsure of but don't stay up until 3am doing so. It's so important to get a good nights sleep and to be prepared for the morning. Make sure you have everything packed and ready so you're not rushing around. With hand in deadlines you can hand in work before the deadline. They'll also be specific times to hand in work and the academic office could be really busy at 10:30am, and there's always that risk you wont be seen by the deadline of 10:45, so try and hand in work prior to deadline day. It might not be possible in some cases, but when it is possible - do it!
If you're sat in the exam hall, don't stress out. The only thing you can do now is your best. Double check questions and have a bottle of water and spare pens.

These are just my ideas on how revision/essay writing works best for me. I always start with the module or essay that I feel will be the easiest to get through - because at least then it's less to worry about when deadlines are nearing and you start to panic a little more about time management. I wish you all the very best if you're at school, college or university and are stressing out about exams or essays. Try and keep calm and do your very best - it's all you can do and I'm sure you'll be fine! Good luck, guys!

Em x


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...