Planning your time and revision schedule before an exam will help you feel in control of your topic.
When you are revising, focus on what needs to be covered now, and not other topics that you will be revising later on. This helps you to keep your focus and not get distracted. Using a technique such as the Pomodoro Technique can help with keeping your focus.
Whilst revising, make sure you keep a balance between study and relaxation. Some students find it helps to plan in time for breaks; some exercise; fresh air; a treat. Making sure you eat well and get plenty of sleep are also good strategies for effective revision. Plan time for things you enjoy doing to break up your day.
Dealing with nerves
There are a number of strategies you can explore to help you deal with nerves before and during the exam. Watch the video below to find out more about tips you might try.
Learn more about taking deep breaths from the NHS website.
During your revision, and on the day of the exam, it can be helpful to identify your thought patterns and change any negative thoughts to positive thoughts. This self-talk (like an internal narrator) can be either helpful or destructive.
Look back on your previous experiences of assignments or exams and identify your self-talk. Consider the following points:
- What were you telling yourself?
- Was it positive or negative?
- What were your feelings?
- What did you learn from these feelings?
Now, try to change any negative statements or feelings that you have identified to positive ones. Using this technique during your time at University can help to reduce negative self-talk and encourage positive self-talk.
Resilience is the ability to adapt well and positively in relation to stressful or difficult situations. The learning experience from such situations can be drawn upon to become stronger and more able to cope in the future. Some of the characteristics of being resilient include: having good problem-solving skills; using goal-setting; being more likely to seek help; not dwelling or over-reacting to stressful situations; and believing that your actions will help you to cope with situations.
Being resilient at university helps you to respond to situations positively, and to see them as opportunities to learn. Focusing on positive responses and choices puts you in control of your learning. Being resilient can help you to respond to feedback in a proactive way and see it as an opportunity for academic development, and also manage our emotional responses to feedback.
Watch this video for further information about Resilience (you will need to log in to Linkedin Learning with your University username and password.) Any negative statements or feelings that you have identified to positive ones. Using this technique during your time at University can help to reduce negative self-talk and encourage positive self-talk.
If you find that worry and anxiety about exams, or any aspect of student life, is becoming persistent, take a look at these different websites with some top tips and information on how to access support:
University of Cumbria Mental Health and Wellbeing Service
University of Cumbria: Self help
University of Cumbria: I need calm
Mind: How to cope with student life