I’ve just finished my last exam (finger’s crossed!), so now it’s time to share my hard (l)earned tips & tricks.
Through the last many years I’ve had exams. Many. And I’ve had it with them. During these exams, I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I work best. I’ve been really frustrated about myself, my work ethics and my level of procrastination. So as a result I went on study skills courses, sought consultation and yes, also cried a bit. And what have I learned? Well, take a look:
- Make a planned schedule. I use this one (in Danish, sorry).
- Try to clear your calendar, so the exam has the main focus and isn’t clotted by workshops, coffee dates, etc.
- Work during the day. It’s easier to pity yourself at 04 in the morning.
- And on that note: get 7-8 hours of sleep. Your brain needs to process and be clear for the next day’s work.
- Go somewhere else. To the library, a café or your department’s study hall. I work best surrounded by complete silence.
- Make a brainstorm of your topic. Try to connect ideas and themes before you start writing.
- Challenge/compete with yourself = Set a timer: How much can I get done in 60 mintues?
- Work out or take a long walk. It’s neither good for your body or your mind to sit still all day.
- No exam sugar binge; it will only cloud your mind and make your body feel bad (aka sugar hangovers). Instead: Go nuts and eat fruit.
- Drink water and coffee. But not too much coffee or too many energizers as they can make you too alert and not being able to sit still (yup, been there done that).
- Take a nap. As in 20-30 minutes, not 2-3 hours.
- It’s a matter of tough love. Procrastination is what happens when the human brain enters reptile mode. Say no to yourself. And if you did spend 4 hours on Facebook, bloglovin, browsing online newspapers, watching the latest episode of Girls, PLL, TVD, Grey’s etc. then don’t be too hard on yourself. Just remember: be better than yourself yesterday.
- Remember: no one is dying. It is (only) an exam. And no, now is not the time to learn that new hair do or go online shopping or stalk your ex on Facebook. It can wait.