How to survive exam periods

Having just finished three exams for the first semester of my third year, I think it is important to get a few words out about the reality of exam revision and how to best face it. Without doubt, the weeks before exams are the most busy time of the year but they don’t necessarily have to be stressful. I will try to give a few tips on how to best prepare for exams based on my own experience and issues.

I’ve definitely had some of the craziest exam schedules. The best example is perhaps my second year, when exams for all six modules were still taken in May and I wrote six exams in ten days.

My second year exam  schedule

My second year exam  schedule

Starting the revision for each module after having finished the previous exam was impossible and carefully planned preparation essential. In reality, I started revision for my fifth exam after my fourth exam and that for my sixth exam after my fifth exam. With a bit of luck I passed both exams with 70 above but the stress and pressure was not at all worth it.

Surviving the exa,m period!

Surviving the exa,m period!

So what should you do to prepare well for exams and avoid stress at the same time?

  1. Start from the first day of University to revise notes each evening of the week according to a schedule: for example set one module aside for revision of current topics on each weekday
  2. Read the daily trade newspaper to keep up to date: Financial Times, Lloyd’s List, Tradewinds etc. - being up to date is the secret to good marks in business exams
  3. Divide the module into topics and prepare a sheet with revision notes for each topic that can be used in the last weeks before the exams
  4. Study in a group of coursemates and discuss issues - this has been most helpful for me to remember specific arguments
  5. Go to bed early before the exam
  6. In the exam, answer the precise question and leave equal time for each question

In many cases, I have not followed the first and third advice which has proven very stressful in the preparation, so I hope your revision is less stressful and your exams are successful!