Phew! Our exams and coursework for Semester 1 of final year are over – at last! Now that we’ve done it, we thought it would be a good idea to give you some tips as to what we would do differently next time to make our lives easier.
Like many of you, we’ve been busy revising for exams, getting coursework done, working and applying for graduate jobs. It’s a busy time, but worth remembering it’ll all be worth it in the end, don’t give up!
1) "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" – Benjamin Franklin
Your coursework briefs are usually posted early on during the module, sometimes before you’ve even started. Make sure that you have a look at it and are well prepared. Look at what lectures/tutorials will be crucial to gaining a good mark in the coursework/exam. Having the core textbook can be a great help with this. Have a look on the DLE for recommended texts and ensure you are quick to the library to bag a copy! Everyone learns differently, but having the module guides and other relevant documentation already downloaded or printed out can be a great reference through your module too.
2) “Be the tortoise – not the hare!” - Anon
This one is what will eliminate the most stress for you. Often, you will find that you have quite a bit of coursework due around exam week. Starting early, doing a bit each week will help you get your coursework out of the way so that you can focus all your efforts on revision (instead of pulling off all-nighters in the library getting your essays done!).
3) “Asking the right questions takes as much skills as giving the right answers” – Robert Half
Your tutors will be more than happy to help you with any difficulties you might have throughout the module. If you have any plans or questions regarding the coursework or exam, ask them! They don’t bite (I promise). Make the most out of your time with peers and academics, it can be daunting putting your hand up but you will get so much more from the time if you engage fully with the material. Also, meeting with your peers after to discuss the content can help give you an even better understanding. They might have points to raise that you might not have thought of, allowing you to be even more critical in your writing.
4) “If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure” – H. Jackson Brown Jnr
Just do your best! If you know you have dedicated enough time and effort to the work, then that is all you can do. There is no point in worrying about how you have done after an exam either, it’s out of your hands by then. Try not to speak to friends before/after an exam because you will often find you got different answers which could make you stress! Just because they are different doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong!
5) “And finally, one from us… Relax and take regular breaks!” – The Hens
Although Rihanna likes to work work work, it’s not healthy for anyone. Limit yourself to a couple hours a day and study little and often. Cramming everything in at last minute won’t help. Take regular breaks and ensure you have things to look forward to during exam week to take your mind off studying. If you've prepared with enough time and are on track then you are able to say "yes" to a night out, day out with mates or even just a lay in if you have no lectures! It's important to keep the mind refreshed and doing this like this definitely helps!