Each semester when exams are imminent, I remind students of this series. It is an ever-growing array of articles and references relating to how better to prepare for exams. I don’t recommend trying to consume it all. Pick 1 or 2 things from it that you think would improve your exam performance. Reading time ~ 3 minutes for the post (30+ minutes for all content).
Back when the Student Health and Wellbeing Blog first started (2018), I did a series on Preparing for Exams.
Each semester, as exams approach, I take some time to revisit those posts and promote them again.
My expectation isn’t that you’d read them all and action every recommendation, rather that you might peruse the articles to find ways to refine your existing exam preparation approach.
It is currently a 8-part series:
Part 2 – Evidence based study tips
Part 4 – Tame your brain
Part 5 – Embracing failure
Part 6 – Memory
I generally try to promote these posts a little way out from exams, because a number of the recommendations I make in those posts require you to start early. For example, learning how to use relaxation strategies works better when you learn them in the lead-up to a stressful period of time. Study strategies like spaced repetition and self-testing work better when commenced in the weeks before exams. Exam wrappers are best used fairly close after exams to help take lessons from the experience.
So, apologies for potentially freaking you out and reminding you about exams, but the sooner you wrap your noggin around the reality, the better.
If you’d like something to watch, I did a presentation with the excellent Grace from Student Learning Support Services (SLSS) last year that you can still access. With that in mind, SLSS have their own excellent exam preparation document in which you can find great tips.
You might also find our Evidence Based Study and Exam Preparation Tips document useful. Packed full of recommendations.
And finally, the social channels of the Library, Flinders University Student Association (FUSA), and Hey Flinders! tend to get active around swotvac, alerting you to study supports, good places to study, free food, library opening hours and other useful exam preparation information. Plus, it can just feel a bit comforting to know that others are studying up as well.
Research on exam preparation 📚
For those that are super keen, I’ve even spent some time looking at recent research on exam performance that might provide you with some clues on how to maximise your performance.
Some things that I’ve covered thus far include:
- Could using your mobile device during lectures impair your exam performance
- How to make study and exam stress your friend
- Psychological needs, stress, sleep and exams
- Study habits and their relationship to exam performance