It’s that unfortunate time of year again when the nightmares of every student roll around – the exam period. With my first exam looming just over a week away, I thought I’d write a special revision-themed blog about how I try to cope with the stress and pressure of exams.
This is my biggest piece of advice, and the one that has gotten me through these past few weeks of revision. Motivation is something some people struggle to find, so rewarding yourself can be really important. If you set yourself a target and plan a reward when you complete your task, you’ll feel a lot more motivated to get on and work. For example, I like to reward myself with an episode of TV or a bit of chocolate once I’ve completed the revision notes I’d planned for that day.
Make a revision timetable
It’s important to know how much you have to do, and the time constraints you have to do it in. Laying out your lecture material across a number of days will help you to realise how much time you have at your hands to dedicate to each lecture. You should also have a tick list; nothing feels better than completing the days objectives (whether it’s complete 5 sets of lecture notes or learning a tricky biochemical pathway) and being able to tick it off to say that it’s done.
Take a break
Non-stop revision 14 hours a day, seven days a week is enough to wear out even the most studious person. Taking a break is really important so you don’t get too drained from revision. Make it an active break; go for a walk, or even a run. I personally like to go to the new gym for a swim, which I discussed in my last post.
Talk to other people
It’s easy to feel like you’re going to buckle under the pressure of so much work, but believe me when I say you’re not alone. I’ve found that talking to people has made me realise that we’re all in the same situation. Hearing other people talk about their struggles will also make you be encouraging; you’ll tell them that they can do it, that it’ll be over soon. The same applies to yourself! You can do this. Think positively.
And finally I’d recommend you think about the end goal. Why are you doing this? What are you working towards? My aim is to do the best I can so that I can make my conditional offer for medicine an unconditional one. Focus on what you want to achieve, and you’ll be a lot more determined and driven to do well.
That’s it for me till after I’ve faced a couple of exams. Keep working hard!