Exam Season Revision
For many of us freshers, it’s been at least a year since we sat down for proper legitimate exams. The last time I myself had to undergo the stress and nerves of exam season was when I sat through my IB exams which took place in May, exactly a year ago. Exams are a very stressful month and is normally the time when students end up camping out in the library or university house, until early hours of the morning trying to process half of their textbooks information into their caffeine induced brains, while potentially realising they don’t understand a whole term worth of lectures for one module (hello there linguistics). Finding space in the learning grid is like finding a needle in a haystack, and the moment a space finally frees up, its’ taken before you can even bat an eyelash. In addition to all of this academic stress, having to find the time to cook meals (healthy ones anyway), do laundry and all the little nuisances that come with moving out of your family home to the independence of being a university student is just another thing many have to deal with. Normally students don’t end up eating right or even sleeping enough, which can take a huge toll on their personal well-being and may even affect their ability to study properly. In order to be able to juggle all of these factors, I will be sharing some revision tips which have been effective for me during my time in secondary school up until now in University.
Revision techniques tend to differ from person to person, as some methods can turn out to be quite effective for others while to some it may not be, but over time you will eventually realise what works for you. Some revision techniques that I have carried over with my from my IB days , include reformatting lecture notes and slides which are uploaded by lecturers into your own comprehensive revision sheet, as well as re-writing handwritten notes. This way it helps refresh any old information or concepts that you learned in the past. In addition to this, some studies have shown that handwriting notes actually helped students remember more information rather than typing notes on a laptop, then again this may differ from person to person. The only problem with this method of revision is that you may potentially spend more time organising and re-typing all the notes and lecture slides rather than actually studying the content and this might not be the most time efficient, especially if you have five or more modules to revise for. Group study sessions may also be effective for some, as one person might understand one of the topics which were covered in a lecture that you didn’t particularly understand and vice-versa.
As my course involves a language class, the oral and written exams for the foreign languages are another worry for me. In order to revise for the oral exam, my main technique has been practicing some of the basic conversational templates with Chinese friends which has been quite effective in improving my fluency and grammar. I also get to pick up some new vocabulary which is an added bonus. Remembering the different Chinese characters is one of the biggest obstacles for me so far and I have been going over the past years handouts and character sheets in order to really make sure I become more familiar with the different characters and the stroke orders. My closet door has also been turned into, what I like to fondly call my “great wall of Chinese characters” with cut out flashcards blue-tacked to the doors of my closet.
With Warwick being one of the UK’s top universities, it’s natural that students are very academically driven and this particularly stressful environment that the impeding exam season brings about is something that, with the proper preparation and mindset will not be as much of a dooms-day as many seem to be bracing themselves for. While making the most of your time studying is definitely essential, make sure you take some time every once in a while to destress, as too much stress and lack of sleep is definitely not a good way to start off this month.
Good luck to everyone on their exams!