Exam season survival guide
Where has the time gone? We are now well into April with May just around the corner. Other students and I are starting to prepare for exams and deadline season. I thought I would share my top tips for exam season that have always helped me. This is not an exhaustive list so take with a pinch of salt and I hope this helps!
Know your exam type and its timings. This sounds very basic, and you might be questioning how I have got 21 years into my life and I am giving a top tips of checking the exam type. There’s a reason for this! Now exams are online, exams have taken on a variety of different ways that they can be timed and how it can be completed. Some exams might be timed but you have 24 hours to open the exam, or some exams might offer you the whole 24 hours to do it in. Some exams might be open book, or some might be multiple choice. Check your timetable or simply ask your module tutor for the exam details. You don’t want to get to the exam thinking you have 24 hours when you only have 2 hours.
Practice using the Alternative Exam Portal (AEP). As a new platform, to some students the AEP can be confusing at first, but it is actually very easy to use! Familiarise yourself with the platform at least 5-7 days before the exam so you can practice a mock exam on it and see if you can use it successfully. If not, you can contact your department and ask for assistance. I found the AEP trouble-free to use and straightforward in uploading my exam documents onto.
Take a break. This is one I still need to learn! I especially go into panic mode during exam season and think the most productive way of revising is staying indoors with my head in my books. But no, we all know taking just a 20–30-minute walk can clear your head and make you even more productive! I suggest taking several breaks throughout the day and breaking your revision up around these breaks, so you move your body and give your mind a rest! I really enjoyed last year going on a run in the morning before revision and then a walk in the evening after revision. This set me up for the day and then relaxed me at night to slow down and also calm my nerves.
Find a quiet space to revise and sit your exams. Who would have thought most of us would be sitting the majority of our summer exams at home! Instead of a university chair and exam hall desk to sit your exam on, we now need either a comfy chair and desk or anywhere you find comfortable to revise on; the floor, on the sofa or in bed! Do what is right for you. Make sure when you come to sit your exams, the people you live with are aware you are sitting an exam and need the least possible amount of noise made for the duration of your exam! Unwarranted noise can be a huge distraction in an exam especially if the exam is timed it could throw you off massively. Make sure to also be comfortable and have everything you need around you. The last thing you want during an exam is to need some water or lose your laptop charger!
I hope these very quick tips have helped you prepare for online exams! I enjoyed online exams last year and thoroughly appreciated doing them in my pyjamas! Good luck with revision and exams and keep safe.