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Things You Can Do Now to Prep for Exams

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Exam prep | YMCA Global Study

You may think it’s too early for me to be talking about exams right? WRONG. It’s never too early to start prepping for exams, the less work there is for you to do, the better. If you’ve clicked on this article, you’re already in the right mindset, I commend you! Read on for some tips on what you can do now to help your future-self later.


Start With What You Don’t Know

If you feel like you’ve got an okay-ish grasp on most of your notes for the semester, go back and revise what you have absolutely no clue on first, and then work your way towards the things that you don’t really get but could use more time on. When I’m studying I usually like to revise the things that I know already, and avoid the really hard topics to make me feel smart. It obviously doesn’t help anything and when I finally get to the difficult topics, I don’t have much time left to study them because I left them until last. Not a very smart move.

Go Back to Basics

Chances are, you don’t remember what you learned in the first two weeks of your classes, your brain is so overwhelmed with new information. But the things you learn first will most likely be the first question on your exam paper. So, do your future-self a favour and flick back to page one and see what you wrote down, it could be the different between a pass and a fail.  Not only that, you might even get a better understanding of the more difficult topics you are struggling with.

Start the Flashcards

It’s never too early to whip out the old flashcards. Starting early means you can spend more time colour-coding them and making them look nice. So, come exam time, you don’t need to waste precious time making crappy-looking flashcards.

Get a Study Group Together

Studying is way more fun when you’ve got a buddy. You motivate each other, learn from each other and maybe take too-long lunch breaks together. But hey, a student’s gotta eat, right? Organising a study team, or even sending an email to your favourite fellow students, will set the gears in action for scheduled study dates at the library. So, bring the snacks, some study tunes and decide where you’re going to camp out, and make sure it actually happens!

Say Goodbye to your Family and Friends

Ok maybe it’s not that dramatic, but odds are, when that dreaded week comes around you’ll be holed up in your room or library, only scurrying out for food and coffee. It’s nice to give your loved ones a fair bit of warning before you drop off the face of the earth. Something like: “Just letting you know I won’t be around a lot during exam week” This simple heads up will help them understand that you’re not ignoring them, you’re just super busy.

Stay Back After Class

Have a question you didn’t get to ask in class? Or is there something you didn’t quite understand, but too shy to speak up? Back in school, it would look uncool to stay back and talk to the teacher. But this is university and usually, you will find a small group hanging back after the class to clarify some points. This is a great thing to do because some of the points other students will be asking might be the same questions as yours. And there’s also a chance that you will get to have the lecturer all to yourself for a few minutes, and that kind of attention can be really helpful, as they go more into detail about some topics.

Start to Delete Distractions

This is for all you master procrastinators (so probably all of you). During exam time, Netflix is the devil of temptation, as we all know. I personally can’t stop myself from checking Snapchat every thirty minutes into studying. Make the most out of your distractions now, watch that TV show you’ve been putting off, post that selfie to Instagram now rather than later and swipe through those Tinder matches. Because when exams are finally here, you don’t want to waste any valuable time mindlessly scrolling through social media, unable to help yourself. My advice? Temporarily disable your apps (only for exam week, don’t panic). Going off the grid for a bit can be not only liberating but good for your mental health.

Start Planning Your Treat

Everyone deserves an after exam treat-yo-self day. After the worst of it is over, pass or fail, you got through it and now it’s time to celebrate. Whether it’s buying yourself some new jeans, catching up on all the Netflix shows you’ve been denying yourself, or just getting absolutely wasted at the uni bar. Setting yourself a treat will give you something to look forward to and keep you motivated through the worst weeks of the year.


Words by Sophie Nicolas – Sophie Studied a Bachelor of Arts at Edith Cowan University and also studied abroad in Japan

You can read more work from Sophie on her website or on Uni Junkee

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