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Preparing for Exams!

By FLtt 22 Mar 2021

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”

Benjamin Franklin

We all know it’s getting to that time of the semester, when exams will be approaching us soon. With exams also being taken from home this semester, which may still be an unusual format to have an exam, this blog will give you 5 tips to help you make the best out of your time and prepare for exams!

1. Revise like normal!

Pre- COVID you may have created a revision timetable, in particularly for week 12, known as the ‘Revision Week’ at Coventry University or revised with friends in the Library. Just because the situation is different now, that doesn’t mean you cannot revise like normal!

Right now, you should still be trying to utilise your time:

  • Create a revision timetable – make a note of the exam dates and times and the topics you need to study for, and break these down into manageable tasks for each day of study. You also need to take into account how you may have other deadlines for coursework’s, so some days may require more work on those than exam prep. Prioritise your tasks and keep on track with a revision timetable! Ticking stuff off at the end of a productive day is a very rewarding feeling!
  • Practice your revision – go back to seminar Q’s or any revision Q’s or past papers and try to complete these without looking at notes. This will allow you to check your understanding of topics and where you may need to brush up on your knowledge.
  • Post it notes – these may be your best friend! If you’re anything like me, I have gazillion’s of post it notes of different colours. I use these to help highlight or summarise important theoretical equations or definitions that I need or a prompt to remind me of how to structure an essay!
  • Ask for help – utilise tutors before the exam week and ask them for help if you need to. You will most likely have timetabled revision classes that are optional to attend but attend them! Other students may ask useful Q’s that you haven’t thought about and can actually help you for the exam!
  • Reward yourself – within your timetable you also need to allow yourself some time to relax and rewind. You’re not a machine, you cannot operate and study 12-14 hrs a day :D Figure out the times of day you’re less productive/ get hungry/ cannot concentrate and take breaks during these times. You’ll thank yourself afterwards ;)
a close up of a book

1. Utilise Resources!

On the course pages on Aula, there will be different resources you will need to study/ refer to for exam preparation. These may include:

  • Lecture Slides/ Materials
  • Seminar Q’s/ Answers
  • Additional readings (books/ academic journals)
  • Videos
  • Quizzes
  • Tutor Feedback Hours

Utilise these!

These resources are there to be used and will relate to the content that you will be examined on. An excellent student will read more than just the lecture and seminar materials or may even go and find additional readings of their own so that they can expand on their discussions in the exam!

REMEMBER: You can still book a slot to study in the library or book a click and collect book service to collect a book you may not have on Bibliu:

2. Watch out for unintentional plagiarism

Some people find revising with others really helpful as you can help each other and test each- others understanding. However, when it comes to exam papers and submitting your work, once submitted, Turnitin will check your plagiarism score. Your work will be compared against other students submitting as well as information from books and journals etc. It is really important you complete exams alone, to ensure the work you submit is all your own!

TIP: If your exam is theoretical, it may be useful to ask the Module Leader if/ how you need to reference sources you’ve read in the exam!

3. Organisation

As you work through the stuff you need to revise, organise your notes as you go along. You could:

-          Condense notes

-          Use post- it notes

-          Revision cards

-          Type some provisional essay plans/ maths formulas on your laptop so that they’re ready to use on the day!

You also need to be organised and aware of what the exam will look like. Make notes on things like:

-          The day and time of the exam

-          The duration of the exam

-          The instructions to follow when starting

-          The format (how many sections/ Q’s you will need to answer)

-          The instructions on submitting

The more organised you are, the more prepared you are = the more chance of success!

5.  Prepare the night before!

The night before an exam can be when you may start feeling nervous for the next day. You will want to be as prepared as possible. This doesn’t just necessarily mean the learning side, but also the other little things that can easily be forgotten about. Here are some reminders below:

  • Ensure you have the materials you need sorted: Laptop, charger, pens, pencils, ruler, calculator etc….
  • Ensure you have a quiet area set up to work, where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Make sure you have all your learning materials at the ready! As exams are online, you will want to make sure your resources are organised, so you aren’t stressed on the day. Ideally, from your revision you will know most of the things you may be assessed on but having those organised resources at hand if you need them is key!
  • Prepare your food for the next day: you may want to have a really easy, no stress breakfast option before the exam like cereal, a toastie or even some overnight oats you could prepare the night before!
  • You may even want some study snacks like a banana or snack bar if your exam is a long one and you need an extra energy boost!
  • Set an alarm on your phone for when you need to submit (around 20 minutes before the deadline to allow you to check your work and for Aula to upload this on time!)
  • Get a good night’s sleep setting an alarm clock for the morning, which will give you enough time to wake up, eat breakfast and get ready before you start!
  • Finally, keep a ‘I got this’ mindset! Ensure you log on to Aula on time, read the instructions carefully and start answering the Q’s. Stop working around when your alarm goes off. You got this!

With enough preparation you will ace your exams! The Reslife team wish you the best of luck with your second semester assessments in April 2021! - Milena





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