5 Tips To Tide You Through Exam Season

By Chen Jei Min

With exam season looming over us, there are simply too many submissions and presentations to complete. As we approach the end of the semester, it is common to feel overwhelmed.  

Exams are always daunting no matter what you are majoring in. Furthermore, trying to find a study method to maximise productivity can be quite time-consuming. But fret not! We have compiled some helpful tips that will make your exam revision a breeze.  

Note-taking is essential to retain content, but it can be time-consuming to do it physically. Photo credit: Unsplash | @furtado

1. Taking down notes

Note-taking is essential and effective to retain knowledge that you’ve learnt in class. It is as simple as jotting down key points mentioned during class. Over the years, however, note-taking has evolved. You no longer have to do it manually, which can be time-consuming and tiring.

Now, you can take notes more efficiently by writing on your iPad, typing them onto online notebooks and organising them into colourful visual folders. There are many applications that you can use but one application surpasses the rest. Launched in June 2018, Notion has now become a household name for both students and working adults. 

The application boasts a large variety of templates. Notion’s neat interface allows you to take notes, better consolidate revision material and have a clearer view of assignment deadlines. Offering students the ability to plan their personal schedules on top of taking notes, Notion has redefined what a simple note-taking application entails.  

Notion is an all-in-one work space for you to organise and plan all your tasks for the day. Video credit: Notion
  1. Increasing Productivity (Time Blocking Method) 

During exam season, stress levels are rocket-high. It is not uncommon to experience burnouts and dips in productivity. Hence,  pacing yourself is very important. A viable method to track your work progress is the time blocking method. 

As its name suggests, you block out certain times to complete specific tasks. This method of studying motivates you to get started on the task and finish it within your own allocated time frame. Oftentimes, we become flustered when overwhelmed with multiple tasks. When you are at a loss and unsure of which task to tackle first, applying this method allows you to better prioritise urgent tasks. More information on this method can be found here.  

  1. Memorising like a Pro  

Have your ever cried out in exasperation when looking at the large stack of handouts that you have to memorise? Memorisation can be stressful and frustrating especially if you are taking multiple content-heavy modules in the same semester.

Whizz app Quizlet allows you to create your own digital study set on your phone (this means you can personalise them according to modules!) and have it with you at all the times. Even if you’re rushing somewhere, you can always whip out this trusty set and review it on the go. Using this app allows for greater convenience and reduces your clutter of excessive paper documents, saving you more time as compared to relying on handwritten notes.  

Quizlet is a dynamic app that allows you to customise your own flashcards to revise content. Photo credit: The Journal

4. Studying at Home

Living in the “new normal” has drastically changed our study patterns. How do we adjust to these conditions without falling behind? Prior to COVID-19, a typical daily schedule would involve waking up, commuting to school and then travelling back home again. But now that we spend less time travelling, we can reallocate the extra time saved in a day for other things. 

Changing your daily schedule gives you more personal time. You can clock in some physical exercise every morning before your Zoom seminars or even take a cold shower to energise yourself before a long day of studying ahead. By adjusting your daily schedule, you can maintain a healthy work-life balance and approach schoolwork with a clearer mind.  

[For more tips on how to make the most out of ‘Zoom University’, click here.] 

5. Smart Snacking

When gearing up for the exam season, it is always important to pay attention to your diet and have enough sleep. Doing so ensures that you have a healthy body to push through the hectic period. By indulging in healthy yet delicious snacks, you can fill your stomach as well as improve your ability to remember content! We suggest trying out almonds, dark chocolate, apple and peanut butter.  

Almonds are a type of brain food which are known to preserve memory longer due to its high Vitamin E content.
Photo credit: Unsplash | @juanantia

All in all, we know that exams are extremely taxing, so don’t forget to take care of yourself. You can reduce your stress and anxiety after a long day by surrounding yourself in a peaceful and relaxing environment. Before going to bed, try lighting a scented candle or meditating for five minutes. This can help to restore a sense of inner calm and ensure that you have a good night’s sleep to prepare for the next day.  

While everything may seem overwhelming now, the end of the semester is steadily nearing, so press on!  

NTUSU would like to wish everyone all the best for the upcoming examinations!