Exams can be a very stressful time of year, so we've prepared some useful tips to help you effectively revise while enjoying a well earned rest over the festive break. Students who have exams in January should make sure to utilise the time off and ensure that you're brushing up on your skills and knowledge, ready for the exams in the new year. To find out when youre exams are, click here to access the Exams Calendar.
Prepare in advance
Set out plenty of revision time well in advance of your exams – around six weeks is usually enough, but leave yourself more time if you feel like you might need it. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Make sure you're revising effectively
Focus on essential materials and be active rather than sitting and reading for hours at a time.
Use the resources available on CANVAS
Make sure to check CANVAS, your tutors have made plenty of helpful resources available.
Plan your revision sessions. What do you want to achieve in each session and how long will you spend on it.
Allow yourself short breaks during revision to keep your attention and focus up.
Fuel your body
Make sure you've eaten a healthy balanced meal to help you stay fueled.
You might find it easier to revise with friends, why not schedule meeting up and testing each others knowledge.
Make time for yourself
Don’t focus your whole life on revision.
Mindfulness & Meditation
Learn a relaxation technique in advance and utilise it.
Have a hot bath
Having a hot bath improves mood and optimism.
Listen to music
Listening to music has a tremendously relaxing effect on the mind and body.
Watch a funny movie
Humour is a great way to take your mind off your worries.
Check the time and location of your exam and pack your pencil case.
Have a good night's sleep
Sleep is more valuable than a few hours of extra revision. Get at least 7-8 hours.
EAT & DRINK
Be sure to eat something the night before
Even if you normally skip meals or avoid eating when you are nervous, you should still make the time to eat something. If you really cannot stomach food, then try having a protein shake or smoothie.
Eat a good breakfast
Good breakfast combinations might be whole-grain cereal, eggs and toast with jam, porridge, oatmeal or sugar-free muesli. Or try some fresh fruit such as melon, oranges or strawberries.
Eat brain boosting food
Brain boosting food includes protein-rich foods which can leas to greater mental alertness. Healthy food choices on exam day include eggs, nuts, fruit, yoghurt, and cottage cheese.
Drink plenty of water
Dehydration makes you lose concentration, feel faint and sap your energy. Drink enough before and during your exam. Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink a glass of water.
Drinks to avoid
In general, try to avoid sugary sodas and colas. Avoid caffeine, as it can increase your nervousness but if you drink coffee regularly; allow yourself a small cup with a healthy snack in the morning.
THE DAY OF THE EXAM
Set an alarm
Set an alarm. Set two. Get a family member or friend to check you're up if you're still worried. Just make sure you get to the exam in plenty of time.
Stay calm during the exam
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Repeat this if you begin to feel anxious.
Read the instructions carefully
It is important to read through the instructions and questions slowly and carefully, highlighting key points.
Plan your answers
This is important as it helps your writing flow and means you don’t end up panicking and going off on tangents.
Answer the easiest question first
Answer the easiest question first if you feel like this will relax you.
EXTRA USEFUL TIPS
Take time for yourself
Try to make time for yourself away from your studies to wind down. This will help your mind and body to relax. Chatting with friends, meditation, yoga or just watching a bit of telly can also help take the edge off.
Take time to exercise
Regular and frequent exercise is a good stress reducer.
Talk to your family and friends
Making time to see your mates will help you unwind and let you unburden any problems.
If you are feeling nervous about upcoming exams, that's completely normal. Our Student Support team are always happy to help, feel free to contact them on