Study Hacks for the Exam Period

Our friends from Insider Guides have prepared a list of hacks that will help you pass your finals!

Hack #1. Preparing

  • Make a pact with your friends to save the parties for after exams.
  • Find out what kind of exam you are sitting (multiple choice, essay, open book) and how long it is. Then set yourself a study plan with clear goals.
  • Set study reminders on your phone, or put up a calendar.
  • Stock your fridge with nutritious food.
  • If you like to study in groups, pick your A-team now and arrange to meet up.
  • If you need extra help, you can contact your Subject Coordinator or use our Achieve@Uni tools.

Hack #2. Creating a good study-lifestyle

  • It’s essential to get a good night’s sleep every night.
  • Cut back on caffeine; it will keep you up when you need to rest and increase your anxiety levels.
  • Exercise or relax/meditate at least once a day to reduce anxiety and stress.
  • If you feel stressed, talk to friends or La Trobe counsellor.
  • Stay inspired- make a list of the reasons why you want to do well in the exams and stick them on your wall.

Hack #3. Studying smart

  • Research shows the best way to learn is to study in 30-minute intervals and then take a break.
  • Turn off your phone  (or use the SelfControl app).
  • To really learn something – try to teach it! Explaining something out loud forces your brain to organise information in the most logical way. Practice by teaching your friends, your dog… anyone who’ll sit still.
  • Study a little bit just before you go to bed. Research shows that we have better recall of the things we learn just before we doze off.

Hack #4. Be ready on the day

  • Know exactly when and where the exam is and leave home earlier than you have to.
  • Pack everything you need (student ID, calculator, pens, water) the night before.
  • Have a nutritious breakfast. Studies have found that skipping breakfast can result in a 20-40% reduction in thinking skills.
  • Bring a snack to munch on before you start: nuts and dried fruit are excellent brain food.
  • Avoid caffeine or energy drinks before the exam, as they might increase your anxiety levels.
  • It might sound obvious, but go to the toilet before your exam, this can help to reduce your anxiety and you will not waste time during the exam.

Hack #5.  Exam strategies

  • Make sure you put your name on the paper!
  • Read all the questions carefully. Try to be relaxed and explain the question to yourself before responding.
  • If you get stuck on a question, move on to something you do know and then go back to it.
  • Keep an eye on the time.
  • Don’t leave anything unanswered if you can help it.

After the exam…
Congratulate yourself; you did it! Don’t overthink your answers. If you black-out or panicked during the exam, please talk to one of our counsellors on campus.

Read the full article here.