… by Hollie / from England / studying Veterinary Medicine / 4th Year
One of the most stressful parts of the year at university is exam season. You can feel it in the air; everyone starts to congregate in the library and permanently wear gym clothes. Although it can be a really difficult time, there are a few things that make it a little more manageable:
Finding your revision ‘zone’
Whether you like studying in your room or at the library, everyone has somewhere where they feel most productive. Try out as many places as you can when you first start revising and then stick to whichever you find the best. After visiting multiple coffee shops, my friends and I settled on a Starbucks with big tables and very sympathetic staff, who were happy for us to spread our books everywhere while we studied. This combined with endless amounts of coffee makes revision season much more bearable.
Meeting your revision buddies
Some people really struggle to study on their own. If you can, then that’s great, but if you know you’re not being productive, don’t feel embarrassed to ask people to work with you. It took me two years to admit that I was not studying effectively on my own and when I finally mentioned it to my housemate, she was relieved and had actually felt the same way. Now, we always come up with a revision schedule together and are much, much more productive.
Taking some ‘you’ time
It can be easy to get into a vicious cycle where you feel guilty for having a break but then just don’t seem to be productive when you do try and study. Whether it’s watching TV, doing yoga or going out for dinner, find something that’s not revision related and give yourself a break. Setting aside this guilt free ‘you time’ will make you so much more productive afterwards.
Embracing your study technique
It’s tempting to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to study in the ‘correct’ way. I definitely find that the ‘best’ approach varies from person to person. I have some friends who have a small addiction to highlighters, another who handwrites everything and one who records her notes and listens to them. Look at some different study methods and see what works for you – there really is no right or wrong!
Checking your resources
Every course has resources available to help with revision. It can be past papers, practice questions or even just course summaries. It’s easy to overlook these when you’re busy trying to make sense of your own notes, but lecturers do always put them there for a reason!