Preparing for, and undertaking exams can be a stressful time. Organise your time and resources as early as possible.

PLAN AHEAD

  • Check how you are doing in your course, then set realistic study and exam goals.
  • Set up your study schedule for the time leading up to, and including exam weeks.
  • Use Griffith’s weekly study planner or find a daily or weekly planner online.
  • Be sure to schedule time for social and physical activities. You will be more productive if you maintain a healthy balance of exercise, eating and sleeping.

Study for your exam

  • Review your lecture and tutorial notes.
  • Listen to any missed lecture recordings.
  • Identify key concepts and vocabulary, when revising notes.
  • Avoid simply rewriting notes, rather synthesise and consolidate.

Make effective notes

  • Study in smaller time chunks. You will recall and retain more information than if you cram, or study in extended time blocks.
  • Organise your study into 20-30 minutes segments, particularly for dense and challenging material.
  • Study at your optimal time and a location conducive to being productive.
  • Approach the content in different ways, employing different senses.
  • Use visual aids such as mind maps and flashcards.
  • Try auditory approaches like podcasts or teaching someone else.
  • Connect abstract concepts with something concrete—give it a real world context and application.
  • Remove things that distract you, such as social media.
  • Find a study partner or group to effectively activate your learning.
  • Get support, content clarification and a different perspective from a study buddy.
  • Read tips for working in groups.
  • Work through past exams, if available. They may provide a guide for the type and style of questions you could be asked.
  • Try to complete past exams with the same time constraints.
  • Mark the exam to indicate where more study is required.
  • Write up your own questions, if past exams are not available.

On exam day

Get organised. Gather what you need for exam day the night before.

Double-check what technology—for online exams—is needed. Pack your bag for on-campus exams, know where to go and where you can park. Be aware that very few items are allowed in the exam room.

Stop studying

  • On exam day, stop studying.
  • Trying to cram creates more tension and stress, which will not help you remember or perform better.
  • Put the books and notes away and focus on stress-reducing activities such as deep breathing, mindfulness and exercise.

Self care

  • Throughout the exam process look after your physical and mental well-being.
  • This is especially the case the night before each exam. Eat well and get a good night’s sleep.
  • Start your day with an energising breakfast, something you would normally eat.

Use your time wisely

  • Plan your time and how much you will spend on each part of the exam.
  • Make sure you have enough time to review your answers.
  • Spend more time on those sections that are worth, or weighted more (for example, a section worth 40% should have 40% of your time).
  • When reviewing your answers, check your punctuation, grammar and fluency of response.

Read questions carefully

  • Avoid skimming over the question.
  • Take your time to read the question to avoid misunderstanding, misreading or missing a vital part of the question.
  • Make sure you know exactly what you are being asked.

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