Hello! We’re now about to face the dreaded exam and assessment period for the next few weeks, and as this will now be my fifth time experiencing this (how have I reached third year already?!) I thought I would share with you my top tips for staying calm and collected during this time!
This is a massive must. I know a few people who dread the idea of breaks, and think that this is something that should not happen. If you are one of these people, stop thinking that way! Breaks are a must as you need to be able to take your mind completely off work so that you don’t frazzle out before your exam even comes around.
Now, obviously how long your breaks are/how many you take depends upon how much work you have and when the deadlines are, but I’d suggest a 20 minute break every 2 hours!
As well as taking breaks I make it a priority to not be doing work in the evening. I got pretty good at doing this over the semester and I’ve really felt the benefits for it. I know that come 4.30/5 I can stop working for the day and just enjoy the evening ahead. I find that having a block of time away from work is really refreshing and allows you to relax properly before the next day.
Get plenty of sleep and eat well
As well as taking breaks throughout your work, for both your mental and physical health you need to keep on top of sleep and eating well. This will not only help you feel more relaxed, but will really help with your work too! If you find that some mornings you sleep in a bit late, don’t hate yourself for it as your body obviously needs it to recuperate.
Find what times work best for you
People work well at different times of the day and in different places, so you need to find what works for you! For example I know that I will never be that person that can wake up at 7 and be working by 8, and similarly that my brain can’t comprehend information in the evening. This is personal to me so work out when you work at your potential, and don’t try to work when you know you won’t be able to, because otherwise you’ll feel deflated and unmotivated.
Make to-do lists
I’m a massive fan of to-do lists. I find this is a great way to have everything that I need to do in one place, and this is a great way to see what you have left to do. This can either be for each day, each piece of work, or for the week, but it’s a good way to correlate all the information swimming around your head in one place. I like to put little tick boxes at the end of each task as there’s a sense of accomplishment as you tick that box!
Congratulate yourself on what you achieve each day
So you’ve made your to-do list, but something’s taken longer than you anticipated and your to-do list of tasks isn’t complete. Now don’t beat yourself up about it! Every day just have a reflect back on what you have accomplished for the day and congratulate yourself on what you’ve achieved!
Don’t compare yourself to others
Perhaps my top tip of all, do not compare yourself to others! Everyone works at different speeds and in different ways, so if your friend has completed all their essays and you’re still writing yours, don’t fear, as you may have done more work in another way. Although working with friends can be really helpful as you can feed off each others ideas, don’t get hung up on comparing how much work you’ve done – this can just make you feel bad about your progress when you should be congratulating yourself!
Do you have any tips that you would like to share? Good luck with all your assessments and exams!