If you experienced a shudder or felt physically sick as a response to this word, you are probably one of many SIBT students preparing to sit your finals next week.
It’s easy to get intimidated by the “E” word. Exams are hostile creatures – they loom before us, aggressive obstacles standing in the way of all our future happiness and success.
And they will happen. Next week.
Now that I’ve successfully freaked you out with a threatening introduction, let’s move on to the good news. With just a few simple tricks and a little discipline, you can maximise your study prep and be ready to kick the “E” word in the “A” word.
If you try to dive headfirst into the exam material, you’ll end up treading water and will get nowhere fast. First, take the time to organise yourself and break each unit up into manageable sections to tackle one at a time. Be strict about the time you can spend on each section and allow extra time for more difficult material. DO NOT pull an all-nighter the night before! Anything you think you might have crammed in will be lost in a haze of sleep deprivation – you’ll end up scribbling something unintelligible about unicorns.
Not everybody studies the same way, and therefore where you study is an important factor. Some students benefit from some music or background noise; others may thrive in a silent, empty room cut off from wireless internet and contact with other humans.
If you are the type who finds yourself googling “Channing Tatum” instead of paying attention to your notes, then the latter may be more appropriate for you. (Note: Check out MUSE – great study space at the North Ryde campus)
Set small, achievable goals and reward yourself. This could be a lolly at the end of each chapter you read, or a hot chocolate once you’ve mastered a difficult formula. Treat yourself for each little “win” and you’ll look forward to the next one. (Within reason – obviously consuming a mass amount of chocolate or sugar during your study sessions will not end well).
Staring at the same dismal page of notes alone and praying for something to sink in is a slippery slope to madness. Instead, bring a little joy into those painful study sessions by studying with friends. Do some casual quizzing and have a laugh over obscene pneumonic devices – you’ll remember the fun you had AND the exam material.
While an all-day studying frenzy seems like a good idea in the weeks leading up to finals, it isn’t.
Your brain needs time to recharge and process all the information you’re abusing it with. It could be a nap, a sandwich, a stroll around the block, or some quality time googling Channing – give yourself a break and look at the material with some fresh eyes later on.