6 tips to help you meet study deadlines

If you are studying for the first time, it can be difficult adjusting to new deadlines and juggling a number of tricky modules at the same time. Follow these simple steps to organise your work more efficiently and you will not have to worry about how to meet university deadlines.

Buy a diary

Write down everything you have to do to keep track of your work. Include due dates and work out precisely how long you think it is going to take you.

Make a study timetable

Study now or later? You don’t have to dive head first into an assignment as soon as it is received, but it will help if you have a rough guide for what you want completed and by what date. Create study blocks for research, and when lectures and seminars revolving around the project will take place.

Be organised

Reread and write up any scruffy lecture notes and ensure all work is filed away correctly. Being able to pinpoint particular notes on subjects will save you lots of time in the long run and help complete assignments in the most efficient way possible.

Don’t become lazy

Your deadline for particular piece of work might be two months away, but don’t underestimate how quickly time can disappear without even beginning a project. Map out what you want to complete and by what date, which brings us on to…

Find a happy work/life balance

University is about taking part in a wide range of activities, not just studying. Ensure you see friends, take part in events and enjoy a night out. University is intended as a full-time job – that means studying up to 35 hours per week and enjoying leisure time during your evenings and weekends.

Get enough sleep

Despite the need to also let your hair down, make sure you get enough sleep. Eight hours of sleep per night will do you the world of good ahead of a busy day of essay writing and note taking.

5 STUDY TIPS TO EXAM SUCCESS

Do you ever wonder if there is a magic formula to succeed at writing exams?  Everyone suffers from fear and anxiety with exams approaching, but successful students have a few “tricks” that set them apart from the rest.

We’ve put together some of these study tips to help you on your way to achieving exam goals!

 1.       PLAN

 Don’t leave your studying until the last minute – time management is key.  Start by writing down your exams and dates you write them, then work backwards setting up a study plan leaving enough time to cover all topics.  Try study at the same time each day to develop a routine and ensure you have set outcomes of what you want to achieve in each study session.

2.       ORGANISE

Keep your study area organised and free of distraction.  Ensure you have enough light, your chair is comfortable and away from the busy zone in the house.  Leave enough space to lay out your textbooks and study material. Keep blank paper and highlighters handy to jot down notes.

 3.       PICTURE IT

Visual aids are really helpful – start by writing down everything you know about a topic and then highlight where the gaps are. Before your exam condense your notes into a single page, which will allow you to recall everything quickly during the exam. Studying with friends or other students can also be a great way of studying, as long as the sessions keep to topic. Study groups can help you to understand a concept, complete assignments quicker and assist with remembering key facts.

4.       PRACTICE, REVIEW & REVISE

Always make sure to take good notes in class, and revise these before each study session or assignment.  At the end of each week review what has been learned, which will prepare you for the following week to continue learning new concepts.  Practicing past exam papers is also an excellent form of revision, allowing you to get used to the format of the questions, the duration of the paper and highlighting areas you need to focus on.

 5.       REFRESH, HYDRATE & NOURISH

Take breaks, eat healthy snacks and drink plenty H2O.  While you might plan a lengthy study session, its actually better to take regular breaks for long-term retention of knowledge.  Take a break and enjoy the sunshine – Vitamin D is important for a healthy brain!  Just as important is nutritious food to snack on while you’re studying to keep your body and brain well-fuelled.  On exam day eat a good meal that will provide a slow release of energy. Finally, keep well hydrated to ensure your brain works at its best.  Drink plenty of water during your study sessions and on exam day!

SIX ESSENTIAL MISTAKES TO AVOID IN AN EXAM

1. Have you read the question properly?

It may sound obvious but have you read the question properly? You may be surprised how even the most intellectual of students may just miss the smallest of details. It’s not a mistake that means you’re incapable; it is simply a result of being in a pressured environment. Take a deep breath before you start your paper and approach it in a calm and logical manner. Read the question three or four times before you rush headlong into crafting what you believe to be the right answer.

Coincidentally, this leads me on to the next point…

2. Choose your answers carefully

Often, especially in a literature based exam, there can be several choices of question to answer. Not all of them will need completion but it is important you answer the ones on which you are strongest. It is always worth having a look through the paper as a whole before you start. By doing this, you can spot any easier questions which you can tackle first, thus building up some early marks.

It will also give you the opportunity to assess which questions, if any, don’t need to be tackled. Finally, if you have been expecting a certain question but it doesn’t appear on the paper then don’t try and shoehorn that answer into another question. Bottom line; always make sure you are answering the question you have been asked.

3. Don’t let yourself get distracted

It’s easy to do. Maybe you’ve just come up against a particularly tricky question and decide to let your attention wander. Perhaps in the time between each question you look up and notice other people scribbling away furiously and decide to spend the next five minutes checking around the entire exam hall.

Easier said than doe but it’s crucial you focus on nothing else apart from your own performance. Just because the person next to you has written three pages in the first half hour doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. Maybe they have big handwriting. Or consider this – maybe what they’re writing is wrong.

4. Poor time management

Time is of the essence in an exam. It is important you spend an appropriate amount of time on each question. As mentioned, setting aside five minutes to look through the exam paper initially in order to generate a plan of attack and to still your mind is key. The questions are numbered but it doesn’t mean that’s the order you should answer them in.

It’s worth paying attention to the mark allocation as a guide – the fewer the marks, the less detail and less time required to answer the question. Finally, make sure you turn up to the exam hall in good time. It’s worth getting off on the right foot at the very least.

5. Check your paper thoroughly before you hand it in

It may seem like stating the obvious but it is important, when you finish the exam, you resist the urge to sit in silence and not check back through. Even if you have just completed an exam in a subject that’s second nature to you, it’s worth running the following checks:

  • Have you left any blanks? It is worth attempting every question. Sometimes no matter how much you have revised for an exam a question will come up that may catch you off guard. It happens but the key is to remember a question with no answer can give you no marks. If you don’t have lots to say on that particular subject, it’s not worth spending lots of time on it. Just get the basics down and move on.
  • Have you answered all the compulsory questions? As mentioned before, some papers have optional answers. Make sure you haven’t just jumped to the questions you’re good at. Don’t leave out the essentials.
  • Have you left out any ‘added extras’? Particularly relevant to maths oriented subjects, diagrams, graphs and methods to demonstrate how you arrived at the final answer are often required. Make sure you don’t lose out on easy marks if these are required.
  • Have you filled out all compulsory information? Don’t forget the basics. If you need to put your name or exam number on the test paper, make sure you do it. It’s unlikely; however in the heat of the moment stranger things have happened. After all, what good is a perfect exam paper with no owner?

6. Top marks

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when it comes to sitting an exam is this – it’s simply a case of ticking the right boxes. The information lies within you somewhere. With the right preparation, you can give it your best shot. By following these tips above, hopefully we have made the whole process even easier for you.

Good luck.

 

Article originally posted on www.brightnetwork.co.uk

Should Laptops and iPads be Used for Exams?

What if all you needed to write an exam was a laptop or tablet? This probably doesn’t sound realistic, however, the world renowned, Cambridge University have recently piloted exams based on typing rather than handwriting.