Preparing for January exams

Stepping out of the Christmas haze and into a brand new year can feel overwhelming, especially for those who have exams on the not too far off horizon. Settling back into uni life, for those who live away from home most of all, can take some adjustment after a long break. The best method through this is simple: take out your favourite notepad or whiteboard, make the biggest cup of tea and get cosy – and read the rest of this blog has to offer of course…


1. Don’t panic

Breathe deeply. When you’ve done that, gather together all of your notes and/or study guides from the past few months and set it out in front of you. If it seems like a lot of paper or documents, save yourself worry by breaking down the revision into smaller chunks. When you get down to studying, spend no more than 30 minutes before taking a small break. After spending a block of time going over something, explain back to yourself. Does it make sense?

Remember – getting worked up isn’t going to benefit you when it comes to preparing for your upcoming exams and assessments. Keeping a clear and calm head will allow you to plan effectively. What waits for you in the next few weeks is a test of the hard work you have achieved – start in the right way by setting out time to study in smaller bursts.


2. Flashcards are your friends

Whether you prefer writing out physical cards or using an app like Anki, flashcards are ideal if you have a lot of material to remember. Additionally, try using mnemonic devices to create mental connections for your notes.

Flashcards are also ideal to use when studying with friends; quiz each other and challenge yourself to be the one who knows the most!


3. Get enough sleep

Luckily for most people, the time around Christmas and New Year is when they can relax and enjoy time with family/friends. Hopefully most people took advantage of those opportunities to catch up on much needed sleep. Even when you get back to uni, try to keep a steady sleep schedule.

Good sleep will prepare you for the best start to the day – read more in our morning motivation blog.


4. Time to save

January for most students is when they get to reflect on their work so far, but also on their bank balance. Perhaps not being able to afford nights out is a blessing in disguise – use this opportunity for study nights in.

Swap pints at the pub for snacks and get cosy in your room or study area. Students who live with Host even get occasional pizza and movie nights appearing on the social calendar, so be sure to make the most of those.


5. Put down your phone

Research suggests that the average person spends roughly 3 hours a day looking at their screens – which for a student means crucial study crunch hours are being wasted.

If you want to find your focus ready for exam season, it will be well worth turning off notifications on your phone. Social media, email, WhatsApp. The need to open your phone when it pings, buzzes or quacks at you can be hard to resist. It doesn’t have to last forever, but you’ll be thankful when your commitment reflects the grade you end up with later on.


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