UKM Student Nat shares her top tips for exam success.
Be realistic about what you can achieve
One of the big stresses about exam season can be overthinking how much you’ve got to do, and then putting it off until the last-minute, and then stressing again about how much you’ve got to do!
Get out of this vicious circle by planning ahead. We’ve still got around a month to go until exams, so make sure you start planning what you need to do by when NOW. Be realistic about how much stuff you’re going to do each day over the holidays until the temptation to binge on Netflix becomes too strong. Make a plan day-by-day and stick to it. You’ll feel so much better for it, and having everything you need to do written down in front of you is sure to clear your head.
Tidy room tidy mind
One of the key things at the top of my revision to-do list isn’t even revision related. Before I start any revision – and indeed before I start any essay work for those of you still working towards those end of term deadlines – I tidy my house. I make sure that my room is a nice place to sit for hours on end, and I make sure all my dishes are cleaned so a) I’m not tempted to procrastinate by doing them later, and b) I’m not adding to my housemates’ stress by leaving the communal areas in a state.
Get a cracking revision playlist sorted
Another of my key procrastination before revision go-tos is to make a revision playlist on Spotify. Thankfully for you guys, I’ve already done this for you, so you’ve got no excuse to procrastinate by making your own. After all, who can improve upon perfection?!
Check out my revision Spotify playlist.
Organise your notes
This tip kind of ties into the tidying your room tip, but seriously, the amount of stress that will clear just by organising that pile of crumpled handouts in the corner of your room into something that you can easily pick and choose bits from is amazing. Getting organised will also help you to prioritise what you need to go over first, and you might also be reminded of things you’d completely forgotten about, which you need to go back over.
Make time to socialise
I think the biggest revision tip I can give you is that if you socialise and make time to see your friends, you’ll feel so much better. Now, I don’t mean have study dates (although this can work too), I mean get out of the house, go for a run with a mate, or have a barbecue now the weather has got a bit nicer, and relax. Yes I know your head will be swimming with all that stuff you’ve been reading all day, but just remember that your friends are in the same boat, and you can help each other through this. Why not get together and all cook a meal? Or you could each cook part of something and take it round to one of your houses. Here’s an idea for a great quick meal to make during exam time, which takes very little time, but is full of the nutrition you need to keep your brain going.
Brain food recipe – Spicy Chicken and Veg Pasta (serves 4)
- 4 chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 tomatoes, diced
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 vegetable oxo cube
- 2 tsp of dried oregano
- 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 red chillis, sliced with seeds removed
- 2 tsp of smoked paprika
- 2 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- 150ml of red wine (optional)
- Pasta shapes of your choice
- Boil the pasta for 10-15 minutes until just cooked (al dente).
- Put the oil in a large frying pan and wait for it to heat.
- Add the onion, leek and garlic, and cook on a low heat until soft.
- Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned.
- Add the paprika and cumin, and stir to coat the chicken and vegetables.
- Add the fresh tomatoes and peppers.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and the red wine, as well as the oxo stock cube. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer.
- Add the sliced red chilli and the fresh parsley, and continue to simmer until the liquid has reduced and the spices have infused.
- Drain the pasta and mix into the chicken and vegetable sauce.
Serving suggestion: Top with grated cheese (cheddar or parmesan are my favourites for this) and serve with garlic bread.
For all the University’s revision support see the exams webpage in the Student Guide.