This month’s blog is on tips for studying at the IoPPN and exam advice. It’s perfect timing because we are in exam period right now. Exams can be a stressful time and hopefully these tips will make it a little easier
- Find your ideal study spot: For me that’s the library, I thrive in a quiet atmosphere with as little distractions as possible. Luckily there’s two great libraries on Denmark Hill campus. One at the IoPPN and another across the road at the Weston Education Centre which is open 24 hours.
- Snacks: I don’t know about you but I always get so hungry while I’m studying. I like to mix it up some days I’ll bring healthy snacks like vegetables and hummus. Other days I can’t ignore my craving for sweet and salty popcorn or chocolate
- Take breaks: Every couple hours it’s nice to take a break and recharge. Ideally I like to leave the library and get some fresh air or catch up on a Netflix show (whenever I finish a series I have at least 10 more on my list)
- Don’t be Afraid to ask questions: Whenever I get stuck there’s so many ways to find answers. I can ask one of my peers in person or the whatsapp group we made at the beginning of the year. There’s also a forum for each module, most of the time the question has already been asked. If it’s something more personal there’s always the option to email the module leaders, or personal tutor directly.
- Sleep: Closer to exam time I have always been tempted to sacrifice sleep in order to fit in extra hours of revision. However, I have always found this to be very counterproductive, because I am less able to understand and digest what I am learning and also leaves me feeling very emotional!
- Turn your phone off: Personally my phone is one of my biggest distractions, from answering text messages to checking Facebook, it’s crazy how much time I am able to waste! So, when I revise I always switch my phone off to maximise productivity.
- YouTube videos: My preferred learning style is listening rather than reading, so often I will start revising a topic by watching a YouTube video, usually a TED Talk. It’s also an enjoyable break from reading!
- Mind Map: I think it’s really important to change up the modes in which you revise. Rather than just rewriting lecture notes I like to organise them in mind maps with pictures, this helps me to recall information easier in an exam.
What’s going well: Staying organized! I created a schedule of what I wanted to study each day to make sure that I’ll be familiar with everything in time for the exam. Even if i don’t hit my daily target it helps to have some structure and I don’t waste time wondering what I need to cover on a particular day.
What I’ve learned: At first I got into this mentality of putting my head down and wanting to revise completely on my own. I’ve realized that there’s so many benefits of studying with other people. We only have exams at the end of term 2 so sharing resources and readings can be really helpful to get through all the material. It’s also nice to know you’re not alone in feeling stressed and help each stay positive.
What’s going well: In the past as exams had gotten closer I would do nothing other than revise or feel guilty about not revising, never being able to maintain a healthy work life balance. This time however I have been going to the library everyday and doing work only then. This forced me to not only get more work done in the library, because of the time pressure but also I was able to still enjoy myself during the revision period.
What I’ve learned: Not to be unrealistic with setting myself study goals. Like many people I would start with very high expectations of what I wanted to achieve in one day. Of course since I was never able to complete the tasks I had set myself, each day I would be left feeling guilty and even more stressed, making the exam period that much harder. It would be much better to have set realistic goals for myself and leave the library feeling productive and happy.
We hope that this blog has been both useful and enjoyable in this hectic exam period. Look out for our blog next month, see you all then!