Exams and revision can be tough going, but there are many ways you can get support and stay relaxed this term.
Stress is a normal healthy response to keeping you safe and meeting the demands of a task, and anxiety can help us survive stressful situations by speeding up our thought processes and helping us focus. However, stress and anxiety can also build up over time and become overwhelming. We can have difficulty seeing the bigger picture and our thoughts can become muddled and repetitive.
Around exam time you may feel anxious and notice changes in your sleep and appetite, and feel nervous, fatigued, tense, irritable or low. But here are some ideas to help you manage it:
Plan in advance: make to do lists and a timetable. It's not just for staying organised: it'll help motivate you by helping you to avoid feeling overwhelmed, and give you the chance to keep an eye on your progress and to celebrate what you've achieved.
Break tasks down - Revise in small, realistic and manageable chunks - instead of “study module 1” have a list of tasks such as “read 1 chapter and make note of key learning points”. If you want to learn about revision strategies, come to a revision workshop.
Be self-aware: If you find that you are not sticking to your goals or deadlines, then rather than feeling bad use it as an opportunity to review what can be different. Be vigilant to whether you're procrastinating and intervene. And remember: thinking you've left it too late can be a barrier to getting started, but even five minutes of work is five minutes more than nothing.
Talk to someone! You're definitely in good company if you find exams and revision a struggle - don't convince yourself that everyone else finds exams a breeze. Talk to your friends and coursemates. Talk to your department if you have concerns. And if your mental health is worrying you, get in touch with the mental health and wellbeing team.
Make time for your mental wellbeing: The Counselling Service has a number of workshops designed to help with the pressures of Term 3 and they are open to all.
Stop working: Set a time to stop working and stick to it.
Food is fuel: Consider if the food you eat is helping to maintain your energy levels throughout the day. If you're sticking around on campus and bringing your own food, don't forget there are microwaves on campus where you can heat it up. Try not to drink caffeine (Cola, energy drinks, coffee, tea) after 16.00 if you're trying to get a good night's sleep.
From the blogs...
- High-lighten the load: making the most of highlighting for revision
- Brighten up your Library life: 5 tips for happy breaks
- Remember, remember: memorising information for your exams
- T minus 7: countdown to your first exam
- Study Happy: The Five Ways to Wellbeing
- Revising for multiple exams: tips & techniques
- You don’t have to do it alone: 5 tips for group revision
- 24/7 Library: please use responsibly!
- The mature students’ exam survival guide
- Bhargav: Taking breaks
- Bethany: My revision experience so far…
- Elena: Coping with Exams Stress
- Tom: Countdown to Exams (& Tips!)
- Grace: Term 3 !!
- Manya: The Ultimate Guide to food during Exam Season
- Are you ok track? Term 3 Library Fair (April 24): Have all your questions answered by representatives from services across the university about the exam and assessment period.
- Mindfulness (April 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14): Learn some practical mindfulness exercises to help you feel calm and in control.
- Exam revision workshops (May 2, May 19): - These workshops will explore revision strategies and help you to manage your time. There's also an 'Managing exam anxiety' podcast to listen to.
- Pets as Therapy dogs (2 May & 18 May, booking required) - Come and pat your stress away!
- Wellbeing Walks (Tuesdays & Thursdays) - Take a 30 minute stroll around campus or Leamington Spa to boost productivity, and increase your mental and physical wellbeing.
- Kirby Corner: puzzles and colouring to relax (May 30): Relax with colouring and puzzles, keeping your brain moving whilst you de-stress.
- Relax! Take a break with Warwick Volunteers: If you want to take some time out of revision, there are one-off volunteering opportunities you can get involved with.
- Women's Cycling Tour (9 June): The Women's Tour will be passing through campus, and there will be a number of market stalls, health and wellbeing activities and demonstrations from 10am.
- Postgrads: In addition to the On Track events this term, there's the usual social events - including PG Tips and PG Pub Quiz - for you to get out and stay social.