It's important to get the right balance of work and play to maintain a healthy lifestyle and ensure that you’re at your very best for your exams. If you are struggling with your wellbeing during exam time, talk to someone about it! There are lots of support options available. The University’s Wellbeing pages are a good place to start.
Eat well: Food affects both physical and mental performance. During exam time it's especially important to eat healthily. Get your "5 a day" portions of fruit and vegetables, go easy on the fast food and takeaways, have a healthy breakfast to start the day and pack a healthy snack to refuel on the go. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water too!
Sleep to regenerate: Lack of sleep can be a big factor in poor performance, so try to keep your sleep patterns as stable as possible. Allow yourself some winding down time before bed, try some relaxation techniques, and avoid screens at the end of the day.
Get physical: Your brain will work better if you look after your body too. Exercise can be a great stress buster and can really elevate your mood. Whether it’s a walk on the Downs, a swim or a full gym session – there’s bound to be a type of exercise that works for you!
Connect and relax: Make sure you allow some time to be yourself, see friends, go for a walk in nature or whatever other healthy way you have to unwind.
Exam stress affects different people in different ways. It's perfectly normal to be a bit anxious, but if it's making you ill then do seek support.
There are loads of ways to revise - the trick is to find the methods that work best for you. If you’re struggling with revision, the University's Study Skills Service has loads of information about revision and exams, and they also offer one to one and group support sessions.
Don't forget that the Library also has lots of books and eBooks to help you with your exams as well as Subject Librarians who can offer subject specific advice and support.
Revision requires a lot of self-motivation and concentration. It’s important to be sensible in your approach and not overdo it. Make a revision plan with time allocated to each topic; but leave some room for flexibility so you can make changes and take breaks.
Once you have your plan, here are our top tips:
Different students need different spaces: some need absolute quiet; some like to be able to chat to friends; some like to listen to music. But every student should find somewhere they’re able to concentrate, with plenty of space to spread out and access to all the resources they need. Information about the different study spaces available can be found here.
This year there is a temporary restriction on the number of study spaces in the Arts and Social Sciences Library, but alternative study spaces are being made available.
If you have specific needs for your exams because of a disability or health problem, you can ask for Alternative Exam Arrangements (AEAs) to be put in place. This could include adjustments such as extra time, rest breaks, permission to bring food into an exam, smaller venues or specialist equipment. If you need AEAs you must request them via Disability Services before the deadline, which is several months prior to each assessment period.
If you encounter health or personal problems during revision time, you can submit an extenuating circumstances form so that the exam board can take things into account. In some cases it may be possible for you to defer your exam(s) to a later date. Contact your personal tutor or Just Ask for more advice if you are in this situation.