How to Survive College: Exams

Hi all!

I begin my final university exams tomorrow, and although I should be studying, I decided to take a break and put together a blog post on my best tips for studying and de-stressing! I want to make a series on my tips on university that I have picked up in my 3 years, so let me know if you like this/find it helpful, and I will write more.

No one likes it, It's boring, you may feel you are achieving nothing, the hours seem endless. There is ways to make yourself more productive and achieve more in your study sessions:

  • Make a study plan: This is one of the most helpful things for me! Write out everything you need to get done. Maybe by topic or subject. Then organise when you will study them and how. For example, I have an accounting exam, with 3 questions on different areas of our course. So I laid out that I would pratice Q1 past exam questions on Monday, Q2 on Tuesday etc. This helps you to feel more accomplished after a study session; you can tick off an area and the list of what's needed gets shorter! 
  • Clean your study area: For me this is super important. Its easy to let your desk get scattered with pages of notes, pens, snack wrappers, you name it! The cleaner you keep your desk, or wherever you study, the more de-cluttered your mind will feel, and will leave you more focused on whats directly in front of you and your goals.
  • Make your study area different from your relaxation area: If you have a desk in your bedroom that you study at, don't watch movies or TV there. It's very hard to stay focused on studying if your mind associates that area with other things. Some people like to use their college library or study facilities for this reason. Choose what suits you.
  • Keep your notes organised: If you like to write out your notes so as to learn them, make sure to keep all the notes for a topic or subject together. This will help to keep each piece together in your mind, as well as help you later when you want to look over them. This really helps with keeping your stress levels down; having sheets of paper and books all messed up make you feel all over the place in your mind as well!
When you aren't studying:
My main tip coming up to and during exams would be to take lots of breaks! Not only is it best to do so for health reasons, you will also study better if you refresh your mind every so often.
  • Go for a walk, or exercise: If you already like going to the gym or playing a particulur sport, keep that routine. The exercise releases all the good chemicals into your brain and body, and you will make much more use of your study time if you feel good! Eat healthy too, but treat yourself every so often to reward yourself for good study!
  • Do something with friends or family: Getting away from study or thinking about exams for a couple of hours is very important. I went to the cinema last weekend with a friend, and I completely forgot about worrying about all the studying I needed to do! This is like the exercise, it helps to de-stress and refresh you for more work.
  • Meditation or yoga: If you have anxiety (like myself) or are just generally very nervous and stressed out about your exams, try some mindful meditation or yoga exercises from YouTube or elsewhere. This is another great way to clear your head, and to relax yourself.
  • Talk to classmates/friends/family about your studying and exams: If you feel stressed out about anything, it's always best to talk about it. So discussing everything with someone else will help to lighten the burden, and more than likely that person will boost your confidence and tell you that you are doing great!
  • Plan somehting to look forward to after exams: Rewarding yourself is important. Plan a night out, a holiday, a shopping trip, a movie day or whatever you like for when your exams finish! This will help you to feel great after your exams are over.
The most important thing to remember is you can only do your best. If you work hard and make the effort, you will achieve good grades in your exams! Don't pressure yourself or feel pressure from others. Sometimes hearing what others are doing can make you feel behind, but focus on yourself and your studying and you will be fine.

This page on exam stress from Headspace has more tips specific to exams that might help too! 

This is a quick overview of some of the things I have learned about the run up to exams so I hope it is helpful. If you have any questions or need someone to talk to, comment below, or message me on tumblr either at

Good luck if you are doing exams in the next few weeks, and wish me luck in mine!


Popular Posts