Preparing to Prepare

Despite the fact that for many, classes have now come to an end, exams still loom around the corner; the easter holidays are a brief glimpse of freedom that will probably be snatched away by endless nights spent in the library. If you’re anything like me, studying will be the last thing you want to do after gorging on chocolate in the spring sunshine, so here are some tips on getting ready to study, even if you don’t get your books out quite yet.

Tidy Up

While it’s true a tidy house is the sign of an untidy mind, the opposite can be just as true. If your study space is cluttered, it is likely your mind will be the same, and when you sit down to study, your motivation will be as scattered as the papers on your desk. Take ten minutes to put away what you can, open a window, light a favourite scented candle and set the right mood for maximum productivity.

Make A To-Do List

An old tried and tested method, but nonetheless effective. If, even after clearing your desk, your thoughts still seemed scattered and those scattered thoughts are achieving nothing but unnecessary stress: list them! Write down every little thing you need to do today, from reminding yourself to drink water, to that past paper you’ve been putting off for weeks. If you make it a challenge to score as much off as you can, you’ll be flying through tasks in no time.

Structure Your Revision

Have you ever sat down to prepare for an exam and found that there is just too much to remember? Or realising the week before the exam that there were slightly more lectures than you seem to remember? Beginning your revision early doesn’t mean signing even more weeks of your life away, if anything, it lets you avoid many of those delirious, late night library sessions. Remind yourself what you need to know for the exam, take a calendar, and split your revision up into sections for each day. This way, you don’t need to stress over whether or not you’ve done enough, or whether you should focus on another topic. By designating different days for different topics, you know exactly where your revision is going and how much time you have on your hands.

Take It Slow

While this last piece of advice is fairly obvious, it goes a long way. Drink plenty water, get plenty sleep, and breath. It’s easy to let exam pressure pile on top of you, especially if you have peers who are also stressing. Try not to mix up their stress with your own, and know that if you’ve done the work and prepared properly, you shouldn’t have any issues. Help friends who might be stressing by banding together and revising as a group. You never know, it might even be fun!


No matter what your end of semester assessments may bring, best of luck!

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Hello! I'm a 20 year old English and Creative Writing student from Dundee - most likely to be found in a coffee shop.

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