Final term of my fourth year has arrived and it has come around so fast! I know it’s a cliché, but it feels like only yesterday when I was writing my first blog for the year and now we are heading into the final 10 weeks of the academic year. It’s exciting but also scary. I’m looking forward to starting the next stage of my life and enjoying new adventures, but I’m also going to miss University and life at Lancaster as it really has been an amazing 4 years here in Lancaster, which I’ll never forget.
Unfortunately, there are a few hurdles to overcome before the next stage of my career can start, and they are my final exams! Being totally honest, I feel worried about them, which I think is natural and I know it’s how I’ve felt before any exam I’ve ever done, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Revision is tough, always, but especially when you’re worried about specific modules/topics. If this is the case, it’s important you don’t push those aspects aside and leave them till later, focussing on the sections you find easier first. I used to do that and it doesn’t help, it makes you panic more and doesn’t help you work on the sections you need help in/construct questions for your lecturers to improve your exam performance. I usually sandwich harder sections between those which are a little lighter/I find more manageable, then it makes revision easier and you don’t get downhearted, focussing on a really tricky section for a long time. Also, if you tackle those areas first, then you have more time to work through the problems and should have a better grasp of the tricky areas by the time the exam comes around.
I find the ‘revision period’ can be tricky and trying to keep yourself motivated to work hard daily for an extended period can become very tiresome and increasingly difficult as time passes. Firstly, you need to remember that it isn’t forever; if you work hard for this period then it will pay off, you’ll pass your exams first time and it will all have been worth it. You also need rest, a good nights sleep will help ensure that you are able to work well the next day and not be too tired for work. Planning activities and breaks is also essential during revision time to ensure you stay motivated. If you set targets each day, whether it be a certain number of tasks/hours etc, and then plan activities around this; an evening off sometimes or a lunch out with friends, then it will make the mountain of work seem a lot less daunting and more manageable.
How to revise? It’s different for everyone and it’s important to do what works for you, not just what your friends/other people are doing. I will share what I do, but that doesn’t mean you should do that or follow it exactly, but a few things may appeal to you/hopefully be of some help.
Firstly, I create a chart, (I don’t usually create a specific timetable of times for each item, just a rough guide on when I’ll be working for each day and for how long). This details what I need to do for each module and I indicate when I have completed each area. For all of my modules there are lectures, tutorials and readings, so I detail these and normally do my revision for each subject on a week-by-week basis. In progressing this way I spread my time over the different modules evenly and try to vary between at least two modules a day, so I don’t become frustrated/hit a wall.
If I know I am busy on one day and won’t do my usual hours of revision, then I schedule extra hours on a few different days so that I still get the work done that I want to and complete all the different areas I need to in plenty of time before my exams. This ensures I don’t panic as much and remain as calm as possible about my exams.
Also, remember about other people around you. Almost everyone is in the same boat, and I’m not talking about being quiet in the library/thinking of others (although that’s also really important and being respectful of others during this stressful period is essential), but that you should talk to your friends/course mates. They might be able to help you out with particular problems/questions etc or just offer a few calming words. You can get through this, don’t worry and it’s all worth it in the end!!!
Well, welcome back everyone and thanks again for taking the time to read my blogs, it really means a lot! I hope this has been of some help to you; you had a nice break over Easter and aren’t feeling too stressed right now!
Speak next week, Jen J