Speedy exam study tips

Person writing down notes on some papers.

So, we’re down to exams kicking off…

Is it just me or is it getting hot in here? I can feel my heart thumping against my ribcage every time I walk into the law building as though I’m about to meet my Harry Styles or something. Except Harry Styles is my corporate law textbook and it’s probably not as exciting sitting down with it than it would be with Mr Feather Boa. 

A few days to go until the actual exam. You’re on the verge of your 4th breakdown for the day and it’s only 2pm. Suddenly your desk is looking a little too messy, your notes are not colour-coded correctly, and you’ve got heaps of topics to go through. It’s easy to feel intensely overwhelmed knowing that you’ve only got a few days to prep for the Showgrounds. I’m in the same boat as y’all, been on this boat for the past 5 finals so I’ve tried a couple of things here and there with exam prep:

Ta-ta textbooks

With no extra time to spare, I try to avoid reading whole textbook chapters. Let’s face it, they're not exactly the most thrilling thing to read – much less when you’ve got too much on your mind. At this point, my main study material would be my lecture slides and notes alongside my seminar answers. Textbooks are strictly for references and clarifications. If I find something that I don’t understand well from the slide - textbook. If I need context on a case that I think would be highly relevant for the exam - textbook. 

Lend a listening ear to those revision lectures

Watch those revision lectures and attempt those revision seminar questions. Not only are they good for refreshing your memory on earlier topics, but your lecturers and tutors would usually impart some important info about your paper then too. They might be cryptic about it but if you listen, you might just get it. 

I can’t tell you how many times those final lectures have helped me navigate through my study prep. I’ve identified the topics that I needed more focus on because if you still don’t understand whatever it is your lecturers are saying by then, then maybe focus more of your study time wrapping your head around it. 

Freak out (but with a friend)

I’m not huge on study groups but I find that having a friend or two to review your notes before the exam helps. Not only would you guys get to identify any important info that you might have missed but getting a friend to explain things to you is sometimes a lot easier to understand than a lecturer would. I think it’s because we’re all trying to simplify things as much as we can now so that it’s easier for our brains to digest. With a few days left, I have no time to be Aristotle or Einstein. 

Give past year papers a go

It's also worth attempting some of those past year papers, but if you seriously don’t have time to try it then reading the questions and sample answers would be helpful in structuring your answers and identifying key issues. 

You got this! Remember to get some sleep, drink lots of water and maybe shut down that laptop once in a while – they need some Z’s too. 

Tagged in What messes with your head, study, Exams, study tips