As we enter September it’s now that time of the semester where assignments are due and exams are just around the corner. Maybe you’re finishing your first year of university or your degree is finally coming to an end (5th year Osteo students we’re looking at you!) OR you’re powering through year 12 and are just about to sit your practice exams before the (not so terrifying) real deal exams.
Our Osteopath Dr. Georgia discusses some helpful tips to help you power through those last few weeks of semester/term before the final exams.
Exercise is KEY
- Exercise promotes blood flow to the brain, firing up the neurons and promotes cell growth. If you’re struggling to concentrate, try 20 minutes of moderate exercise to help improve cognitive performance eg. walking, light jogging or pilates.
- Exercise boosts your mood and can assist with anxiety and depression. Getting up and active releases endorphins which help to reduce stress, decrease feelings of anxiety and improve our all-round mood.
- Exercise can improve your memory AND sleep. Exercising during the day can help you fall asleep easier at night time. Getting a solid 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is so important when it comes to retaining new concepts that you’ve just learned throughout the day.
- (A personal favorite here in the office) Write up a to-do list and make the first few things on your list reasonably easy ie. Eat breakfast, make your bed, brush teeth etc and then tick them off. The feeling of ticking off tasks is so satisfying you’ll want to keep ticking more boxes (trust us!)
- Write down all the topics you need to revise and divide them up between the days left before the exam – this way you know you will be able to cover every topic before the day. I find it helpful to cover the more difficult topics towards the beginning/middle of your study and finish off with the subjects you are more confident with.
Studying and time management
- There are plenty of time management apps and strategies out there ie. Pomodoro study technique (work for 55 minutes, take a 5-minute break) is a good one. When I was studying, I used an app called ‘Forest’ which is a countdown clock – set it to the time you want to study for (I found blocks of 25 minutes easier). The clock will count down while a tree grows on your screen – if you use your phone and get out of the app the tree dies- so don’t touch your phone!
- By using a countdown clock, I found it to be a challenge with myself to get as much as I could get done before the timer goes off (and overwhelming to fight the clock, talk about that unnecessary pressure!)
- As tempting as it is to inhale some of your favorite chocolates while you study, opt for something healthier to avoid those sugar crashes. Some of my favorite snacks for study sessions are:
- Dark chocolate
- Carrot and celery sticks with hummus
- Greek yogurt and berries
- Air-popped popcorn
- Always have a bottle of water on your desk
Make time for fun
Preparing for exams is hard and it’s easy to get caught up in the library for hours and hours. It’s so important for your own well-being to make time to see friends and family and continue to do the things you enjoy. Organizing leisure time into your study plan is just as important as your revision sessions.
Good luck to all those finishing up their term/semesters this year. You have worked so so hard to get to this moment, not long to go until you are study free, knuckle down we will see you on the other side!