May 4, 2018, by Words on Words

Tips and Tricks to Help You Stay Motivated During Exam Time

This blog post was written by second year English student, Jaya Prabhakar.

Whether you have exams, coursework deadlines or both coming up, it’s safe to say that the exam period can be a stressful time and, like many of you reading this I’m sure, in the past I have struggled with the task of staying motivated at times. That being said, I have gleaned some knowledge which has helped me through the past exam periods and many long essays, so, with deadlines and exams on the horizon, here are some top tips to help you keep going during the exam period.

  1. Try to plan out your day – this isn’t to say that you need to have a minute-by-minute regimen that you stick to without fail, because that just isn’t realistic. However, try planning out slots for working, eating, going to the gym etc. When you know what you want to tackle and how much you want to achieve by the end of that slot it will hopefully help you to stay more motivated and complete things without delaying.
  2. Avoid places or things which make you procrastinate – everyone has experienced the strange slippage of time which only happens during the exam period where a 5 minute peek at Facebook turns into an hour of mindless scrolling (don’t deny it, I’m not the only one). It may be hard to stay focused, but if you know you struggle then force yourself to work; go to the library instead of sitting at home (if you’re worried about the noise or you’d rather sit on your own then book a single private study room in either of the libraries) or reward yourself with a treat after completing a certain amount of work. Minimise the time you spend on your phone and don’t go on the internet unless you absolutely have to – apps like Freedom allow you to schedule times where you are unable to use any of the apps that distract you from your work. Because Shakespeare is way cooler than Snapchat, right? Or, if you’re still struggling…
  3. Try out productive procrastination – now I know that this sounds paradoxical but for me this has worked. When you feel yourself getting less productive but you don’t want to take a break, instead of slogging away at revision or an essay half-heartedly, switch it up! Try working on something else you need to do, whether its revision for another module, writing a bit of another essay, or even tidying up your workspace (tidy desk = tidy mind) and when you come back to your previous work you’ll be able to have a good go at it again.
  4. Take longer breaks – I know this sounds counterproductive, but instead of sneakily taking lots of little breaks whilst telling yourself that they aren’t real breaks leading to you doing near to no work, take longer breaks but make sure you work solidly for a longer length of time.
  5. Remember: exams and essays are not the end of the world – while they might be very important, your mental health is so much more important. Don’t let the workload or the deadlines and exams stop you from looking after yourself; make sure you are eating properly (I use cooking myself a nice dinner as a way to destress and chill), take regular breaks because there is no point in overworking yourself before you can even sit the exam or hand the essay in, and, most importantly, ask for help. The lecturers want to help you do well so drop them an email or reach out to organise a meeting if you aren’t sure about something or ask a friend if they have some insight. If you are really struggling then contact your personal tutor and they can help you figure out a way to deal with the stress, which is way better than trying to cope on your own.

Hopefully these tips will help you out as much as they have helped me. Good luck!!

Image: Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Posted in Student WordsTips/Advice/Guidance