How to make it through exam season at Manchester

by | May 21, 2024 | AMBS, Undergraduate | 0 comments

Five things that help me survive exam season

As a third-year student, I understand as well as any student that exam period can be one of the most stressful times in a student’s life. Nevertheless, over the years, I have developed some strategies that help me stay focused, healthy, and relatively stress-free.

Firstly, one of the best ways I save time and ensure I eat well during exams is by making healthy food in large quantities. Preparing meals in advance means I don’t have to worry about cooking every day, and inherently is giving me more time to study. I usually cook a big pot of something nutritious like a vegetable stew or a hearty pasta dish on Sundays, and it lasts me for several days. This way, I always have a healthy meal ready to go, and I avoid the temptation of fast food or snacks that can drain my energy and pocket.

Furthermore, sleep is crucial, especially during exam periods. I systematically set a precise time to sleep and make sure I stick to it. For me, getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night is non-negotiable. It helps me stay alert, improves my concentration, and keeps my stress levels in check. I find that having a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends, helps maintain my body’s internal clock, making it easier to wake up and start studying each day.

Impacted by sleep and the time I wake up is the timetable, another crucial aspect of my routine in exam period. In fact, I plan out my days to find a good balance between work and breaks. This not only maximizes my productivity but also makes studying less painful and drawn-out. I break my study sessions into manageable chunks, typically 50 minutes of work followed by a 10-minute break. This method, known as the Pomodoro Technique, keeps me focused and not bored while studying. Additionally, scheduling regular breaks allows me to relax and recharge, ensuring that I can maintain a high level of performance throughout the day.

Nevertheless, exam period is not all about working. Indeed, staying active is a great way to relieve stress and boost my mood during exams. I make sure to allow 2-3 hours of sport per week. Personally, I love playing tennis or futsal with my friends. Not only does this give me a much-needed break from studying, but it also helps me cope with the pressure of exams. Physical activity clears my mind and gives me the energy I need to stay productive.

Lastly, I know for a fact that phones can be incredibly distracting, especially with social media constantly vying for our attention. During exam periods, the best solution I found to avoid having my phone around me while studying is restriction apps like Opal . As we all need to keep our phone nearby to connect on Blackboard, restriction apps are the best way to limit my access to social media while being able to have access to WhatsApp and other important apps for breaks or in case of emergency. This method really helps me stay disciplined and encourage me to focus on my work.

These five strategies have truly helped me cope with the pressures of exam periods. However, even implementing just one of these tips can be incredibly beneficial. Each of these strategies can help you navigate exams more smoothly, improve your overall well-being, and ultimately, boost your grades.


Written by Paul-Arthur, current BSc International Management student at AMBS