It’s normal to view the exam period with trepidation but there’s plenty of support available for you. Here are our 5 tips to help you to prepare for the January assessment season.
1. Finding a Balance
When revising, it’s very important that we take time to look after ourselves. Resting and relaxing can massively improve our overall wellbeing, as well as helping us to avoid burn out. Take a look at our guides to revision and rest, looking after wellbeing at home and our wellbeing ideas calendar for inspiration.
Adding structure to our days, and allocating time for our wellbeing, allows us to switch off and be more productive in the time we do spend working. Planning and structuring your day, using our revision wellbeing planner, can help you to keep focused and motivated before January assessments. For inspiration on how you can look after your wellbeing, check out this wellbeing ideas calendar for a daily inspiration of keeping both your body and mind safe and well.
Also, if things start to feel like they’re getting overwhelming during the assessment period, try one of the Counselling Service’s Calm Your Brain workshops, running daily until Friday 28 January.
2. Getting Prepared
Firstly, make sure you know when your exams are taking place via our online exam timetable! Then, the Library has a whole host of online resources designed to get you prepared for your assessments. The resources include articles on open book assessments, a guide outlining revision strategies and a tool that allows you to practise breaking down exam questions and planning your subsequent answers. Headlining all of this is the comprehensive Start to Finish: Revision guide, which brings everything together in one place. It might seem overwhelming to try and work out where to start, so why not focus on working with one or two resources a week? If you’re tired of staring at your computer screen, why not try the Library’s revision podcasts? The podcasts cover a range of areas, including motivation, managing exam stress and time management. Finally, you may want to know more about how your work is marked and moderated, as well as the support in place for you at our exam boards and through the mitigating circumstances process. If so, have a look at this article.
3. Looking After Your Digital Wellbeing
Being aware of how we use technology and how its use can affect us has never been more important in terms of studying and living sustainably. Digital wellbeing is one of the six digital capabilities , defined by Jisc, that ‘equip someone to live, learn and work in a digital society’. If you’re interested in exploring and reflecting on your digital wellbeing as January assessments approach, have a look at this article on ‘How to look after your digital wellbeing‘.
4. Staying Motivated and Managing Your Workload
It’s difficult to stay focused and motivated when you don’t know where to start and tasks seem insurmountable. Structuring your day when you are revising can help you to commit to plans and stick to them. It can also help you to break down what might seem like an overwhelming workload into more manageable tasks by focusing on ‘The Next Thing’, as the video above explains. The Student Support team’s Assessment Support page has a range of resources to help you stay motivated and focused, including a Revision Wellbeing and Goal planners. The Student Support website also has a range of resources designed to help students in managing their workload and motivation levels, including newsletters written by a UoM student who graduated during lockdown on focus and motivation, revision strategies, and feeling overwhelmed, drawing from their own experiences of being a student during the pandemic. Finally, the SALC ‘Managing Your Time and Workload in a Digital World’ resource has tips to help you to stay focused and on top of things whilst studying online.
5. Talk to Someone
Talking through your revision strategies and any problems that you come across is a really effective way to release some pressure. If you are able to, try talking another student on your course to compare notes and talk through any themes you might be struggling with. Your Academic Advisor and course tutors will also be available during the exam period to talk things over with you.
There is also a wealth of support available for you if you are feeling isolated. The Student Union’s Buddy Scheme is open and Togetherall, the free, online community monitored by trained clinicians offering free mental health and wellbeing support, is also available 24/7. On top of that, you can speak to a trained advisor any time of the day or night via the University’s Mental Health helpline.
SALC’s Student Support and Engagement Team, Emma and Amy are also here to talk through any issues that you might be having. To book a telephone or Zoom appointment, please email them at email@example.com.