Ahhh, it’s exam time again.

It can be quite daunting if it’s been a while since your last exam, especially if you’re brand new to a subject or have found the module itself quite difficult.
But we’re here to help with some of those exam anxieties. Exanieties, if you will… ok maybe we don’t call it that… but still!

Everyone gets nervous before a big exam. It’s a perfectly natural reaction to something important and although it’s ok to have some nerves beforehand, you don’t want them getting to the point where you’re feeling so anxious and flustered that your mind goes blank as soon as you turn the first page.

So, here’s some advice we’ve put together to help you get through the exam period, with as few nerves as possible.

A cartoon student wearing blue, is looking anxious at their desk whilst looking at their notes and computer screen

Not sure where to start?

Then why not try some of the library’s workshops? There are a host of helpful workshops available for you to attend. From mindfulness for concentration, to learning strategies to help with exam stress, there’s lots of different workshops you can go to that may help you feel a bit more at ease around the exam period.


Find the technique that works for you!

Although it’s great that you are determined and want to do the best that you can, remember that it’s essential that you are also kind to yourself when studying and revising. What works for some people, may not work for you, and that’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with finding your own way of doing things. Everyone has their own techniques when it comes to revising and exams, and there are a whole variety of methods you can use. Don’t be afraid to try something new! Sometimes it just takes a bit of time for us to find something that fits how we think, and how we work.

Understanding how you prefer to learn will only benefit you further when studying for your exams.

Do you know what kind of learner you are?

Are you a kinetic learner, someone who learns through being hands on, using movement and the environment around you to help you focus and retain information? Do you find that you learn a process by completing it?

Perhaps you’re more auditory? Does listening to a recording of a lecture help you absorb the information better? Do your notes make more sense when you read them out loud to yourself or to others? Can you understand verbal instructions a lot better than written instructions?

Or maybe you’re a visual learner? Where written instructions work far better for you than verbal ones do? Have you noticed that you use a lot of colour to separate your notes, and find that it helps you see and understand things more clearly? Do pictures or drawings help you to remember things?


There are plenty of ways to learn and finding what fits you best can only make the revision process easier. Try this quick quiz to see what kind of learner you are!

A cartoon student is sat on a blanket taking notes and listening to music

DASS Support

There are also exam support resources available for students who have registered with DASS. The deadline to request support during the January exam period has passed now, but the DASS team are always around if you have any questions for future exams.

If you’ve already registered for exam support and are wondering what this will entail, head to the DASS website where they have a handy guide on what kind of support is available for you. There are lots of different support options available, it will just depend on your circumstances which one will be best for you.


Be kind to yourself

Putting so much pressure on yourself doesn’t always help when revising or preparing for exams.

There are two quotes that come to mind:

“The same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg.”


“Diamonds are formed under pressure, but they aren’t formed overnight”

Remember your limits. This isn’t to say not to work hard, or not to bother revising, but to remember that we’re all doing the best we can. We are always our own worst critics, unfortunately; that means that sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves that we lose sight of everything we’re doing well, and everything we have achieved so far. Like the first quote mentions, the same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg. For some, putting that much pressure on themselves is a great motivational driver, some people work their best in high pressure situations; but for others, that level of pressure only makes them feel like they aren’t getting anywhere fast, and can make absorbing information that much more difficult. Find what works for you and run with that. If that’s different from what your peers are doing, that’s fine! If you’re finding a particular method useful and it’s helping you feel confident – go for it.

But should things not go to plan; if it gets to the big day and something does go wrong – that’s ok! It happens; not every exam is going to go perfectly. We can’t be perfect 100% of the time no matter how hard we try, and no matter how much we push ourselves. It’s how you handle it, and move on from it, that’s the most important thing. If you want a little more guidance on dealing with exams and results not quite going the way you’d hoped, follow this link to our exam support page.

Self-care is important every step of the way. Make sure you’re still taking part in things you enjoy outside of revising. Self-care throughout the exam period is better than after care once your exams are over. Keep some time aside to do some things for yourself, even if it’s just for a short while. It’s important to look after yourself whilst dealing with a large workload. Though things can feel very overwhelming and stressful when you’re in revision mode, you still need to make some time to relax and recuperate, as you’ll be the best version of yourself – well rested and ready to go!

A green cartoon post it note that reads "Be gentle with yourself"


Trust yourself!


It’s a classic piece of advice but remember to trust yourself! You know what you’re doing, even when it all feels overwhelming. Our best piece of advice is if it’s starting to feel like you’re getting a little lost in your notes, or you’re struggling to retain everything you’ve just spent the last hour reading, then take a break.

Exams and studying take a lot out of you, so remember to take breaks and rest as much as possible.
Although an all-night revising session may sound like the best way to cram everything in, sleep deprivation can make that sense of overwhelm and pressure feel that bit worse. And like the second quote says, “Diamonds are formed under pressure, but not formed overnight”. Sometimes going slow and steady is the best method. Small chunks of studying followed by short breaks may help you more than long sessions of revising.
Again, it depends on what works best for you! (Although we still don’t recommend all-nighters… sleep deprivation can really take a toll on your body and mental wellbeing!)

In that break from your studies, move your body around as much as you’re able, try your best to keep hydrated and fuel your body with snacks! It can also help to remove yourself from your study environment for a little while; changing up your scenery can make such a difference! It will help you come back refreshed and ready to start back where you left off.

A green and orange cartoon graphic of a brain that has a plug socket on the end


Try to take some time to reflect. Look at all the hard work you’ve put into your assignments so far and remember that although this is a stressful time, you are more than capable of achieving great things. Stressful situations are temporary, but your resilience and determination are permanent.

You’ve got this! Even if it doesn’t always feel like you do.

But, if you find yourself struggling and you’re looking for some support, you can always contact the University’s Counselling and Mental Health services who may be able to help and guide you to finding the best solution to your issue. There is also Health Assured, a 24/7 helpline and wellbeing app, run by trained wellbeing advisors and counsellors. They can support you with a whole range of concerns, so if you can please speak to someone who can help rather than going through some hard feelings on your own.

We’re here for you every step of the way! Our student support teams are available to help you with a variety of queries and concerns. Head to their website to find out more.

We hope you found this useful! And we’re wishing you all the best with your exams!


Other helpful links:

Search for past exam papers

The ultimate guide to revision

Can’t find your exam timetable?
Head here for more information on how to access your exam timetable.

A guide to on campus exams

Upcoming exam periods:

16th – 27th January 2023

15th May – 7th June

21st August – 1st September 2023