Are you a crammer? One of those people who leave studying to the last minute? Do you prefer to go out with friends or enjoy a good night’s sleep rather than stay up all night studying? Well, bad luck! It’s nearly exam time again so prepare for another stressful and overwhelming time.
Organisation and preparation are key, but there are a few other ways in which you can make this time more useful. To help you keep on track the Newsroom has compiled a list of helpful tips on what NOT to do when preparing for exams.
1. Enter into a fierce bidding war on Ebay
Most of us love a bit of online shopping. Snagging a bargain can bring about a feeling of deep satisfaction.
But the night before an exam, bidding on an item that you can’t possibly live without is probably not in your best interests.
“The night before my HSC exam I was in a fierce bidding war for a Chanel handbag on Ebay and I lost. I’d been holding it together in such a stressful time… That was just the catalyst and I just broke down and spent the rest of the night crying on my study notes instead of reading them.” – Elizabeth Cullen, journalism student
2. Use social media and start up new accounts
Spare yourself the heartache: deactivate your Facebook or any other social media accounts for the week. Not only will this stop you from seeing all the fun things your friends are probably up to, it will also stop hours of unnecessary stalking. Also, refrain from starting a new social media account in the lead up to your exam – that has disaster written all over it!
“I created a Tumblr a week before my uni exams and it was not a good idea. I was on that the whole time… [Now] I don’t have Facebook open and I try not to look at Tumblr; if I do it’s like 10 minutes max!” – Alana Scott, student
3. Become addicted to a TV series days before your exam
A TV series can be addictive at the best of times. You watch one episode then you feel compelled to finish the season or as many seasons as you can manage within 24 hours. The latest season of Gossip Girl is going to be on DVD for many years to come, so please don’t feel compelled to spark a romance with a TV show the week of your exam.
“I watched the whole 10 seasons of 90210 while I was studying. I finished the last season two days before my HSC exam so I basically had to cram and do an all-nighter.” – Bianca Mureddu, journalism student
“You’re like ‘I just wanna watch the next episode…’ Or you’ll hear about TV shows and you’ll be like ‘Oh, I might watch them’, then you end up watching the whole season in the two days you’re meant to be studying!” – Sarah Townsley, student
4. Go four-wheel driving during your exam break
You may have just got yourself a new car, or just really enjoy adventuring. Either way, now is probably not the time to be living life on the edge. Keep exam breaks strictly for extra study or eating.
“It was the final day of QCS I think, and during the super long lunch breaks we had it started to rain. So me and a friend went four-wheel driving out near the Cooroy highway exit (Sunshine Coast, QLD). We got stuck in a creek crossing and had to call someone and get him to pick us up so we could do the afternoon session – covered in mud. Then we had to go and get the car after school.” – Ryan Agnew, marine engineer, 24
5. Embark on an all-you-can-eat week
Food is wonderful, but for some reason it becomes even more delicious at exam time. Whipping up snacks when you’re supposed to be studying, or taking five ‘breathers’ to the nearest shop to buy chocolate is not going to get your study done. Now is neither the time to brush up on your Masterchef skills, nor to eat the supermarket out of TimTams. Do yourself a favour and save the indulging for after your exam.
“I stayed up all night eating around a kilo of lollies… instead of studying. Slept through my alarm, barely slept, went to the exam in the same clothes as the day before… Not that funny, but its definitely one exam that’s stuck in my head for life!” – Alexandra Schladetsch, 22, law student
6. Cram until you can’t possibly cram anymore
While procrastinating can seem like a great option at the time, reality eventually sets in. With less than a few days to go (or in most cases a day), you’ll embark on a caffeine-fuelled study bender. Sound familiar? We’re all guilty at some point of cramming before an exam, and while it may work for some, think of how much more sane and confident you would feel if you were to spread your study load over a week or two!
“I had an exam once where I had to learn another written language. I pretty much never went to any of the classes or ever read my book. It got to about five days before the exam and I realised I knew nothing. I literally read my book night in day out, made palm cards and all that, until my head literally hurt. I started dreaming the words in my sleep and would like wake up saying them. It was so bad!” – Stacey Cummens, 22
“The night before my exam I was like ‘I got this shit down’, then I went in there and was like ‘Ah, no, I don’t.” – Jason Sandercock, AIM student
7. Drink the night before and wake up late
Getting drunk the night before an exam is a big no no! Not only are you likely to wake up feeling ridiculously under the weather, there’s the possibility you may not even sit the exam… Did someone forget to set their alarm? Save the celebrations for after the exam – your bank account will love you for it and so will your exam paper.
“In my first semester at uni I went on a four-day bender during finals week and last year I slept through an alarm and missed an entire exam!” – Michelle Jones, marketing student
“Before my English exam for the HSC, my parents were like ‘You gotta go out because you’re about to become a man and get into the workplace’. When we went out my parents handed me a goon sack and I just completely downed it… I don’t think I’ve ever had a hangover, but that was the first time I’ve come close to one.” – Patrick Mendoza, student
Compiled by Paige Ahearn