What to do if you’re feeling behind on exam prep

University life can be a challenge for all of us, especially when it comes to exam preparation. As the deadline looms closer, you may begin to feel overwhelmed, and the thought of failure can lead to unnecessary stress. However, with the right mindset and tips, you can effectively tackle the exams and emerge victorious! 

To start, let’s talk about PASS Leaders. These are students who have successfully completed the course and can provide valuable insights into the course material. Make use of their knowledge and experience to prepare better for your own exams. PASS leaders can also give you strategies to pass exams such as practicing previous papers, studying the marking scheme and understanding the syllabus.  

Finding a buddy or a study group is another great way to tackle the exams together. This can keep you motivated and provide the opportunity to exchange notes and information. As our Senior Learning Advisor Ms. Alison Hillier at the University of Newcastle mentioned, “It is nice to have someone with whom you can connect on the course material and get an understanding of what your friend thinks about a particular topic.” It can also be beneficial to attend the final lecture before the exam, as this may highlight essential points or clear up any doubts that you might have. If the course coordinator has not given any practice questions or study material in the final lecture, you can always ask! 

Group of five students studying together

Moreover, our university websites offer many resources such as template documents for prep, schedule templates and study plan templates. You can find these templates and documents in Learning Resources section in our website. Keep in mind that it’s important to take breaks, have downtime and rejuvenate yourself, so that you can come back stronger and refreshed. Go for a walk to the beach or a park or indulge in any other hobby to give your mind a break. You can also revisit the lecture topics by downloading MP3 files from the canvas website and listen to them while you are out for a run on the beach! 

Most importantly, scout the exam room beforehand so that you’re not worried about the location on the day of the exam. Checking the logistical and technical aspects of the exam before can save you a lot of time and worry on the day. Planning and strategising your study plan can also be an essential aspect in effective exam preparation. 

The words "stay motivated" written on a chalkboard, with a read heart where the "o" is

With these tips and strategies, it’s never too late to ace the exams! Stay motivated, stay focused and keep in mind the words of wisdom by Aristotle – “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”  

Keep up the hard work, and success will follow! 

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