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Best wishes for the final exams of 2019

Posted on October 31, 2019

With exams around the corner, we thought we’d give you some helpful tips to stay ahead with your work, studies and revision.

Remember that a good semester mark will really help you to do well before exams, so if there are any assignments or assessments that you still need to do, make sure you do your best to do well in them.

Preparation is key when it comes to studying, so remember that you need to plan and manage your time well. Be disciplined by having a study plan and following it. Having a good diet and eating healthy, affordable foods that help boost your brain power will do you a world of good compared to refined sugars, excessive caffeine and energy drinks. Healthy living is THE UP WAY and it will help you have a sustained energy flow through the exam period.

It’s important to identify and know what study strategies work best for you and your style of studying. Do you prefer to make mind maps or tables or to use images and key words? Or do you remember your work better when you activate different senses or use colour coding notes and summaries?

Summarise the work effectively and extract the main point of each paragraph after you’ve read and understood it. Write it down in your own words or summarise it (correctly) in a way that you understand. If you’re not sure or don’t understand something or are not certain if your summary is correct, ask a friend who knows the subject well, or your tutor or lecturer.

Work towards gaining insight into the work and be able to explain things to yourself by understanding the underlying principles of the work.

Leave enough time for revision and revise your work. Remember that you can only revise something if you already know it, so study first and then go over your notes for revision.

Consult with tutors or lecturers if there are any challenges or obstacles hampering your understanding. We’re here to help you, difficulty in grasping concepts or being confused by a topic could impact on your understanding later on with more complicated work, so ask for help if you are confused or don’t understand something.

Make a study timetable and take regular breaks to maximise your concentration. Your maximum concentration span is 35 – 45 minutes. Don’t study for too long without refreshing your mind by taking a break and take regular breaks after each study session. Your mind does not absorb information effectively if you are tired.

Test yourself using past papers and mark them to see how much you know. Real learning is in applying what you know and past papers are a good way of checking how much you know and how well you know it. If you don’t understand a question or how to get to the correct answer, ask your tutor or lecturer or a friend who is great at the subject.

Control your stress levels and try to keep calm. If your stress and anxiety levels feel overwhelming and you feel like you are suicidal or depressed and cannot cope, please contact the counsellors at the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) for counselling and assistance, or speak to your Faculty Student Advisers. All the contact details are available on this handy infographic available on the DSA site.

Remember, there’s only 24 hours in a day and you need enough time to sleep, eat, and take regular breaks. Here’s a handy list of exam hacks that you can use and also share with your friends!

Best wishes to all our students over the exam period. We know you’ve worked hard all year, so do your best and don’t be afraid to try. We hope to see our final-year students collect their qualifications on stage in our Autumn Graduations in 2020! Relax and have a great summer holiday after your exams.

- Author Shakira Hoosain and Hestie Byles
Published by Hlengiwe Mnguni

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