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Exam Survival Tips

Blog | Adelaide | Glen Rd

Many students, particularly first-year students dread the end of semester exams. They might be stressful but there are ways to tilt the odds in your favour. Try these tips before your next test.


Use campus resources

Most students don’t take full advantage of their university’s resources. Your campus most likely offers tutoring, study rooms, professor office hours, computer labs, review sessions, or, at the very least a quiet library for studying. You’re paying for all of this as part of tuition so if your university has free tutoring, sign up! Have questions on the material? Ask your professor or teaching assistant during office hours.


Eat a proper breakfast

Don’t take an exam on an empty stomach! Make sure you get up early enough to eat a real breakfast that’s high in protein (think eggs, meat, or nuts). Breakfast is well-known for kick starting mental processes and raising test scores. It’s hard to take an important exam on an empty stomach.



Exercise has been proven to help people learn and memorise new information. Interestingly, current research shows that exercise is most effective when done a few hours after learning something. Consider going on a jog three or four hours after a study session. At the very least, physical activity will improve brain function and general health.


Never study on the morning of the exam

It’s fine to review material you’ve already studied but never try to learn something new the day of the test. The information is unlikely to stick and you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed. Instead, go through note cards, look at definitions, and quiz yourself. Don’t overdo it! 20 minutes of review should be more than enough if it’s the morning of the exam.


These tips may seem simple but few students follow them. Many campuses have a dedicated tutoring centre, for example, and most students will never set foot inside. Math labs, study rooms, review sessions, and office hours are all there to help you through your next exam. Studying in advance, exercising, and eating well will give you an edge. Above all, relax–you’ve got this.


You’ve got this! Smash those exams!

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