Making it through Finals

26 October 2021

Feeling stressed in the lead up to exams? We’ve been there. No matter which semester you’re in, final exams can be a nightmare of anxiety for many of us. With endless readings, recordings, and notes to go through, the workload can feel overwhelming. But studying for exams doesn’t have to drain all of your energy and leave you feeling chronically stressed.

Current UQ students Eva Huang and Rita Peng share their best study tips to help you make it through finals in one piece.

Plan your time

Exam prep can seem overwhelming when you have multiple courses to study for but breaking down your workload can make it much more manageable. Make a to-do list, split your tasks into smaller study sessions, and set time limits for the sessions to help you keep on top of your studying. At the end of each session, you can assess your progress and decide whether you should keep going, switch to another task, or take a study break. Don’t forget to prioritise the subjects you find challenging by allocating extra study time. By staying organised, finals won’t seem so daunting and you’ll feel much more confident in your exam preparation.

Cope with your stress

Stress is inevitable when it comes to studying for exams, and we all know too much stress can make studying even harder by impacting our health, making it more difficult to sleep, eat, and concentrate. It’s so important to use healthy strategies to cope with stress during exam prep. Our favourite way to relieve stress is through deep breathing exercises to relieve anxiety. Get comfortable, and begin to breathe in through your nose, and breathe out slowly through your pursed lip. Feel your belly rise with each inhale and lower with each exhale. Take three full, deep breaths, and you will be ready for any challenges! And if in doubt, try getting a little extra Vitamin C, which can help to reduce the level of stress hormones in the blood. Next time you reach for a study snack, skip the processed crisps and grab an orange, kiwifruit or strawberries instead. Lastly, remember that finals are temporary, and you got this!

Pictures are helpful

They say, a picture is worth a thousand words. This saying is especially true when you incorporate images into your study. The use of pictures has not only shown to enhance your ability to memorise content, but it also helps facilitate your understanding of the subject matter. Understanding naturally leads to the formation of memories, so using pictures really brings your study technique full circle. Using images may lighten your study load, so why not get creative and give it a try?

Take breaks – it’s important

Be kind to yourself. You have been doing a fantastic job. So, ease up and give yourself a break! It helps to clear space in your brain and increase your productivity. Small breaks between your study sessions could be the best reward ever. Give yourself a half hour for every two hours you work. Go for a walk outside for fresh air, stand up and stretch to ease your body tension, or take a quick shower - anything that cheers you up and makes you feel refreshed. After all, that’s when you’ll do your best work!

Written by Eva Huang and Rita Peng