2020 Exam Guide

How to do everything, do it well, and still have a positive mindset.

My resolution this year was to stop; to say "no" to more things. This is the mindset I’m approaching the last few weeks of the semester with. As I’m sure we're all stressed with the workload of deadlines and exams, below are a few tips to keep calm and get good marks.


Have you heard about the 80/20 rule, aka the Pareto principle?

Divide your time so you’re using more of your effort to fulfill the "vital" 20% over the "trivial" 80%. The tasks that will make the largest impact are usually the hardest, but getting them out of the way will do your future self a favour. This applies to more than just exams!


Include days of study and days of rest. Nothing equates to that feeling of fulfillment you get when ticking off all those hours doing nothing.


Do you know what your best style of learning is? Do this test to determine your best learning style. Use a combination of study methods: recordings, mind maps, charts, symbols, colour coding, flash cards... Engaging with information in a different way can improve memory!


Use the Pomodoro Technique to focus intently for 25 minutes then have a break for 5 minutes. While you rest, you might readjust what you’ll work on next. Flashcard apps like Quizlet, StudyBlue, Brainscape or AnkiApp are great ways to study bitesize information while on the bus, in the queue or on the loo!


There are apps that grant rewards for not touching your phone, like Hold (points to gain real life prizes!) or Forest (grows a tree on your screen).


Your exam performance will improve with confidence! Think about what you do know and forget about what you don’t. Breathe.

Keep calm. If you’re struggling, help is always there for those who ask. The Writing and Learning Center have sessions on Academic Writing, Report Writing, Reflective Writing and more, throughout the year. Wellbeing comes first. Remember you aren’t going through this alone. If you’re stuck, turn to your peers, your tutor or a family member. Make sure you have someone to talk to during this stressful time.

If you don’t have a confidant, Bath Spa have teamed up with the online mental health community Big White Wall. You can also get in touch with a Mental Health Practitioner by emailing studentwellbeing@bathspa.ac.uk.

Check in with yourself. YouTuber Unjaded Jade not only shares exam tricks, but promotes positive affirmations and healthy routines. Speaking of healthy routines, you can find a yoga video in your 20 minute break that will get your body moving and you feeling a lot better! Even sitting outside for that time can be the breather you need to get back to revision with a positive mindset. Remember this week is Stamp Out Stress Week and there are loads of activities happening around campus you can attend to keep you going, from mindful study sessions to wellbeing walks. Approach life with a "less is more" outlook and enjoy what is right in front of you!

What I care to do this year is not only say "no" to more things, but to do the things I do better.


Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.



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