There are no shortcuts to achieving wide academic knowledge and good grades, but some tips may help you along the way!
Prepare yourself professionally
- Make a plan. Count the number of days you have available for reading in each subject. Make sure to prioritise the most important parts of the curriculum. Set up your plan so that it gives you enough time to read the most important themes in your subject.
- Be smart with your time. Read when you are well rested. Save the boring stuff like doing your laundry, cleaning your room or taking out the trash till you find it difficult to stay concentrated.
- Focus upon the main contents of the syllabus. Learn the key words and concepts.
- Get familiar with the learning outcomes of the course plan. You are likely to be tested in some of this.
- Think output, not input. It is not the number of pages you have read that matters, but what you actually are able to reproduce.
- Don’t just read the text. Memorise, call a class mate and discuss, write summaries, practice with test exams related to your topic. You will learn more efficiently this way than if you were just reading and you will be more prepared for taking the exams.
- Before a home exam, it is wise to
- prepare tables, figures or diagrams you are likely to use on the exam. Draw by hand or computer and prepare as much as you can, that will save you time on the actual exam.
- have the bibliography ready. At the home exam, you may have all the books and tools available. Remember that you should always refer to the source for academic arguments, models, theories, research results and the like, that other people have come to.
...and take good care of yourself:
- Eat and drink smart. We reccoment to start your day with breakfast, eat regularly and choose water to drink. Keep your blood sugar level stable, it contributes to increased concentration and performance.
- Physical activity affects your mental health, concentration and sleep, and it improves your self-esteem. Remember to get some fresh air every day.
- Go to bed and start the day at the same time every day. Finish your studying minimum 2 hours before you go to bed, and do something nice and relaxing.
- Do you struggle with negative thoughts like; "I will forget everything I've read" or "I'll never be able to take my exam"? Say STOP to your inner critic and talk to yourself as you would talk to your best friend. Be your own supporter.
- Take a breath! Find a comfortable resting position. Pay attention to your breath. Put your hands on your abdomen, over your belly button, and inhale and exhale deep and calm. Breathing is the most important tool we have to prevent stress, remember to use it!
- Lower your expectations. You can not be on top of everything. In the exam periode the studies will need your full attention, and you might need to let other things go.
- Take breaks.
- Get help if necessary. Most people want to manage on their own. If you lose concentration, feel sad, or you are struggling with everyday routines, it can be nice to talk to someone. It's important to stop a negative development before it evolves.
We are here for you!
Remember that you can always contact a Student Counsellor if you have questions or just need someone to talk to. We will support you as best we can, so that you can succeed with your studies and exam preparation.
We wish you all the best of luck!