Exam Season: Tips and Tricks


Aileen O’Leary gives her tips to acing exam season.


With lectures finishing up, you now have more time than ever to get your head in the books. Make every day between now and your exams count by tackling at least two sets of lecture slides a day, or more if you’re feeling particularly motivated. Make a timetable for revision and try to stick to it as closely as possible every day. What I find works, is dividing your timetable into five days, Monday to Friday and give yourself a cut-off point at the end of each day. Don’t try to study late into the night because you won’t retain anything when you’re tired.

Note making

Instead of taking down the notes from your laptop and duplicating them into a copybook, try creating your own custom notes with Microsoft word. Print That do great deals on printing out lecture notes, and realistically you won’t be lifting everything straight from the slides so your pile won’t cost a fortune. This is just what works for me, but it will save you time and energy and help ease you into those pesky exams. For some it’s easier to learn with colours, myself included but for others it can cause a headache so try and see what works for you.


One of the most important tips for studying? Stay hydrated. Try to avoid sugary drinks like Redbull and Monster and opt for water and green tea or, if you need a sugar kick, iced tea. During exams the temptation to run on sugar is at its highest but try to remember your body is a temple so treat it like one. Prevent the cravings by always keeping a bottle of water on hand, and if you want to help save the planet why not invest in a reusable water bottle that you can fill on campus instead of buying a bottle a day.

Eat Well

Exam season is the most stressful time for any student in college – with so much to revise you hardly have any time for much else, let alone cooking and eating healthy. Try to avoid the Taytos and biscuits, sharing bars of chocolate, ice cream and pizza. You will end up in a food coma and you’ll feel bloated and sluggish. My advice? Stock up on fruit and veg, try swapping out crisps for almonds or eat dark chocolate instead, it’s bitter and makes you feel fuller faster. When it comes to cooking dinner, head to your local butchers, most of them have student deals and some even do ready meals that you only need to throw in the oven. If you’re craving sweets try having a few grapes or strawberries to beat it.

Don’t dwell on your exams

The most important piece of advice I can give you guys is not to dwell on these exams. You might have had a rough semester or a few modules or essays didn’t go your way but don’t give up or lose hope, you can always make up for it. The worst case scenario is repeating your exams, with a hefty fine, but like most things in life it is only an obstacle and you will get over it. Take it as a learning experience, in future you’ll try harder so you won’t have to go through that again.


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