The Bubble’s Top Exam Tips

How to stress less and work more this exam period…

Worried about exams? No need to stress! Hannah Griffiths asked The Bubble editorial team for their top tips this exam season.

Make sure to do something fun while you’re revising! Even if it’s just watching an episode of something on Netflix or reading a chapter of a (non-educational!) book, plan in some relaxation time every day.
Emma Sankey (Travel Editor)

Split up your day of revision into manageable chunks – 3 2.5 hour periods, or more if you can manage it, so that you can get different aspects of revision done and still have breaks in between!
Jessie Honnor (Causes Editor)

Exercise! Great way to relieve the tension and stress of exams and you always feel so much better afterwards. Plenty of sleep, no point working till early hours of the morning because you’ll just be knackered the next day. And plan your revision fully so that you have aims for each day! And feel more confident because you’re making progress once they’re met.
Beth Balkham (Features Editor)

I am going to second exercise. It invigorates you for more efficient use of your study hours. Yes, it does take up some time but it is definitely a worthy investment. I recommend swimming as you aren’t going to damage yourself.
Finn Bruton (Television Editor)

For all the procrastinators out there (me included), stop yourself from becoming overwhelmed from the amount of work you have to do, make a manageable to do list every day. Think about what you can realistically do that day and make sure to get it done. When you complete that list you get a real sense of achievement and it boosts your confidence for the next day. Before you know it you’ll be flying through your work!
Megan Cutts (Deputy Drama Editor & Publicity Officer)

Nail the playlist! Whether that’s chill acoustic, deep house, Top 40 or the Lord of the Rings soundtrack- choose whatever is going to relax and motivate you. Just don’t be that guy/girl that annoys everyone in the Bill Bryson with your ‘Genesis Through the Decades’ playlist leaking loudly out of your headphones
Lewis Lloyd-Kinnings (Music Editor)

Never underestimate the value of writing notes out by hand. As slow as it may seem, summarising your notes through writing them out really helps them stick with you for longer!
Charlie Appleton (Gaming Editor)Make sure you eat well. You need to feed your brain and your body over the marathon that is exam season. It’s certainly okay to treat yourself to chocolate and cakes galore as a motivational snack, but don’t neglect your 5 a day! I tend to get a little bit off kilter and moody (aka ‘hangry’) when I’m not eating properly. A healthy body – and a healthy appetite – really does equal a healthy mind!
Ella Hill (Art and Photography Editor)

I use the Pomodoro method when I revise – solid work for 25 minutes and then a 5-minute break. After I’ve done this 4 times, I’ll have a half-hour long break, and then repeat until I’m done for the day. The 5-minute break gives my mind a rest, and I usually use it to satiate my social media/food/hot beverages/daydreaming urges, which motivates me to get through the work and diminishes any distractions.
Scott Musgrove (Sex & Love Editor)

Don’t cram the night before your exams; it’s much better to relax, do something fun and take your mind off of things before having an early night. I personally like to read because I think it can help you relax into sleep more naturally, giving you a more fulfilled night’s sleep.
Ben Vickers (Gaming Editor)

Start big! When revising topics that seem overwhelming, try to get a holistic picture and understanding by creating mind maps. After that, you can focus your revision and you’ll be more able to create big thematic links in your head!
Lydia Light (Assistant Editor & History Editor)

Have something to look forward to: it’s much easier to motivate yourself to do a day’s work if you know you’re going to do something fun with your friends at the end of the day/week.
Jack Parkes (Drama Editor)

Take long walks between revision sessions, even revise outside. Eat well and get a lot of sleep, making sure you’ll be in a cycle that’ll mean you’re not completely exhausted for a 9:30am exam. Make sure you keep doing the things you enjoy, especially sports and anything active, anything social.
Oliver Stephenson (Music Editor)

While it helps some people to study many various topics per day to break the monotony, if you find you’re actually the kind of person who ends up flitting restlessly all over the place, panicking that you’re not doing enough of everything you have to do at once (therefore preventing yourself from making any real progress), it can help if you decide to focus entirely on one module for a day and give it your full undivided attention, putting all others out of mind until their own designated day. It can help your life feel less cluttered.
Julia Sanderson (Design Officer)Create as pressure-free a mindset as possible. I’ve seen plenty of people have complete meltdowns over exam stress, which is generally counter-productive for revision and even worse for your well-being. That doesn’t mean slacking off, just taking a more holistic approach. Personally, I like to take the results side out of the equation and think, ‘’I’ll work hard and see what happens, because really that’s all I can do’‘. That way, it doesn’t matter if you end up with a 1st or a 2:2, you can say you gave it your best shot.
Alex Cheah (Sport Editor)

I can certainly recommend re-reading your formative essays. For one first year module, two of the exam questions were literally exactly the same as my formatives, and that ended up being my highest mark that year. I also agree about not worrying too much: there is almost no situation in which worry is a useful emotion.
Thom Addinall-Biddulph (General Editor)

For most of the humanities and social sciences, learn a bit about Marxist theory and you can apply it in almost any exam question for a few marks when you’re stuck…
Josh Newmark (World Affairs Editor)

Leave your phone at home. It only distracts you from work and it doesn’t really help de-stress you. So sit outside, perhaps even by the river (if you can mind the midgies, that is), leave your phone and bring healthy snacks. If you do get distracted it’ll be by birds, or children running, or trees, or a view of Durham Cathedral, and not by Facebook…
Oliver Stephenson (Music Editor)

Create colourful posters that can be dotted around your bedroom. As well as brightening up your walls, it helps with long-term memory establishment, as you are seeing the posters numerous times a day. It is scientifically proven that long-term memory depends on the construction of new proteins (unlike short-term memory), which results in synapse reinforcement and strengthened neuronal pathways.
Rebekah Winckle (Science and Technology Editor)

Self-care is absolutely paramount! Never let your grades get in the way of your mental wellbeing.
Scott Musgrove (Sex & Love Editor)

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