The end of a term is a very bittersweet moment for all students. The term ending means that all groups are finally finished with their coursework submissions and that all of our classes are over. It is at this point that you truly realise how fast an entire semester flew by in the blink of an eye. It also allows us students to reflect upon everything that we’ve learnt and how far we’ve come from where we started.
However, the end of semester also means that exam season is near. This is when our week-long revision break starts, right before our exams. Being an international student, I was very worried about the kind of exam format that I will have to face. Exams at Imperial take a much more practical approach that forces students to think outside theories and definitions and encourages creative thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills. They demand a much more pragmatic approach.
In this blog, I share my top tips of how I coped with this uncertainty and stress around exams.
Get help from your lecturers
The lecturers here at Imperial are extremely helpful at all stages of the semester. Since day one, students can approach them in or after class, email them queries or set-up appointments for doubt-clearing sessions.
Knowing that there will be many queries about the exam paper format, all lecturers provided us with last year’s question papers along with the answer key beforehand and conducted a class dedicated to answering questions about the exams.
Utilise the library
The library is a great place to study as it open 24/7 and provides a space away from distractions. During exam season, the library is filled with students which motivates you even more to put in extra hours of studying.
There are also a vast range of books available, including the ones recommended by the lectures. Also, the library café is only a step away and ensures the students get their caffeine needs fulfilled.
Set goals and stick to a schedule
Another way to deal with exams is making a schedule for oneself. This means deciding on goals for each day, allotting a time frame for the goal of the day and ensuring that you follow it.
It is also important for these goals to be realistic and achievable. Sticking to a planned timetable helps ensure that all concepts are covered with time remaining for revision.
It’s very important to incorporate small breaks into your schedule to help you relax once in a while. Imperial held a Puppy Therapy session that helped students kick back and de-stress. A small break with these furry friends went a long way in helping students unwind and in taking the pressure off to refresh, re-focus and re-energise. Attending any event of your choice or just casually hanging out with your friends can also help you cope with stress.
In the end, what helped me the most to be fully prepared to face these exams was keeping in mind all the tips and advice my professors gave me during the lectures. Their guidance along with a systematic approach to tackling exams helped me in balancing my studies and confidently sitting the exams.