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Maximising Your Exam-Prep

With university finishing for the semester and SWOTVAC (Study Without Teaching Vacation) fast approaching, Josh shares his top five lifehacks for making the most of your study time and preparing for exam time.

1. Learn how you Study.

If you are anything like me, you’re a visual learner. We need diagrams and pictures to understand the content, specifically academic content - which can be hard to understand at the best of times. So, if in doubt, draw it out – don’t be afraid to get creative and use colours to differentiate different topics or concepts. You can even create a mind map. Use study techniques such as the Pomodoro technique to help you stay focused and avoid distractions. This technique breaks down tasks into 30-minute chunks with 10 minutes of rest in between. 

Bonus: You can learn more about the Pomodoro technique by watching the Lifehacks episode here

2. Peer support is your friend.

If you are doing the same subject as a friend, study together. There is a saying that two brains are better than one, and that is true when it comes to studying and understanding the content. When studying with a partner or study group, you can bounce ideas off each other and ask questions of each other to understand better. Yes, the exam may test the individual, but that does not mean you must prepare alone. You can even book time with your tutor or teacher to go over content - they want you to succeed even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. So, book out a study room with some friends, put some study music on, and get ready to ace those exams while helping each other succeed. 

3. Understand your accommodations and support.

Many universities or education providers have a disability-specific department. It may be faculty-based, or your student union may run it. This department’s job is to help students get the best out of their education and may provide disability and accessibility accommodation and alternative assessments. Make sure to sign up with your disability department prior to your exams so they can help you work out a plan to manage your studies best. Remember, they are there to help you succeed, so make the most of it. 

4. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Many resources exist purely to help people study. Websites like Quizlet or Studiosity can help you understand and remember content, while apps like Forest can help you stay focused and avoid the distractions around you.

5. Look after your well-being.

The end of the Semester can be challenging, but it can also be fun! Whether it be university or high school, there are bound to be end-of-semester events and festivities where you can let loose and forget about your studies for a while. These can often be found on your student union’s website or through clubs and societies. Student Unions may also offer services such as members’ free breakfast and a study snack service. If you require someone to talk to about exam or studying pressures, there are support systems in place. Most education institutions also have a dedicated well-being team with Doctors, Nurses, therapists, and psychologists. CPSN (CEREBRAL PALSY SUPPORT NETWORK) is also here to support you - you can also ask Amy, our experienced telehealth nurse or you can book a time with our partner counsellor Thea Keane (you can book a free initial meet and greet session or receive funding through your NDIS plan.) 

Final Takeaway:

Remember, exam season is not the be-all and end-all, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. There are more ways to get to where you want to be than the grades you get or even the qualifications you receive. So, whatever you do, just be yourself, and you will be fine. 



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