Exam Essentials: Everything You Need To Ace Exam Season


Exam season is here and you’re feeling it. There are many tips and tricks available to help make this exam season your best one yet. Here are the best of the best for you to review before heading into the thick of exams.

Cover the Basics

Before you get started on your studying, make sure that you have the right equipment. If you’re using a laptop, make sure you have a charger. Likewise with your phone and headphones, because there is nothing worse than getting into a groove and having your devices die when you need them most.

Sickness and exams do NOT mix well, but unfortunately, we are all more prone to getting sick at this time. All the more reason to take care of yourself. Be sure that you are eating well and stocking up on vitamins. Research some vitamin-rich foods and teas that you can increase in your diet during this time of the year too.

Nighttime should be used for sleeping (not cramming in your studying or late-night assignments)! Try to sleep at least 7 hours. If it helps, take a quick nap during a study break. You might be excited to learn that quick naps between studying have been proven to actually help the brain process and retain information. All the more reason to sleep!

Keep it Colourful

This time of year can seem very grey, so bring out the colours! Get creative and use highlighters to colour code different sections of your notes based on categories. Some helpful categories are: Key Topics, Names/Numbers, Lists, Formulas/Formats and General Interest. Try to also keep a colour set aside for topics that you know you will be needing to review, especially if you know that you will see them on the final.

Don’t Cram — Plan!

Plan out study sessions so you won’t have to cram at the last minute. Try to schedule your exam studying a few days before the exam and switch it up every now and then. Research has demonstrated that spacing out study sessions improves your long-term memory retention, so take a few days to study and don’t leave it until the last night. If you have material that overlaps between classes, try to invest more time into understanding it. Have a roomie? Reading your notes out aloud forms auditory links in our memory called the Production Effect. Read your keynotes to get them stuck in your head (instead of a catchy bop).

Be Prepared for the Day

On the day of the exam, be sure that you have reviewed all of the materials that will be covered and ensure that you have all the tools you need to take the exam. Whether it’s a standard calculator or a ruler, be sure that you have it packed. Don’t forget your Student ID! If colour coding is helpful, bring highlighters to help break up the questions on your exam sheet. 

Finally, give yourself some time to feel prepared. Take a long shower or bubble bath and allow yourself to relax before the exam. Even a hot cup of tea can do the trick if you’re in a rush. Try to ensure that you’re on campus early to get yourself in the right mindset and to the right building!

Take advantage of these study techniques and breeze through the exam questions with confidence. Give yourself ample time and space to practice and absorb these techniques, customize them for your courses and study for your exam. Good luck!

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