How to prepare for exams

Group of students studying upstairs in Campus Central

It’s that time of the year again, with coursework due and weeks going by so fast, exam season is approaching already!

Worry not! Here are a just a few tips to help you with your preparation and get you on your way. Everything starts with a first step and the rest will fall into place. So let’s dive in…

Create a revision timetable

Give yourself enough time to study: don’t leave it to the last minute. Start drafting a revision timetable as soon as possible. Try to stick to it and organise your study accordingly – you may want to give some exams more study time than others, so find a balance that you feel comfortable with.

Find your study spot

Find a study space that is right for you, and try to get rid of all the possible distractions. For some students, complete silence may be essential in order to focus, if this is the case you may want to find yourself a desk in the 4th floor in our University library, an excellent distraction-free study space! However, do take your time to find your space.


From Monday, 2 April, Level 3 will become a silent study zone along with Level 4 to create as much silent study space as possible in the library.

Open group study facilities continue to be available on level 2 – these are available on a walk-up basis. Bookable group study rooms are available on Levels 3 and 4 and should be booked in advance. Please see the Information Services blog for further details.

We know that life at university can be stressful, especially around exam time, so we aim to provide you with opportunities to make relaxation a part of your time spent in the library. Working constantly without breaks isn’t good for your productivity: when you’re tired and stressed, you can’t take information in or do your best work. So relax and be productive in our Wellbeing Space.

Practice, practice, practice

Practice on past papers. This is one of the most efficient ways to prepare for exams as, very often, your exam will mirror the question-types of previous papers. Ask your module coordinator more about this.

Check out this great Crash Course Study Skills YouTube playlist from one of our favourite YouTubers, Thomas Frank.

Consider studying as a group

Meeting up with your peers to revise and discuss different topics through study groups is an excellent way to go through the different sections and subsections of a specific course. As long as you make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.

Group of students working at computer 3

Take breaks

Take regular breaks. Studying for too long may seem like an effective solution but, in reality, it may be counterproductive. Develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, start early and give yourself a long lunch break. However, if you study better at night, give yourself a break earlier.

Keep yourself hydrated and eat well

Drink plenty of water or tea and stick to high protein ‘brain food’. Try to keep away from junk food and keep your body well-fuelled by choosing nutritious food such as fish, nuts, seeds, yoghurt and blueberries.

Remember: support is there if you need it

Remember there are people on campus who can help if you are finding it a bit overwhelming. Get in touch with the Student Services Hub if you aren’t too sure where to go or what you need or get in touch with Student Learning Services if you know it’s some study help you are after. Some of the services they offer include:

  • advise you on effective study skills
  • work with you to develop new learning strategies 
  • suggest tools to make your studying more efficient
  • suggest practical solutions if you feel overwhelmed by assignment work
  • help you build academic confidence and make learning enjoyable

For more information about what they can offer and how to access the services, visit their website.

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