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Student exam advice

Tips and advice from your fellow economics students to help you through your exams.

Don't become a social recluse

It’s so easy to become a social recluse in term three and not bother with human contact. Schedule breaks at specific times, be it with your flatmate or someone else in the library that you know, or agree to have lunch or a tea break together so at least you can be social in your breaks.

Also working towards a clear ‘break time’ makes you work so much more productively.

Katya Savelieva, BSc Economics Year 2
Physical activity can help improve productivity

Make time for exercise when revising, maybe by taking a walk around campus. There's only so much work you can effectively do at one time, so by breaking it up and including physical activity you not only aid your own wellbeing, but also revise more productively afterwards.

Nima Roy, BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics Year 2
Remember to learn the theory

Try and make an effort to practice questions from past papers, text books, problem sets as opposed to just learning theory.

As the courses we take are about applying our knowledge, rather than memorising lots of stuff, just memorising theory without the practice at applying it could run the risk of you going into the exam being inexperienced in the application of what you have learned.

Trent Pieterse, BSc Economics Year 3
Revision in a good group has many benefits

Finding a good group for revision is a useful way to link revision to socialising as it can be quite a lonely period as there are no lectures or seminars anymore. It also enables you to improve academically by getting feedback from your peers.

Working with a group of students is very reassuring as you can discuss any issues or exam fears you may have, which is a good way to diminish the anxiety and pressure of exams.

Emmanuelle Derre, BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics Year 3
Practise under time pressure

It's important to give equal attention to all questions, so by sticking to the time you can work through the paper without rushing through and/or running out of time.

Writing essay plans can also be a great help with this, as you will already be familiar the main points for the essay topics.

Fiona Smark, BSc Economics Year 3
I come to the exam calm by stopping revision 24 hours before

There is a time for learning and revising, but there is also a time for stopping and resting. Closer to the exam period, I don’t do any work on the exam 24 hours before as I have realised that I will never learn any new material for that exam the day before, and revising frenetically will only make me extremely stressed for the exam.

Doing this I tend to come to the exam calmed and prepared and tend to perform better.

Emmanuelle Derre, BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics Year 3
Plan your revision time and get enough sleep

Plan out a well-thought revision schedule once the provisional exam timetable is published and keep to it, and also leave at least a week of revision time for each module to be safe and avoid last-minute cramming.

It will also help keeping to a regular daily schedule and getting enough sleep each day, so you won't be falling asleep during revision and have a clear mind.

Naomi Ho, BSc Economics Year 3
Social media can kill all productivity

The key to success is maintaining good habits, such as sleep patterns, self-discipline to avoid social media or eating better than a ton of crisps and Jaffa cakes, and its important to cut out distractions.

Everyone likes to be sociable and talk and check WhatsApp and your Instagram feed, but checking every few hours for 5 minutes each time is the way to kill all productivity; people can wait for you to reply to their message or like their image.

Martin Li, BSc Economics Year 3
Take a break and relax

Find a relaxing hobby that you can do during revision breaks. I spend time waiting for the bus and in queues for coffee learning French on my phone using an app; it takes a break from the intensity of economics.

Also, make a countdown until your freedom; it helps with motivation.

Bonnie Choi, BSc Economics Year 2
Put down the coffee and stretch those legs

While cramming for exams in the library, instead of fueling on coffee which will dehydrate you, walk up and down a few flights of stairs to re-energize and get the blood flowing to your brain.

Elise Rostaing, BSc Economics, Politics and International Studies Year 3
Speak to students who have done it, and survived

Using mentors or student-led revision sessions organised by societies is a useful way to get advice from students that have been through this recently and understand the stress and the struggle students face when revising.

Make the most of the student support as you will not only get academic tips but will also realise that indeed we do survive term three and the exams.

Emmanuelle Derre, BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics Year 3