Exam tips. We know you need them. Here’s 10 of the best.



Semester is finished, swotvac has evaporated and the inevitable stress and anxiety is upon us.

It’s exam time.

If you are on the cusp of sitting your first exams for the year, your anxiety levels are likely soaring.

Here are some tips to help you get through this testing time.

1. Make colorful notes with pictures

Erin Deverell, a 5th-year Monash University Bachelor of Fine Arts/Arts student, said colorful notes and pictures help her study.

Colourful post-it notes could help with revision. PHOTO: Sanda Arambepola

“For every week I do like really colorfully designed notes and little pictures that help me remember stuff,” Ms Dewerell said.

Ms Dewerell said the complex theories and concepts in subjects like psychology are easy to remember when they are associated with funny pictures.

“I try to remember the picture in my head when I am doing the exam,” she said.

Quizzing each other will help test you on course content. PHOTO:teachingchannel.org

2. Get someone to quiz you

Quizzes are great in helping you understand which areas you are confident in and what sections require extra attention.

Ms Dewerell said she studies all of the relevant subject matter, before getting her friends to quiz her.

“That way I keep on repeating lessons, because in psychology there is a lot to remember,” she said.

3. Make posters

Isabella Cook, a first-year Bachelor of Business student at Monash University, studies by making posters.

Visual-aids such as posters can help mind-map lessons effectively. PHOTO:teachingchannel.org

“I make a poster for each subject with the key topics on it and pictures to help so that I can memorise it,” Ms Cook said.

A little more organised this time around Ms Cook, who is in her second semester, is also not leaving anything until the last minute.

4. Have brainstorm sessions with friends

Studying does not have to be boring….or lonely. You can work with your friends to make it fun and exciting.

Xuechen Jiang, a first-year, Master of Journalism student, said she believed brainstorming sessions with her friends helped her learn her subjects’ content with ease.

Brainstorming will broaden your understanding of a lesson. PHOTO: Sanda Arambepola

“First we divide topics among us. Then everyone writes whatever they remember about the topic on a single big sheet of paper,” Ms Jiang said.

“After everyone has finished writing, we all take turns in explaining what we wrote.

“That way, when I am in the exam, I remember the points by the person who explained it. It is very effective.”

5. Turn lessons into stories

Everybody loves a good story.

If anyone asks you about the story of a particular book that you read, you might be able to explain the entire plot without missing any detail.

That is the power of a story.

Making up your own stories makes studying interesting. PHOTO:Gulf Breeze Recovery.com

Ms Jiang said she makes stories out of her lessons in order to memorise the essential points.

“I always try to make a story by including the main points that I need to memorise. I attribute characters and places of the story with what I have learned in the lectures,” Ms Jiang said.

“I feel it is better to make your story ridiculous and bizarre because we always tend to remember the craziest stories better,” she said.

6. Be a teacher to yourself

Kevin Perera, also in his first-year, and pursuing a Masters of Applied Linguistics student at La Trobe University, said teaching the lessons to himself helps him during exams

I read notes and kind of explain that as a teacher to myself,” Mr Perera said.

“It is like being a student and a teacher simultaneously.”

Websites and social media can help you cram. PHOTO: Sanda Arambepola

7. Use new technology

Deakin University Information Technology and Cybersecurity student Shanaka Senavirathna, currently in his 3rd-year, said using technology helped him research, understand and practice writing answers, before facing any examination.

“I often use websites like lynda.com, stackoverflow.com and also YouTube to familiarise myself with all the things that I should memorise for the exam,” Mr Senavirathna said.

He suggested by using visual media on websites, students can make their studying process more enjoyable.

“I believe using websites like YouTube to watch detailed videos of lessons with pictures, maps and animated characters will enable students to memorise their subject matter in a visual format,” he said.

“They will memorise these lessons more effectively with these kinds of graphics.”

8. Practice writing past papers

Monash University Accounting and Business student Kylin said practicing the past exam questions beforehand prepares you to face the actual test better.

Attempting past exam papers is one way to prepare for what’s ahead. PHOTO:Pixabay

“I practice the sample questions and do homework of the unit because my exam questions are often similar to the homework questions that we get in our lessons,” Kylin said.

By doing so, she said she familiarises herself with the structure of the exam paper and is less nervous and anxious during the test.

9. Use forum posts on units to discuss lessons

Madhushika Rasangani, a first-year postgraduate student studying applied management in Eastern Institute of Technology, New Zealand, said forum posts with fellow students help her gain a clear understanding about the lessons.

“I love the forum posts in each unit because our discussions about various factors in the lessons are open to a wider audience,” Ms Rasangani said.

“It enables you to have a more clear perspective and also to remember these important points.”

 The exchanges help her study for the exams better, as she can evaluate her answers for the unit with those who have also posted in the forums.

Music can soothe and relax your mind while studying. PHOTO: Sanda Arambepola

10. Listen to music while studying

Nadeeshani Senanayake, a 4th-year student, studying Biochemistry at Sri Lanka’s University of Kelaniya, said listening to music relaxes her mind and helps her focus on the her lessons.

“I often listen to study music I have on my phone to help me relax and be in a better mood while studying,” Ms Senanayake said.

“It also helps to settle stress and anxiety that I often experience during the exam period.”

Good Luck with your exams!