While most students can’t avoid them, these five tips make the whole experience more manageable.

Exams. Everyone dreads them: the endless revision, the sweaty palms, the unexpected questions. While you can't avoid them, there are ways to make the whole experience more manageable.

Get motivated

Revision is no one's favourite pastime. So you may find that you need something to galvanise your efforts. Setting goals – and rewards for reaching them – is a good way to get started. Just make sure you don't make those goals too easy to achieve.

Another good tip is to stick to a routine. When revision becomes a habit, opening the textbook becomes automatic.

Perhaps the best motivation is to ask yourself: "What happens if I don't?" A reminder of why you want to pass can give you the kick-start you need – get up, eat something, start studying.

Get organised

Make a timetable and follow it. Work out what you need to learn and organise your revision so everything's covered. Build in time to kick back and relax. This way you won't get stressed or have to cram at the very last minute.

It's also a good idea to organise your space. Make sure you're comfortable and don't have any distractions.

Get focused

Simply reading your notes does not always help you learn. Information tends to stick in your head when you do something more active. For example, test yourself as you go along or write out key points for each section. (Don't write pages and pages of notes though – you already have enough!)

Don't & Do

  • Don't study after 6pm the night before the exam. 
  • Get some sleep – don't drink too many coffees or energy drinks.
  • Don't forget to eat before you go into the exam. If it's a long one, a protein-based meal will keep you going all the way through.
  • Do be specific and measureable in your revision goals – what are you going to cover?
  • Have a timetable – prioritise it above all.
  • Be committed – stick to your plan.

It's all in your head

Finally, believe in yourself. Believe in what you know. Live in the moment, but dare to dream of great performance.

Perhaps the best advice to is try and keep everything in perspective. Stay calm and remember that revision and exams will soon be over.

Exams are all part of university life, but the University of Greenwich study skills service is here to support you. Start your adventure here.