5 Tips to Help Improve Your Study Sessions

As summer begins, most students find themselves looking forward to a long extended break where they can see friends, family, and travel before heading back to university in September. There is just one roadblock
standing between them and that summer holiday – exams.

Whilst exams can make for a stressful time, we’ve compiled our top 5 tips that should help you through your studies so you can enjoy that summer break at the end of it all.

1. Plan your sessions

This might sound obvious, but planning your study sessions can make a huge difference. Once you have your exam schedule, you’ll know exactly how much time you have between exams and also which you need to prioritise.

A great way to start is by writing down all of the subjects that you need to cover for each exam. Once you’ve got this list you can start to block out how much time you’ll need to cover each topic. It’s a balancing act between scheduling what you find the hardest/will take you the longest first and also prioritising content for your first exam.

Often students find themselves overprioritising studying for their first exam in the period between the end of lectures and their first exam. This can lead to panic in the shorter gaps between exams as they’ll often find that a lot more content needs to be covered in a shorter period of time.

Building out a cohesive revision timetable at the start of your study period will allow you to balance out what you need to cover and should (hopefully) let you walk into each exam feeling more prepared and confident.

2. Find a good study environment

A good study environment is key to exam success. While many people find they need complete silence to study, others prefer a bit of background noise (some people even listen to “exam sounds” whilst studying to get
them in the exam room headspace)! What we do know is that you need to find what works for you, whether it’s your desk in your room, a public space in your student accommodation, or even the library, your environment will impact the quality of your studying.

It’s all about feeling comfortable – there is no definitive “best area to study”. If your perfect environment has set opening times, try to get this to fit around your revision schedule as you’ll want to spend most of your time revising there.

3. Take regular breaks

If you were to set a revision schedule of 9 am-5 pm each day or even 6 pm-1 am, what’s apparent is that you’ll need to take some breaks during these sessions.

Breaks are important as they allow you to recover and digest the information that you’re absorbing . Breaks can take many forms from scrolling through your phone to even a short walk. We do recommend that at least once every hour, your break should involve some movement to allow blood to pump around your body.

A useful analogy is to think of your brain like a muscle. Whilst revising can be treated as exercise for your brain, it is important to remember that you can overdo it, much like a workout. These long stretches of stress on your brain can lead to burnout and also anxiety.

You’ll find plenty of spaces for you to take a walk or explore in your short study breaks at this student accommodation in Birmingham.

4. Set goals

Each of your study sessions should have a purpose instead of aimlessly looking through notes or staring at lecture slides. That’s why we recommend setting goals that can easily help you keep track of your work.

This could range anywhere from covering a certain number of lectures in a session, to getting a certain score on practice questions. The goals themselves are up to you but they should be a way for you to measure your
progress overtime .

5. Reward yourself

Last on our list is for you to remember to reward yourself. Revision is hard work and can lead to stress or even resentment when it comes to starting.

By rewarding yourself, you’ll provide some motivation to get started and give yourself something to look forward to once you’ve finished.

So what could you reward yourself with? We recommend trying to ration out episodes of a TV show you’re watching, or even setting a dedicated period of time aside to play games or go out for food for each set of
questions you get right. There’s no set reward for everyone, it really depends on the person.

That concludes our list of tips to help improve your study sessions!

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