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24 September 2014

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The end of a year's work

Worried about exams? Take some advice from the experts...

Ed Bolton for CUR1350
Spring is coming but students will soon be running to their rooms. It’s revision season. Anglia Ruskin’s exams start in May, with the last Cambridge papers in the middle of June.

Whether these are your first, or last exams, it’s always good to have some guidance. We asked Patrick Leonard and Sam Rose, from Cambridge University Students' Union, for advice at this critical time. Welfare Officer Sam starts by saying “it’s quite important to have a plan of some sort”, whilst Academic Affairs man Patrick is swift to point out “you’ve already done a lot of work”.

If a year’s lecture notes seem that bit too daunting, Patrick suggests finding out “as much as you can about the exams” including “what questions you’ll have to answer”. With the stakes raised, it’s more important than ever to “focus on your own work and your own style of learning”.

Wearing his welfare hat, Sam says “you can see people working these crazy hours, getting into really irregular eating and sleeping patterns, but in the long term this is going to have really negative effects on your work. So long as people keep a sensible pattern of work and don’t stress out, exams are a very simple thing”.

Cambridge University library
The uni library rarely looks so imposing

That’s easy to say…but what if you are ‘stressing out’? Mark Phippen, Head of the University Counselling Service, says “right before exams they tend to seem like the most important thing in the world; but a couple of years later they are just a line on your CV”. He says “if you are avoiding work or getting very stressed, it’s almost certainly time to seek some help”.

Cambridge University Counselling service has produced a comprehensive guide to exams which can be accessed by the links on the right. Their advice includes doing something “different” from study, such as physical exercise.

Or maybe, as Patrick suggests, you should “find a way to remind yourself there’s more to you than then exams you’re doing”. Whatever, come summer, you’ll probably be wondering what all the fuss was about!

last updated: 19/01/09
Have Your Say
Are these your first university exams? Have you any tips for worried students?
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bit of advice
I advise, forcing yourself if you have to, a complete change of scene and activity. it doesn't have to be for long, but it helps you keep a perspective on things. also, talking to other students can sometimes do more harm than good - now is a good time to ring your granny, who will always be proud of you and give you that little boost you need. :)

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