Strathclyde Telegraph

Reward yourself during exam time

Whoever you are, whatever you are studying, the exam period is a stressful time. With deadlines flying at you left, right and centre, it is important that we all take some time to reward our hard work.

I have never been one for pulling manic, coffee-fuelled all-nighters before exams, but I understand why many do. Whether it is an essay with an upcoming due date or exam revision, I have found the best way to manage studying is to take a break and reward yourself.

For those who study at home, a simple way to reward yourself during revision is to set a target (study 5 lectures, for example) and once that is completed, close the textbooks, put your feet up with a cappuccino and watch an episode or two of that month’s Netflix obsession. Then you can settle back into revision ready to meet the next target.

However, when panic has set in and you are absolutely certain there is no way to learn everything in time, a bigger reward is sometimes all the motivation needed to get you through. This can be planning a holiday or a concert or even just making dinner plans with friends. But, overall, the most effective method is simply to take regular breaks.

Studies have shown that when we continuously study for too long, we start to suffer from mental fatigue and are unable to take information in meaningfully. So we are less likely to fully understand or remember what we are studying. Therefore, we might as well take a quick coffee break to refresh before starting again.

There is an endless list of reasons why taking a break to distress is beneficial. Just by googling ‘the importance of taking a break from studying’, thousands of links listing the benefits appear, such as: increased productivity, enhanced information retention and a more relaxed mind.

If you need any additional tips, the Study Skills Service, located in the Livingstone Tower, provides advice on how to manage notes, how to prepare for exams etc. To book an appointment with an adviser, please call 0141 548 4064/4062 or email studyskills@strath.ac.uk.

By Georgia Clyne