Exams can be extremely daunting, and most of us don’t know where to start once we’re told to revise. Coursework can also feel the same, and then all of the workload starts to pile up and the dread kicks in. As a Master’s student, I’ve done my fair share of exams and coursework, and I’m going to share the tips and tricks that have worked the best for me.
In my opinion, and most of you will hate me for saying this, but starting as early as possible is genuinely the best method for any kind of work. Don’t start too early to the point where you don’t know enough to properly start work, but it’s worthwhile brainstorming ideas once you find a topic that you’re interested in. If you start as early as possible you can prepare and gain greater clarity about what you actually want to write, and you can also get support earlier on.
Alongside starting early, it’s also vital to take full advantage of your lecturer’s office hours and email availability. If you have a concern, raise it with them as soon as possible! University staff are here to help, you’re here to learn – you might as well make the best use of the resources available. If you feel awkward talking to a lecturer 1-1, emailing is also really beneficial. Just be considerate of the fact that lecturers also have lives and may not reply after 5 or 6pm though! If you’re going to email, be sure to do it with enough time for the lecturer to reply, so leave anything urgent to in-person conversations.
If you really don’t want to speak to a lecturer, ask your friends for help! If you’re stuck on a certain topic, chances are someone else is so you won’t feel alone, or – even better –someone will be able to help you. Some people also struggle to revise in their room alone, so it’s a good idea to invite your friends for a study session in the library so that you can all work together. That way, you can ask for help as you write or revise, and you will generally feel more motivated.
Whilst none of us enjoy doing coursework or prepping for exams, it’s important to figure out what method of working is the best for you. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ for revision, but hopefully, some of these tips will be useful for you as we approach deadline season.