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  • Writer's pictureSMS USYD

Final Exam Preparation - SMS First Year's Guide #6

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

Written by SMS

SMS First Year's Guide Issue #6

Final Exam Preparation

As the dreaded final exam period approaches the exam panic starts to set in. The numerous lecture notes and case studies might look intimidating but we’re to help you learn how to study smarter not harder.

Step 1: Take care of yourself

  • Have enough sleep - not too little and not too much

  • Stay active - exercising increases intake of oxygen, making it better to memorise and process information

  • Have a good diet - include plenty of high protein foods and healthy fats in your diet to stay fuller for longer

  • Stay hydrated - dehydration can cause headaches and exhaustion. Have plenty of water to improve memory and brain function

  • De-stress - step away from studying and focus on your well-being. You can meditate, exercise, talk to friends.

Step 2: Preparation is key

  • Make the most of your time and start planning early!

  • Make your own personalised schedule to plan what you'll study during what days

  • Place greater focus on more challenging units

  • Schedule breaks in between, with well need rewards and don’t overwork yourself

Step 3: Study in the right environment

  • Clear away all unnecessary items from your desk

  • Have good lighting

  • Study with people

  • Play a relaxing study playlist

Step 4: Use your study time efficiently

  • Study during times when you are most productive - you might be a morning person or a night owl!

  • Before starting, know your purpose and what you want to achieve by the end of it eg. relating concepts of a unit with readings

  • If you find that you’re procrastinating too much eg. going on social media, watching youtube, respond to it quickly! Turn off your phone, log out of social media accounts etc.

Step 5: Ask for assistance if problems arise

  • Message your friends

  • Email your tutors

Step 6: Prepare the night before

  • Prepare all necessary items that you will need for the exam

  • Charge your device, get your student ID, calculators, paper, dictionaries, and any other items you need for the exam

  • Plan a good breakfast

  • Avoid taking an exam with an empty stomach, because that can be very DISTRACTING

During the exam

  • Wear comfortable clothes - if it’s too cold, stay warm and if it’s too hot, make sure you’re not wearing too much

  • Take your time

  • Read the questions carefully

  • Allocate time for each question and keep an eye on the time

  • Skip the answers you don’t know and come back to them later

  • Check over all your answers when you’re done - double check or triple check if you need

Exam Types and Tips

1. Multiple Choice

  • Circle keywords

  • Be careful of double negatives eg. Which is NOT necessary to undertake …

  • Cross out the answers that are clearly wrong

  • If you are really clueless on the answer, it’s better to guess than leave it blank

2. Short Answer

  • The lines provided is the suggested length for your response, so you are not expected to write more than that

  • Look at how many marks the question is worth. That gives you an idea of how much you need to write and what should be covered.

  • Structure your responses short and distinctly

3. Essays

  • Prepare by looking at example essays

  • Use confident and persuasive terminology to make the reader believe your argument

  • During the exam, analyse the question and highlight keywords

  • Spend time creating an essay outline in the beginning and 2-3 minutes proofreading at the end

  • Make sure to try to include both introduction and conclusion - you can gain marks for having a clear structure

After the exam

  • Celebrate!!

  • Take a break, because you deserve it

  • If you felt like you did bad, it’s okay! You did the best you could and you can do better for what is next for you

In the end, exams aren't the be-all and end-all, they’re more just a chance to show your marker all the hard work you've done this semester. Every challenge is an opportunity for you to learn and grow in your studies. So breath deep and be confident in the preparation you have done.


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