Exam timetables are out now, here’s how to prepare for success

Exams are right around the corner, but don’t panic, there’s still time to prepare, revise and map out your plan of attack.

There are lots of things you can do to ensure success in your exams.

Here, we take you through eight things you can do to get prepared.

1. Lock down your exam details

First up, you’ll need to check your Semester 1 exam details – find the timetable here. This timetable includes the information for all campuses. If there is a location listed, your exam will be face-to-face, if there’s no location, your exam will be delivered online. Online exams are listed first, so make sure to check all pages of the timetable (or search for your subject codes).Keep checking in on the details regularly, as they may change.

If you need to double check if your subject has an upcoming exam, you can do so using the Handbook.

2. Find out what to expect in your exam

While nobody has a crystal ball to tell them what will be on the exam, there are steps you can take to provide direction for your exam prep.

Find out from your lecturers what the structure of the exam will be, and what subject areas will probably be on the exam. You can often find practice exams on the LMS.

Review the Subject Learning Guide for your subject and attend exam review sessions; they are not to be missed as you will get an idea of what will be on the exam and you will have a chance to ask questions.

3. Use active revision techniques

Effective revision enables you to get material from your short term memory into your long term memory. Long term memory is like a library – information that is placed in it in a systematic way is more likely to be retrievable. Revision is more effective when you are actually doing something rather than passively trying to absorb information.

Achieve@Uni has a solid list of techniques you can use to actively revise and prep for your exams. La Trobe’s PLAs have also shared their ultimate revision tips so you can be at the top of your game!

4. Set up a study group

Members of study groups who catch up regularly often achieve better results and are a great way to boost your motivation. Get together with friends or classmates from your course and form a study group. Set ground rules early to avoid your study sessions slipping into chaos. Stick to set times and plan regular breaks to avoid procrastination.

Talk through ideas, problem solve, brainstorm topics and discuss different approaches in a group. Or simply work away together and ask each other questions as you go.

Need help finding a group? Some Schools and student associations at La Trobe will help you find a place in a group relevant to your studies, such as the Law Student Association.

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5. Prepare a study plan

Although the pace may quicken towards the end of semester, assessment prep is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s important to plan ahead and plan early to reduce stress. Create a realistic study plan and stick to it, factoring in time for social events, work and ‘life admin’.

Once you’ve marked your exam dates in your calendar, create a break down of study tasks you need to complete for each. There’s a calendar built in to the LMS – make use of it and export it to your calendar on your phone for reminders on-the-go.

There are lots of free study planning apps available. Add your exam timetables into the calendar of the My Study Life App or the Egenda App, add tasks and set reminders to stay on track.

Quiz yourself on your knowledge with the Quizlet App or use the Tinycards App to make your own digital flashcards. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep with the Sleep Cycle App. Use the Evernote App to create and stick to your To Do List.

Block out time for your other commitments including when you can’t study. Avoid scheduling large slabs of study time for one subject – alternate subjects to sustain concentration and interest.

Work out when you study most effectively. For most people this will be in the morning. Also think about when you can find quiet time and space. Avoid studying when you’re really tired – you won’t remember much from a 2 a.m. study session and will be less effective the next day. Make sure you include recreation time and at least half an hour here or there for physical exercise – it’ll help improve your concentration.

6. Consider the types of questions you may be asked

Multiple choice, true or false, short answer and essay questions – chances are in your time at Uni you’ll come face-to-face with all of them during final assessments.

To help you get across exactly how to tackle each different type of question, we’ve put together a quick step-by-step guide.

7. Attend a panel session and get advice from top performing students

La Trobe’s Peer Learning Advisors (PLAs) are hosting an online panel discussion on 18 and 24 May, where you’re encourage to drop in and ask all of your exam prep questions. They’ll share in detail their secrets to exam success in a one hour session packed with practical, time-saving tips and advice to make sure you’re performing at your best come exam time. They’ll also discuss core revision strategies, techniques for the exam room, and how to prioritise multiple exams.

8. Take care of your wellbeing and access support

You’ll do your best when you’re feeling your best, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself in the lead up to, and during, assessments. It’s normal to find study hard work, but there are lots of strategies and supports to help you.

Sometimes it’s helpful to sit down with an experienced peer and talk through your strategies. Peer Learning Advisors can help with making a study diary, setting up an assessment planner, positive study strategies. Drop into the Learning Hub online to chat a PLA, or librarian, or contact pla@latrobe.edu.au.

Health & Wellbeing at La Trobe is the best place to go to find further help and support if your study challenges are due to health, mental health, financial challenges, care responsibilities, and much more.

Good luck!

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