The Top Six Tips To Survive Exam Season

Written by Atiyah Mukhi

The top six tips to survive exam season

Before you know it, the holiday season is over and the time for submitting your dreaded assignment and studying for the exam you ‘almost’ forgot about has creeped up on you. Are you a victim of procrastination like I am? Here are the top six tips to not just survive but possibly enjoy the exam season.

Enjoy the break

It’s important that you begin by taking a break. That’s what they’re there for. If this means waking up at twelve every day for a week, living in your pajamas (and maybe watching three whole seasons of Prison Break), then so be it. Take some time off to enjoy time with family and friends away from your books and catch up on your sleep. When you have exams and when your assignments are due will depend on the course you’re studying. Here in the UK we tend to have our exams before the beginning of the new semester, which means that we have the whole holiday to study and obviously watch Prison Break. Duh. So, take some time to rejuvenate and relax, that way when you begin studying or writing your assignments you have enough energy to concentrate.

Write out lists

Having a to do list can sometimes be overwhelming and can act as a painful reminder of all that you have to do but writing down what you have to do per day, can mean that you set yourself achievable tasks. Ticking off the ones you’ve accomplished at the end of the day will show you how much progress you’ve made. Plus, you can use it as an excuse to get new stationary!

Study-spot hopping

Did I make that term up? Yes. Is it still cool? Very much so. Don’t get me wrong I love the library, but this doesn’t mean you have to sit in the same spot every day staring at the same spot on the wall. Studying can sometimes be repetitive, you’ve been reading the same notes for an hour, or are stuck on that one sentence and don’t know how to complete it. Changing your environment every few hours will make sure that you’re giving yourself a break (have a kit kat) and that you’re not getting bored. If you’re bored of the library, the University Union has dedicated a room where you can study without any distractions and you can grab yourself a free pastry from the Old Bar (located in the University Union, between 8:00 and 9:00 am) on your way up there. Visiting new cafes is another way to make studying more exciting, not only do you get to interact with new people, but you can order something you’ve never tried before and use it to reward yourself once you’ve finished a particular chapter or written 1000 words. Also, the Leeds University Union offers free breakfast every day. This means you can lie in for an extra ten minutes and get free breakfast the day of your exam- what’s not to love?

Studying with friends

This can be extremely useful when it comes to exam time, because you can test each other on topics you’ve been covering and help each other with any questions you may be stuck on. I personally found that when writing assignments with friends I’m a lot more productive and so are they. Set yourself goals saying you won’t look at your phone till you’ve finished that particular reading and have them do something similar, help each other by ensuring you’re all doing work. Plus, they probably have good snacks.

Taking breaks

Everyone knows that when studying you need to take breaks, but this doesn’t just mean getting up and stretching, you can take a break by going grocery shopping, going to the gym or watching an episode of friends. Reward yourself with a longer break every few hours to keep you motivated, this will mean you don’t have an excuse to get bored.


You’ll often hear people saying, “sleep is for the weak”. I would like to say otherwise. When sleeping your body is working to support your brain function and maintain your physical health. While this is important all year round, it’s even more important for you to get enough sleep during exam season. Make sure that you’re making the most of the day, you can even study into the night, but do not deprive yourself of sleep. Fun fact: a recent research found that while sleeping your brain is working to remove all the toxins you accumulate while awake. If this doesn’t stress the importance of sleeping, I don’t know what will. Remember in order for you to do any work you require the ability to concentrate and guess what good sleep can improve levels of concentration, productivity and performance.

These are my top tips for surviving the exam seasons. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.


Atiyah Mukhi
Hello!! My name is Atiyah Mukhi and I'm an international student from Nairobi, Kenya. I completed my advanced level secondary education in Kenya before coming to Leeds to pursue my undergraduate degree....
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