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All I want for Christmas is to pass my exams!

By Ndella Senghore, Edward Brown, Flavia Camagors Pereira and YiBei Lu

As exam season creeps upon us, you may be in a panic about those revision notes you’ve been promising to start every day for the past week, or that 3000-word essay due tomorrow you haven’t planned yet. Whatever your situation, we spoke to students who gave the IKB Insider their tips for beating exam stress.

Hajar Jaafar, 22, business and management student:

“I feel stressful but not panic. I try to do more work because it makes me feel calmer to finish all my tasks.

“I do not begin study much time before. To be honest, I used to do everything in the last minute.”

Shanice Tiryaki, 21, student ambassador and theatre student:

Shanice has both a 7-minute-long presentation and debate to prepare next week. She feels that she hasn’t managed her time properly as she tends to get stressed after procrastinating and overthinking, which caused her to resit an exam in her first year. But, she aims to be more organised this time around, recommending others in her position to dedicate time to catching up on work. Shanice also advised her lecturers to be clearer about what content they want for essays. In her own words, Shanice will celebrate the end of her exams with “sleep.”

Fiorr Marrey, 21, sports science student:

“I have one exam on Tuesday and another one on Friday and I have not finished studying yet. This situation makes me feel under pressure and stress.

“I am trying to manage my time better and I made a schedule for preparing. I believe I will be able to study before the tests.”

Sarfo-Abu Amankwah Kwabena, academic liason librarian for Social Sciences, Media and Communications and economics & finance:

This time of year sees more students in the library struggling to find space to study and, “complaining about noise”. It has been ten years since he last studied but Mr Amankwah remembers coping with exam stress through “preparation and pacing oneself”. To students, he recommends that that they start studying early, and to “form study groups” to “help to come together to discuss topics”. Also, Mr Amankwah recommended that students learn their best study style. As he used to learn more in lectures and seminars, he would try to attend lectures, because “he wouldn’t be able to fully understand what the lecturer is explaining over Blackboard”. He said that he used to celebrate by going out for a meal and a party with friends, but just finishing the exams and essays create “a sense of relief”.

Qabas Al-Musawi, 20, politics and history student:

“I don’t have exams now in my course and the pressure is more about the dissertations and course work.

“I try to plan ahead, made a timetable, each day I do a certain thing. That makes me feel more in control of the situation. I only feel the stress before a week, so I started to organize my time better.

“The possibility that I may not complete everything on time makes me feel stressful.”

Hal Meakin, 21, politics and economics student:

Hal said that while he had a really busy week next week, if he keeps working he will “stay above the waves”. His advice for exam stress was: “give yourself plenty of time is a good cliché” and to do “a little bit of something every day”. However, he questioned the practicality of this by saying “do as I say not as I do”. He said that in the past he spent three weeks on one essay and one in one night and got the same mark for both.

He is going to celebrate by either playing on his PS4 or reading a book he actually enjoys that or celebrating with family or “getting really drunk”.

Tim Harris, 43, librarian:

“March to May is really busy for the library. The library is now 24/7, nearly 24 hours a day students are here. Library is really busy and does not have space. The stress level of the students is high, and the staffs' are so as well. The order is hard to keep in the library.”

Jackie Zhao, 23, computer science student:

“I am not feeling panic now, because all of my exams are going to be next year.”

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