4 things to do when you finish exams

Celebrate. Sleep. Netflix. Repeat. Duh!

Some things are just obvious, right? We don’t need to tell you to have fun, relax and catch up on all the things you couldn’t do (without guilt) during the trimester.

But just in case you are waiting for us to do just that: have that house party, take a nine-hour nana nap, and watch all the seasons of Game of Thrones (again).

Now, that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the 4 things you should do AFTER all of that (because Trimester 2 starts in two short weeks).

1. Sell your books

Did you know that Griffith has a Textbook Exchange? It’s a free service provided by the Welfare & Student Liaison Office for students and staff of Griffith University to buy or sell their secondhand textbooks.

2. Get organised

Clean out your backpack, clear your study desk and file away your Trimester 1 paraphernalia (study notes, assignments, research papers etc). Remember, future you may find this stuff useful in the, um, future.

It’s also a good time to think about the year ahead. Add Important dates from the academic calendar to your planner, Google calendar or diary so you don’t get caught out.

3. Make improvements

No doubt you’re aware your grades for this Trimester are released on Wednesday 28 June.

If you have a sneaking suspicion that you didn’t achieve the levels of academic awesomeness that you’d hoped for, hatch a plan to fix this for next Trimester.

What can you do? Get feedback from your lecturers and tutors, find out how Student Services can support you, or attend a free Earlybird workshop offered by the library.

4. Update your social media

No, we don’t mean you should go crazy with your Facebook posts, Insta pics or Snapchat videos. Although, by all means, go for it.

We are talking about your professional accounts. Yes, it’s time to give a little love to your LinkedIn and use social media to sell yourself.

Did you complete an internship, join a professional association, win an academic award or score a casual job during T1? Tell potential employers by updating your LinkedIn profile.


The day of the exam: 5 tips to boost your performance

The big day is finally here! Show the day who is #boss with your superior organisational skills and Zen attitude.

Remember, the hard part is over. The content is in your head – it’s ready and waiting to be unleashed onto your exam paper. You just need to set it free! Here’s some tips to ensure that you perform your best in the exam:

1. Pack your bag
No, not for a flight overseas (as tempting as that may be). Pack your bag with everything you need for the exam. You don’t want to rock up to the exam without your student ID, or a pen. Whether you will need a calculator, ruler or protractor, organize all your stuff the night before the exam. Exams are thirsty work, so be sure to toss in a water bottle as well.

2. Get there early
Make sure you arrive early so that you have time to get settled. Arriving late can cause anxiety, and get you started on the wrong foot. Use the time to double check the equipment you can bring into the exam. Are you allowed to bring a calculator into the exam? If it’s an open book, are you allowed to bring absolutely any book/material?

3. Answer what you want, when you want
You don’t have to answer the questions in the order they are presented. Be a rebel and do the last one’s first, or first one’s last (doesn’t that work out to be the same thing?). You may be less anxious if you answer all the easy questions first and then allocate the remaining time to the more difficult ones.

4. Read exam questions carefully
Duh! We hear you say. But under stressful exam conditions you may be tempted to skim over the question quickly so you can get on with drafting an answer. The danger with this, is that you may misunderstand, misread or simply miss a vital part of the question. So take your time and make sure you know exactly what you are being asked for.

5. Review your answers
Finished your exam with minutes to spare? Don’t leave early! Use that time to review your answers. You will kick yourself if you accidently missed a multiple choice question, or the short essay question on the back page that you didn’t see (because you rushed out of the exam room!).

— Extract from Study Smart


Ace your exam prep this study week

Photo of students studying

Don’t freak out about exams just yet. You’ve got this week to prepare. It’s time to put your head down, your brain into gear and hit those books hard (not literally). Study Week can be a stressful time for students, so we’ve put together a few tips to keep you on track. Remember, staying organised and healthy is key. So get some sleep, avoid caffeine (seriously!), and limit your social media procrastination.

Confirm exam details
Obviously, you’ll check your myGriffith exam timetable to discover the date, time and location of your exam. The exam timetable is usually released a good few weeks before the commencement of Study Week. But just a heads up, that venues are subject to change, so be sure to double check the details 24 hours prior to the exam. Also, your exam may be in a place you are unfamiliar with. Check the campus map to locate the building, and use the Room Locations guide to decipher the level and room number. It can get confusing!

Schedule your life
Set out a study schedule and stick to it! There are loads of daily and weekly planners you can use to help with this. Now, we aren’t advocating that you spend a fortune on a Planner, but some are just so darn useful (and pretty!). You can find free planners online as well. Handy hint: sleeping and eating are important activities to schedule into your busy days. Your brain works better after rest and nourishment!

Set #examgoals
Setting unrealistic goals is just as bad as not setting them at all. Check how you are travelling in your course so far. The results for all your completed assessment items should be available in Learning@Griffith. Calculate how many marks you need to achieve your desired overall course grade. That’s what you should work towards. Start thinking of all the ways you can reward yourself when you reach this goal!

Prepare your study notes
This is the moment when you’ll be super pleased with yourself for going to class and taking awesome notes. Go grab those notes; it’s time to make them work for you. Basically, you want to condense your notes and present them in a visual format. Have you heard of a mind map, concept map or flowchart? According to Patrick Sharrat in Passing Exams for Dummies (2013), your brain thinks in pictures, so creating keyword pictures and patterns can help with memory retention.

Teach the topic to someone
Teach the topic to your mum, friend or flatmate’s dog. The best way to test your understanding of a topic is to try to teach it to someone else – even a class of stuffed animals will do! Now, Mickey and Minnie, listen up…

For more study tips, check out this Buzzfeed video for 8 essential study hacks (2015) or Wengies video on 7 study tips to help you ace your exams (2014).

– Extract from Study Smart – Exam Prep – 


How to improve your study skills

Photo of study station

Study skills are essential to academic success.

But there are oh so many facets: critical thinking, time management, reading effectively, effective note taking, assignment preparation, assignment writing, referencing, exam preparation…

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a guide to all this? With strategies and resources designed to help you succeed in your studies?

Oh, lucky – there is!

The library’s study skills page is full of self-help resources to help you achieve academic success.

To start off, you can take an interactive tutorial on preparing for university, and learn to maximise your study time through tips on critical thinking, time management, reading effectively, and effective note taking.

Now we’re getting to the gritty end of the trimester, you might find our tutorials on preparing for your assignment and writing your assignment super handy. Trust us, good preparation and planning will make writing your assignment so much easier (give it a shot!).

We’ve also got tips to help you become a referencing guru. Almost all assessment pieces have dedicated marks for referencing, so it’s worth taking the time to get good at referencing.

And with the exam block looming, we recommend you take a look at our information on exam preparation to help you ace exams.

There are even tips on improving your social media skills. I know, you’re a millennial, what can we teach you that you don’t already know, right? But check it out, you might learn a thing a two. Like how to use social media to help land a job.


5 study spaces you need to take advantage of at Nathan

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

— Written by Hannah Sbeghen. Originally published on The Griffith Collective

Fret no more Brisbane students, we have the solutions to your study space woes before the exams. With final exams around the corner, it is time to bunker down and study. To help you through the next few weeks here are some great study spaces at Nathan campus.

1. The Environment Building
This space is a ‘go to’ study spot, offering peace and serenity. Soak up some rays while you study and enjoy spending hours sitting among the green awnings.

2. The Learning Centre #1
Learning Centre’s are resource-rich when it comes to computers and accompanying printers. When the library is overcrowded, this unique space provides study, printing and scanning facilities. This place just might be your study saviour.

3. The library hidey-hole
You know when you’ve tried to study but your brain still refuses to cooperate? Even if coffee has no effect, there’s a space on the second floor of the library, that might do the trick. The room lets in a lot of sunlight and it’s usually quite empty. This sunny and open space might provide the perfect balance of focus and tranquillity. (Note: The Library Social Media Team advises that this room is no longer available to students – 15/11/2016).

4. The Learning Centre #2
This Learning Centre is the same as the first with regard to computers and printing stations, but it’s a little more ‘chic’ and suits the student who appreciates a good couch when he or she sees one.

5. Goanna Lounge
You’ve walked past it dozens of times and the name sounds like a cool bar in West End. The Goanna Lounge has ample space in a more relaxed setting. For those of you who like to spread out your notes, the Goanna Lounge is where you need to be, but you might have to fight the strong physical desire to sleep, ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz.

Happy studying and good luck with your final exams!


How to take a study break

Photo of coffee cup and biscuit

Is all this study getting to you? Are you hitting refresh on Facebook every five seconds while your half-read lecture notes loom large in another window?

It sounds like you need a break (from social media procrastination and study!). Time to follow the old adage: ‘Work smarter, not harder’ (though we suggest you work hard too!).

There are a few things you can do to optimise your study time and ensure your breaks are efficient and rejuvenating.

Do:

  • Make a task-list. Finished writing section 3.4? Finished reading Chapter 11? Tick.
  • Set breaks periodically. Have a break after set time periods or when you reach a milestone. Maybe even set a timer.
  • Get some exercise. Moving will help stimulate your brain. Why not do some stretches to loosen up?
  • Have a snack. Fuel your mind. Trading times for on-campus food outlets can be found here.
  • Go outside. Catch that Vitamin D.

Don’t:

  • Check your social media accounts in the interim. You – close that Facebook tab!
  • Start a new series on Netflix. Stranger Things can wait! #bingewatching #whatassignment
  • Set unrealistic goals. No, you can’t finish summarising the entire semester’s course readings in one night.

We constantly stress about impending assessment while procrastinating on the essay, presentation, project or study. It’s a perceptual cycle of stress!

The best way to kick that stress? In the words of Nike, Just Do It (with some study breaks).


6 study tips to help you through the exam block

Illustration of students at a desk

Illustration by Nicole Clowes

— Written by Layne Ngatai-Stokes. Originally published on The Griffith Collective

So you’ve finished off all of your assignments and there is just one barrier left to a well-earned break… The exam block!!!

As someone who has done this a few times before, Griffith University student, Layne Ngatai-Stokes has a few tips to help you make it through.

1. Study with friends

Not only is this great for filling in gaps of knowledge but it works as a motivational tool too.

Meet up somewhere like the campus library to avoid distractions, as meeting up at one of your houses can turn a study session into hours of procrastination.

This can be a helpful strategy as your friends might know certain areas of the course more in depth than you and vice versa. This way you can help each other to further understand a wider variety of sections.

2. Organisation

Not only does organising your study space help (seriously), but so does organising yourself the day of the exam. If you plan your meals, what you are wearing and all of your equipment the day before the exam, the day will be more manageable and you’ll find yourself with more time to study.

3. Practice

Practicing can really help you, it not only helps you feel less anxious when taking the full exam but it helps familiarise yourself with the format of the exam. I have even seen friends time themselves on past exams to work out their time allocation.

Make sure you understand the layout of the exam, does it require short answers, multiple choice answers or essays? Knowing how to best answer each question under a tight time frame will minimise your stress in the moment.

4. Take breaks

Study is important but I have seen a huge number of people crash because they push themselves too hard. There is nothing worse than wasting all of that study because you were too tired to focus on the exam.

5. Get some SLEEP!!!

If you exhaust yourself mentally and physically you cannot obtain as much information as you would if you had rested.

6. Find out what works best for you

Most of you probably have a few tips and tricks from high school exams, so don’t be afraid to use them. I know a few people who tried to use all the advice their friends, the Uni and teachers had given them, and ignoring their tried and tested strategies only to do worse than they could have imagined.

Don’t succumb to the pressure. Just prepare yourself well and you will do fine!