How to Stay Motivated During Exam Season

By Sean Doig

Who can be bothered with exams right now, am I right? We have all been watching lectures in bed and attended tutorials with the mic off but the TV on. With Christmas creeping up, we all just want to be on holiday and completely forget about our exams. However, do not give up just yet! If you are lacking motivation, here are some tips on how and why you should keep going.

1. Remind yourself why you are doing a law degree

You probably applied to undertake a law degree for a reason. Maybe it is your dream to become a solicitor or advocate when you graduate, or you are really interested in the law and the opportunities it offers for your career. Whatever your reason is for studying law, remember it and strive towards it. Every exam is one step closer. Do not lose sight of your dream.

2. Get into a study routine

Since we have all been working and studying from home, it can become demotivating when you revise and study over an extended period of time. Break your course up into manageable chunks. Set goals; what do you want to have studied by the end of the day? By the end of the week? How much time do you have until your first exam? The best technique to tackle studying for an exam is to create a study timetable. That way, you can know whether you have studied everything you need for the exam. The more organised you are, the less stressed you will be. Remember to include study breaks in your timetable; even technology needs a break and a good restart now and then.

3. Work smart, not hard

I am sure your lecturers have probably told you this already but DO NOT try to revise everything from your course. You do not need to know everything. It is a waste of time. You have to answer 3 questions out of a possible 6 or 7 in an exam paper. If you revise 4/5/6 lectures or key areas of the course, then you should statistically be able to answer at least 3 questions that will come up in the exam. If you take a look at the past papers available on Moodle, you are generally able to estimate which areas are likely to come up. This will also give you a clear idea of the style of questions that could come up in the exam.

In addition, your coursework probably covered a key area of the course and your lecturer may have hinted that the area has already been examined so is not likely to come up again. Alternatively, you may have found some areas of the module more interesting than others. If you study the lectures that you enjoyed the most in the module, you are more likely to enjoy revising it and more likely to remember it.

4. Do not panic, it is open book

Make use of the fact that your exam is open book. Get all your notes organised in a manner that you feel will be easily accessible to you during the exam. Whether that be handwritten notes in a binder, word documents, or mind maps on your walls. Make use of the exam being at home in a comfortable environment and do not stress too much. On the other hand, do not rely too much on the exam being open book. It does not mean that you can leave your revision until the day before the exam or do no revision at all and rely solely on your notes. Stick to a routine and be prepared.

5. Stay happy and healthy

You are a law student, how cool is that? If you are in your second, third, or fourth year, congratulations on surviving your previous law exams. Remember that you have made it this far and you can go even further. Do not give up! If you are a first-year student, congratulations on getting accepted to a law degree at university. Remember that you worked hard during high school to get here, do not throw all that away now! Don’t forget that Napier is awesome, the Law is awesome, and YOU are awesome. Take care of yourself. As always, stay happy and healthy!

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