Edinburgh Napier University

Category: Studying

Exams and Wellbeing

Exams and Wellbeing

The first day of exams is today. We will be looking at the important dynamic between exams and wellbeing.

Study Skills

To ensure success in exams, it is important to develop good study skills. These include organisation, time management, prioritising, and self-discipline.

Set aside time for studying. Create a revision timetable where you can have specific blocks of time to focus on particular topics. Set goals for what you want to achieve during each study session. Prioritising your studies will ensure that you get the most out of each session.

Do not make your study sessions too long. It is better to study for short periods. For example, three one-hour sessions with breaks in between will be more productive than one long three-hour study session.

Use flashcards to remember key information, phrases or concepts on a subject and use these to test your knowledge. This helps you to not only retain the information but to be able to retrieve it quickly.

Regular revision will help you build and retain knowledge. It will also help to keep you focused and avoid panicking.

Relax/Take a break

Exams can be stressful, so it is important to look after yourself. Healthy eating, drinking water and sleeping well are essential to support your learning and memory as well as helping to keep you focused and motivated.

Having regular breaks can help to ease the pressure so be sure to make time to relax and do something you enjoy.

Reward yourself for your progress by doing some kind of activity e.g., walking, running, swimming, cycling, etc. Of course, it does not need to be a form of exercise – just any kind of activity that allows your brain to relax. Meet friends, watch TV or a movie, read, do something creative – anything that allows your brain time to process what you have been studying while doing something you enjoy. You will then be better prepared for your next study session by being more focused and maintaining motivation.

Don’t Stress!

Please do not panic or become overly stressed about your exams. A small amount of stress can be good for us but not when we are overwhelmed by it.

There are several services available to support you if you feel you need help.

Find out more about our support services here: Counselling & Mental Wellbeing

Also, you can check out our Wellbeing Collection for additional resources which offer further support.

Remember – always be kind to yourself.

Good luck!

by Sharon McMichael

Read our previous posts about exams 

Exams and Study

Exams and Study

We know we’ve been here before, echoing exams are upcoming. But it’s that time of year. And we can’t stress enough that the library is here to help and we have a wide range of resources for support.

We are running a book display at each campus library highlighting the support and help available. Here you will find books on study skills, exam guidance and how to take time out for yourself to unwind. As well as directions to online guides to subjects and wellbeing collections.

The displays will be there for the entire exam period, for you to have a chance to look at.

We also have everything online, if you don’t have time or the chance to make it to the library.

Exams and Study Skills

Feel free to browse the books on display and please note that all books are loanable. You can borrow them.  We have created a reading list for exam support, here you will find more books to manage exams. Some are physical items and some are online. Additionally, this reading list includes books on study skills and mindfulness during the exam period.

Our online tools for study skills include our training and event calendar which will direct you to sessions from Academic Skills advisors and subject librarians. There is a wide range of what it is offered and remember, you can also book 1.1 appointments.

Our subject guides cover all courses. These are designed by the subject librarians. Here you can find useful and more relevant resources for your course like databases.  There are also guides to Google Scholar and referencing and much more.

Wellbeing and Relaxation:

The exam period can be stressful. So it is important not to get burnt out.  Our displays feature books on mindfulness and well-being. At each library,  there is a well-being collection which is dedicated to navigating life at university. And a relaxation area where you take time to unwind with some jigsaws or light reading. If you can’t make it into the library, the wellbeing collection is available online and we have a virtual relaxation space on the blog.

Keep your eyes out for an upcoming article on the Wellbeing Collection. A deeper dive into what the Wellbeing Collections offers.

Good luck with your exams.

Library Support: Assessments, Exams and Dissertations

Library Support: Assessments, Exams and Dissertations

Exams are upon us, final assessments are upon us and dissertations are upon us. It’s that time of the year again. But the final stretch to the summer break. Don’t fret, the library is here to support and here to help.

How can the library support?

Over on our training and events calendar, you will find a wide range of training sessions, particularly with your subject librarian. Meaning you get more of a tailored session. You can find help with reference management, library 101, and literature reviews. Some are online and you will find out how to register for a place there. Some are in-person and again, you can find all the information on where and what over on our training and events calendar. And don’t forget you can always email for a 1.1 chat with your subject librarian. Not sure who they are, you can find them here on the myNapier.

Additionally, we have a study skills webpage that covers essay and dissertation writing and more, including reports. It even has evaluating information and grammar guides. We have libguides which cover subject guides and research guides. Our subject guides are designed to help you find information on a specific subject including journal articles and databases. Our research guides are to help you develop your research and digital information skills including critical thinking and data collection and analysis.

Support from the university:

Over on the myNapier webpages, under the tab Your Studies. You will find a wide range of support from the university. And you can find out more about the wonderful academic skills team. You can read more about them on their very own blog and on myNapier.

 

You can read more on our blog including about wellbeing during exam time.

Good luck, you’ve got this.

 

Supercharge Your Study

Supercharge Your Study

Do you struggle to find the time to get the head down and do some proper study?  Do you find it difficult to find a comfortable environment in which to settle down and gather your thoughts?  Or do you crave peace and quiet?  Do you lack the motivation to open your notes and put them into order?

We get that everyone studies in different ways. We know many of you like to study in our large, open communal spaces, and we know some of you prefer to study on your own in our silent areas.

But we’d like to offer you an alternative to both these options: a supported structured study session hosted by Library staff where you can study on your own, in peace and quiet, but within a group environment.

SuperCharge Study Session

There is good evidence that working together creates an atmosphere that increases productivity. So join us for a hosted session. We won’t tell you what to do. You’ll work on your own at your own pace. We won’t ask you what you’re working on, and we definitely won’t ask you to share. But we will offer support. We are friendly and welcoming, and we’re on your side. We will offer the space, peace, warmth and an uplifting atmosphere for you.

It’s the new year. Why not start 2024 as you mean to go on – with enhanced concentration, optimal learning opportunities, maximum productivity and flourishing levels of creativity.

You can read previous articles on studying tips 

We have feedback sheets around the library to fill in or you can answer these questions below and contact us.

  1. How long would you like to study for?
  2. How often would you like a dedicated hosted study session?
  3. What time of the day suits you best?
  4. Would you prefer virtual or on-campus?

Can music improve your wellbeing and health?

Can music improve your wellbeing and health?

Numerous studies suggest that music can have positive effects on both mental and physical well-being. From running to Dementia.

Here are some ways in which music may contribute to improved health:

  1. Mood Enhancement: Music has the ability to evoke emotions and enhance mood. Listening to uplifting or calming music can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also elevate mood and promote a sense of well-being.
  2. Stress Reduction: Music has been shown to have a calming effect on the autonomic nervous system, leading to lower levels of stress hormones. Slow-tempo music with a relaxing melody can induce a relaxation response in the body.
  3. Pain Management: Music therapy is used in various healthcare settings to help manage pain. It can distract individuals from pain, reduce the perception of pain, and contribute to a more positive experience during medical procedures.
  4. Cognitive Benefits: Listening to music can stimulate cognitive functions, including memory and attention. It is often used as part of therapy for individuals with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
  5. Improved Sleep: Calming music before bedtime has been shown to improve sleep quality. It can help people relax and create a conducive environment for restful sleep.
  6. Enhanced Exercise Performance: Upbeat and rhythmic music can enhance exercise performance by providing motivation and increasing energy levels. It can also distract individuals from feelings of fatigue during physical activity.
  7. Social Connection: Music is a universal language that can bring people together. Group music-making activities, such as singing or playing instruments, promote social interaction and a sense of community, contributing to overall well-being.
  8. Emotional Expression: Music provides a means of emotional expression and can serve as a cathartic outlet. Creating or listening to music allows individuals to express and process their emotions.

Resources

The neuroscientist Indres Viskontas has done a lot of fantastic research on the subject and you can access many of their articles through Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk, such as:

Music on the Mind: an introduction to this special issue of Neurocase
Viskontas, Indre V. ; Margulis, Elizabeth Hellmuth

Music Therapy has long been recognised as a helpful treatment. We have many books and articles for you to read on the subject. Check out:

Music therapy
Rachel Darnley-Smith and Helen M. Patey.

The British Journal of Music Therapy  available online

It’s important to note that the effects of music on well-being can vary from person to person, and individual preferences play a significant role. What works for one person may not work for another. Additionally, music is often used as a complementary therapy and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical or psychological treatment when needed.

Furthermore, why not check out our Spotify for some musical Inspiration?

So to answer the question can music improve your wellbeing and health? Yes it can!

Right, I’m off to dance around the Library and lift my January spirits!

By Juliet Kinsey

Read more January inspiration on the blog with our article on keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Get Moving and Study Better!

Get Moving and Study Better

Tips for helping your body be healthier as you study.

Whether it’s studying, working, or watching a screen. We all need to move more. Finding clever small changes is a great way to sneak a little more health into our daily lives.

Things like stand-up desks are a great idea but they can be expensive and large. Try fitting one of them in your Halls room. Below we’ve come up with a few easy, cheap or free alternatives.

Sitting on the Floor

This is an easy one, why not try sitting on the floor? If you’re streaming, reading, or even just scrolling pop yourself down on the floor instead of a chair. New research says that it can be very beneficial to do this for just a short period a day.

Make sure you use a good position though, cross-legged, Z-sit or Long sit to make sure your posture is correct. This article from Healthline can give you some good floor-sitting tips.

You can read more on the science in articles like: “A Comparison Study on the Change in Lumbar Lordosis When Standing, Sitting on a Chair, and Sitting on the Floor in Normal Individuals”, available through our Library catalogue LibrarySearch

Recording and Walking

Why not record your study notes on your phone, pop in some earphones and go for a walk. Research says the best way to study is to use multiple formats. It’s called multimodal learning! Multimodal learning incorporates visual, auditory, reading and writing and kinesthetic

So don’t just write them down but speak your notes aloud. By recording them and listening back as you walk, your body and your brain will be working. You could even drift off to sleep listening to them and let your unconscious soak them in as you sleep.

Read more on SpringerLink in this research paper called Multimodal Learning by Dominic Massaro.

Meditation

So, this one needs to be done separately from studying but the science says it can really help you actually study better. So even if you schedule a few short meditation breaks into your day you could see improvements. To get yourself moving why not try a walking meditation?

There is a study called: “Effects of a Mindfulness Meditation Course on Learning and Cognitive Performance among University Students in Taiwan” available through LibrarySearch. The study found meditation significantly improved memory performance. So why not give it a try?

Here’s a free 10-minute walking meditation on Soundcloud.

Just Move!

Fidget, wiggle your toes, or sway to some music. Any movement is good! Why not stop and do 10 jumping jacks or some squats? Put on your favourite song and dance! Getting the blood pumping around your body is an excellent way to stimulate your mind!

Read more on health and well-being in some of our other articles:

Stress Awareness Month

January and Wellbeing

By Juliet Kinsey

Image Source: Image by Anna Lysenko from Pixabay

 

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