Aakruthi Karri weighs in on the best study tips for incoming freshers
Stress can arise in many different forms. Some of it can be a result of homesickness, other forms include: exam-stress, deadline-stress, coursework-stress and presentation-stress. This article will be a guide to the handling of stress related to academics, in an efficient manner and hopefully it can lead to an increase of productivity.
Exams are a crucial part of any degree. A part of a successful student’s academic career is rooted in how well they are able to handle stress, and key to combatting stress is through planning. The initial step for the May exams would be to have all the revision notes completed by the end of term 2, which would be the last week in March. It could be inefficient to prepare notes in April. One should utilise the month to read through the notes on each topic in the morning, and do the relevant past-paper exams under timed conditions in the afternoon and evening. This will make you familiar with the exam format and type of questions that could come up.
At the end of each day, plan an hour to spend time with loved ones who encourage and keep you grounded, this will ensure a relaxed feeling, which reduces stress. Afterwards, maybe spend an hour going through the revision notes and attempting questions on any problematic topic. Before sleeping, a useful technique to reduce anxiety would be to watch an episode from a tv show or reading a novel.
One of the efficient ways of overcoming coursework stress is by dividing the coursework into smaller pieces, this tends to reduce stress and not make one feel overwhelmed. Try to start working on the coursework the day it is released, just understanding the essay question will do. A useful method would be creating a mind-map; then, start the research and make notes for potential arguments. Then start drafting and drafting. When this is completed, there should hopefully be a few days left to edit.
The most stressful action one could take in terms of coursework would be to pull an all-nighter just before the deadline. It might also prove to be counterproductive and cost possible marks. Always be careful when it comes to coursework, plan and complete it in plenty of time before the deadline. This will make life a lot easier.
Deadlines are another area of stress in the life of a student. The main method to the reduction of stress would be by being organised. The first part would be to invest in an academic planner at the beginning of the year. When a deadline is given, it should be noted. Always aim to finish the assignment a few days before the deadline, so that the proofreading and editing can be done in a relaxed manner. This will be much better than a rushed assignment.
In previous assignments, I would finish at least a couple of days before and spend the last day and a half editing and ensuring the references as well as the bibliography has been done in an appropriate manner. This step was always after completing the proofreading. It has been a method that has worked, but it is an area that I am seeking to improve in. From this year onwards I plan to edit my essay at least five days before and submit it then.
Presentations and other types of oral examinations, such as plea in-mitigation for first year law students can be quite daunting. My advice would be:. always prepare flashcards which outline the argument on the slides or documents. In the days leading up spend half an hour each day practising the presentation. Whilst doing so, switch off the notifications on your phone and use it as a timer. Make sure you have not exceeded the time limit.
The day before the assessment, print out any essential documents or place the presentation on a USB stick. Once the practice of the presentation for the day has been completed, place the flashcards neatly in your backpack and choose, the outfit for the next day. Have a good dinner and relax!
The general key to combating stress are being organised and to get a good night’s sleep. It might be a difficult task to perform, but if this is possible then most likely the assessments will be successful. I would like to wish all the freshers and returning students good luck for the upcoming academic year.