Summer term’s just around the corner, and what does that mean? That’s right! Endless episodes of exams. Over the years as a student at the RWTH Aachen, I have collected various tips on how to survive the intensive studying phases – all without jungle hair and mental suffering.
First, schedule your free time
Even if you plan to study 8 hours a day, I always take the time to plan my private things first in my weekly schedule. Fitness and relaxation times are a must, and there are even studies that recommend such a planning. In the critical phase time naturally gets a bit tight and sometimes your exercise suffers, but one should always strive for a balance.
Analyze the old exams
Always a good idea. Perhaps there are focal points and repetitive tasks. It is also a good idea to ask students from higher years if there are only a limited number of exams. Unfortunately, there is no online forum at Imperial College to exchange previous experiences. At the RWTH there is the so-called Maschboard, in which Mechanical Engineering students report and exchange experiences. Very helpful and highly recommended.
Build a study routine
Get up at the same time, go to bed at the same time, eat lunch at the same time. Even on weekends. Man is a creature of habit, and it also builds momentum that helps you get into the ‘flow’ channel. This is where you have the feeling that it’s working and that you’re quite productive.
I always study through the weekends, but every 2 weeks I take a day off where I don’t do anything at all. Relax, take a trip somewhere or just chill out in the park all day as a reward for hard work.
Good luck and happy Easter!