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Study tips for exam success

Surrey’s Student Learning Advisors offer tips and advice on the things you can do throughout the year to help you make the most of your study time.

How to study 

1. Plan your time 

Allow time for things like exercising and socialising with friends and family, as well as academic work. Even when exams are on the horizon, you need to find a healthy balance. 

Read our top tips on exercising for exam success.

2. Look after yourself 

To improve memory, brain function and emotional resilience it’s important to eat well and sleep well.

Find out how to sleep better and what to eat during exams

3. Learn independently

Aim to be an independent learner, but understand that this does not mean you are on your own. Independent learners are proactive, reflective and self-aware – they try to find solutions to problems, think about and question what they hear, see, learn or experience, and know their strengths and weaknesses. They also know to ask for help when they need it. 

4. Know your learning outcomes

Take the time to understand what you need to achieve for each piece of work or module that you undertake. Also, make sure that you fully grasp tasks, assignments and questions – if you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

5. Take time to reflect

Reflecting on the things you learn – whether that’s lectures you attend, material you read or events and activities you participate in – improves the odds that those lessons will stay with you, making them all the more valuable.

This will help you not only to identify gaps in understanding so that you can plan what you need to focus on, but also it will make revision for exams easier. Reflection involves questioning and critical thinking and, ultimately, leads to new knowledge. 

Study support at Surrey

The University of Surrey’s £16 million Library and Learning Centre offers students a wealth of study resources.

All students can access the support of Student Learning Advisors who offer advice to students on all aspects of academic study, from improving written work and practicing presentations, to working on time management.

Learn more about the Library and Learning Centre and our study support

Explore our undergraduate programmes and find out what it’s like to be a Surrey student.

This piece was originally published on 5/3/2015

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