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How to stress less during exam season

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A bit of prep goes a long way during the exam period! We spoke to Team Leader of Academic Support Jackie about how to stay organised, manage your wellbeing, and give yourself the best shot at nailing your exams. 

1. Manage your time 

Start by giving yourself as much time as possible. As early as you can, start looking at what you need to know for the exam, and prioritise reviewing that. Your tutor should give you an idea of what to expect, and what topics to cover. Cramming in too much makes it difficult to retain the information, so prioritising what’s important is key. 

When you enter the exam period, you likely won’t have your usual classes, so you’ll have some time to spare! Manage your time by planning when, what and where you’ll study. You might want to start studying for your earliest exam first and working back from there.  

2. Choose the best environment for you 

Some people need a quiet space with no distraction, some people love the background noise of a coffee shop, and some people prefer to be at home where they’re never far from a snack. Finding the environment that will help you be as productive and comfortable as possible can go a long way.  

The key things to remember when finding a study space are: limit distractions, develop a routine, and avoid studying on your bed! Arm yourself with all the notepads, highlighters, sticky notes, hydration and snacks that you need and get stuck in.  

3. Work with others 

More brains are better than one! Problems are easier to solve when you’ve got your classmates or friends with you, and if you’ve got any gaps in your knowledge or notes, they might be able to help fill them. Having some extra people around when you want to test yourself or turn your revision into a game can be handy too.  

4. Revise and visualise  

Using visual tools like diagrams, sticky notes and mind mapping are all great ways to help you revise. Highlighting the most important points or topics will be helpful when you’re going over your notes.  

5. Look after your wellbeing  

Stress can be a big focus killer, so finding time to do activities that support your wellbeing are crucial during this time! Wellbeing can mean different things to everyone, it might be connecting with others, getting out in nature, exercising, helping others, or getting stuck into a hobby. If you’re looking for a quick fix, getting outside for a change of environment and fresh air can be an easy way to feel a little better quickly.  

If you’re looking for more ideas on how to look after your wellbeing, head to the Te Pūkenga wellbeing hub, Te Pae Ora. 

6. Break up your study time 

Taking regular breaks helps you refocus and gives your brain a breather, and studying for shorter periods can help with retaining information. Plan to take a ten-minute break every 30-60 minutes. 

7. Be kind to yourself  

You can only do so much with the time you have, so don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re looking for further wellbeing support, head to our Student Guide for helpful resources and contacts.  


Get in touch with Academic Support 

Our Learner Support Services team offers academic support to any students that are looking for it. Get help with study plans, academic writing support, time management, reading and understanding texts, essay writing, libguides and more. You can meet with them 1-1, in groups, via email or attend workshops on different topics to help you succeed. Drop in during their on-campus hours or arrange a time to meet at any of our campuses. 


Connect with Learner Support Services

Email: LSS@wandw.ac.nz 

Phone: 0800 141 121

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