Preparing for End of Year Exams! A Guide for International Students

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

It’s that time of the year when final exams are just around the corner and stress levels begin to rise. We’ve put together some key tips for students in the lead-up to their exams. This expands upon our 2018 blog of 8 Study Tips for International Students in NZ.


Sleep

A too often overlooked part of our exam preparation is proper sleep to allow your study to sink-in. Contrary to popular belief, the best way to retain information is not to pull an all-nighter of studying the night before an exam! The best thing for your memory is to have a good night’s sleep, (7-9 hours on average is optimal) and you will wake-up refreshed and ready for more study!


Study Plan

It’s important to have a clear study plan, whether it be through a diary, calendar or planner. With a plan, you can go about structuring your day to study different lectures and courses if you are University. Or, if you are at school and studying in NCEA, you can use past exams and online guides. You can plan the times you study, factor in breaks for healthy food or mood-boosting activities and ensure that you get to bed on time.


Food

Fuelling yourself is important and the healthier your food intake is, the more your body will respond. We aren’t saying that a chocolate or two as a reward won’t go amiss, but the best fuel for your mind is fruit, veggies, omega-3, antioxidants, protein and lots of water! Junk food, while filling, isn’t the best to sustain a good study session and should come only as a reward once or twice a week. Some of the best foods to eat while studying include; blueberries, avocados, nuts and leafy greens.


Environment

Whether you work best in a quiet environment or a noisy one, set up your study area in a way that will be most helpful to you being productive. Clear away clutter on your desk, remove any unnecessary distractions (including your phone) and ensure that you have a playlist set-up if you are planning on listening to music. Open the window or turn up the heater and then settle into your chair, ensuring you are comfortable and that your posture is good.


Study Partners or Study Groups

Sometimes a great way to enhance your learning is by studying with a partner or a larger group. It can be a great way of sharing knowledge, covering more material and making learning more fun. Ensuring that you have shared goals and key focus points will keep your minds on the task and maximise the effectiveness of the session.


Study Breaks and Rewards

It’s worthwhile giving yourself some encouragement for sticking to your schedule. If you have done 30 minutes of study straight, give yourself a break for five minutes to allow the information to sink in and your brain to re-focus. You might even consider exercising in-between study sessions, as this is a great way to have a break and stay healthy and focused, ready for your next study session. Another way to keep going is to give yourself a reward at the end of the study day if you hit your target study times, it could be a food treat or maybe an hour of a video game you love. Create a reward for yourself so that you have something to work toward (along with your good grade!)


Who are iStudent Complaints and what can we help you with?
iStudent Complaints is an independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government. Our objective is to encourage swift settlement of contractual and financial disputes between international students and their providers in New Zealand. As an independent and impartial service, we are not affiliated with any Education providers.

Why did we do this blog?
Even if we need to step in one day to help you resolve a dispute, we want you to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. To that end, we’ve created this content so that you may continue to explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer.