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Exam season can be a stressful time but it does not have to be. International Student Ambassador Anuja shares how she manages the assessment period.

Just hearing the word ‘exam’ can make people tense. It is particularly true for students near exam season.

It might sound even more terrifying and distressing for us, international students, when we are sometimes still getting used to a new education system by the time exams roll around.

Anuja Mitra, International Student Ambassador, MSc Criminal Psychology

However, it does not have to be terrifying or distressing. Here is my advice for international students in the UK to keep in mind during exam season:

  • Learning as an ongoing continuous process - Taking the learning process as a regular activity and not a one-off chore before exams is the first step towards approaching exams with serenity. Give yourself enough time to learn and let the material taught sink in. Focus on the process of research, class interactions, activities, and holistic academic growth.

  • Scheduling your activities – There are quite a few activities that take up your daily timetable, including house chores, which can be highly tiring at times. Establishing a routine and scheduling your activities, fixing a mandatory reading time, can help in managing everything during exam time.

  • Time for relaxation – Although hard work and consistency is required, enough rest and relaxation must also be taken. The University highly takes into consideration students’ health and wellbeing. It does push one to challenge, explore and give their best however not at cost of distress and overwork. So do not hesitate to reach out to Student Wellbeing Service or Academic Skills Support and remember to make time for relaxation.

  • Music helps – It is useful to take some musical breaks, which helps in relaxing as well as benefits memory and cognition. The rhythms and beats of music also enable understanding “flow” in a piece of writing, tuning, and connecting with each other.

  • Maintaining self-care and hygiene - It is the easiest to sacrifice sleep, showers, and timely meals during exams. But that can be fatal for your physical and mental health during the stressful periods. As the mind and body then tend to be on alarm and alert mode. It is thus, very important to take enough care of yourself during this time.

The essential part is to manage expectations and focusing on the process of giving the best and not thinking of the results first.

Breathe and enjoy the process as a learning and growing phase. Take the challenge!

Anuja Mitra, International Student Ambassador, MSc Criminal Psychology