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Navigating Exams: How to Make the Most of Your Revision Weeks

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

Weeks plural – not singular; yes, that is how much time St Andrews gives us for revision. There are a total of two weeks until the official start of exams and for most people, it goes on for longer. With all this time you think we would all be getting perfect scores on our exams, but in fact, the extensive revision time can be both a blessing and a curse. While we have plenty of time to get stuff in order, the days blend together, become monotonous and for many people a reason to travel and avoid school altogether. Managing your time and staying on track is essential to both doing well on exams and having a fun end to the semester with your friends. Otherwise you’ll be burnt out or completely unprepared – neither of which are fun.

As we settle into the upcoming week of exams, most of you are probably almost finished studying but for some, exams can last into May (unfortunately sometimes right after May dip). To prepare for these, I would advise working in a little bit of revision each day. Once you’ve had a chance to view your exam schedule and know what lectures you need to rewatch (or watch for the first time) and what articles you should have read weeks ago, then it’s only a matter of spreading that out amongst the days ahead. I know from experience this can be hard, especially when at the beginning of the revision period exams seem so far in the future. But we’ve all inevitably been there, the night before an exam, looking at pages of notes thinking, ‘Why didn’t I start studying earlier?’ 

To avoid this haunting premonition, schedule your day. I find that after classes finish it can be insanely hard to structure my day, and as a result I have taken to forming a routine. I get up, go for a run to get my exercise time in, shower, have breakfast and then get some work done. This is totally personal, but I find that working in the day is so much easier than working in the evening; I try to get my stuff done during the day so I can relax or go out at night. With the semester ending, a lot of us have dinners, drinks and other outings with friends and societies, so revising during the day means it doesn’t infringe on our social times. Additionally, if you’re normally a poor planner like me, you’ve scheduled your flight home for pretty soon after your exams but have not yet begun to pack. If you’re moving house and packing up your belongings, the evenings can be a good time to get this done in a way where it doesn’t interfere with your studying. Otherwise, you’ll be up all hours after exams trying to pack and make your flight. 

Another tip – if you are feeling insanely unmotivated and depressed (probably from the Scottish weather), take time to do something for yourself everyday. My mom always says this can help you feel excited for the day and help you start on a positive note. Sometimes this can be drinking a latte or reading a book. Other times it can be drinks with a friend or – my personal favorite, an almond croissant. These little additions to your day can help bring positive energy into a really stressful environment.

Speaking of the environment, try to take advantage of the semi-ok weather that seems to be infiltrating St Andrews at the moment. Especially after exams start, I find the best way to decompress after writing one is to take a walk outside and listen to music. This way you can take your mind off things before you have to start studying for your next one. 

While I’m on this track, I will mention that this is a great time to explore St Andrews. While you’ve no doubt explored some other city and taken in the sights and probably warm weather of either Italy or Spain, exam season can be a great time so walk around and look in the little shops. Take a moment and sit in St Mary’s Quad or Sallies. Explore Toppings & Co. or sit in the window of Taste and read a book. Chances are you won’t be back for three or four months so you might as well enjoy the town at its warmest and prettiest before summer starts. 

I hope this brings some guidance and good luck with exams everyone, we’re almost there!

India Povey

St. Andrews '26

India is a sophomore currently studying International Relations and Modern History at the University of St Andrews. She has always had an interest in journalism and enjoys reading, discussing, and writing about current events, politics, and pop culture trends. In her free time, India can be found either running, drinking lots of Starbucks coffee, or rewatching Gilmore Girls. Her favorite season is winter because the holidays make everything better.