Monday, 16 May 2016

Sharmaine: How to Manage Your Time During the (Dreaded) Exam Period

Hello everyone!

So exams are just round the corner and I'm sure quite a number of us have switched to panic mode. For a lot of us (me included!) it can be difficult to get started on readings and assignments from the semester. I've decided to give some advice to those of you who feel like you currently lack motivation to get some work done, and I hope they will help you as much they do for me :)

Tip 1: Set a list of topics on a to-do list

It might seem silly, but being a visual learner I tend to get more things done when I've set myself a task and am able to physically strike it off once I'm done. In coming up with a list of topics to study, it's always good to allocate yourself 2-3 days on a certain topic. I personally believe that in focusing on one sole topic rather than 3 topics at one time, you will get a better overall understanding on how to apply the topics in exams instead of just scratching the surface of several topics with little understanding. You can print off to-do lists from awesome sites like this one or this one (for a more basic template)!

Tip 2: See your tutors!

When I was in my first year, I never saw the need to visit my tutors. I found it a little embarrassing to book a slot and clarify issues (which I always thought they would find silly) when I could simply read and attempt to understand. Alas, that was not the case. My grades suffered as a result of assuming that could understand everything on my own and not clarifying matters with my lecturers or tutors. Contrary to belief, tutors are willing to help students. Being a law student, I need all the help  I can get especially when there is a lot of conflicting case law and legal jargon. If you're too shy to have a one to one session with your tutor, you can always email them! This will save you a lot of time re-reading topics you do not understand.

Tip 3: Talk to someone

I like to study alone, but only because I end up talking to my friends about everything but studies. However, many of my friends enjoy studying in groups as communicating their thoughts help to enable them to understand and visualize current legislation and case law. I think this would help across the board for all courses as speaking to someone else helps to clear grey areas that you have in your mind. This would also be a good idea if you're too afraid to meet your tutor and discussing issues with fellow course mates

Tip 4: Do your seminar work / practice, practice, practice

You always hear your tutors barking at you to practice or to re-do seminar work or past exam papers. That's because they really help. For the law school, past year exam papers are uploaded onto MOLE to help students get a better idea of the structure of the paper and the types of questions that may come out. It is imperative that you re-do seminars or practice equations or theories. This way, if you encounter a question you cannot quite understand, it pays to ask someone for help and whiz through an exam paper knowing that you attempted the question correctly and with little doubt.

Tip 5: Go out for a breath of fresh air

Picture credits to

I don't mean spend the weekdays lazing about and the weekends mugging. I mean spending your weekdays mugging and weekends relaxing. You'd be surprised how much you can get done by sitting and focusing for 4-5 hours each day (depending on how much time you have) to get revision done. And as a reward, take the weekends off! Spend 1-2 hours on revision from the week and the rest of the day catching up on Big Bang Theory or catching up with friends. Remember that pain is temporary, but rewards are permanent.


I hope these tips have come in handy for those whose exams are coming up. We're almost at the end of our academic year, and it pays to have done proper revision and ace a paper rather than put it off only to be upset by how poorly we did. It's all in the mind, and if you set your mind to it, you can do it.

International Office Ambassador for Singapore

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