My 5 tips for better productivity during exams

Written by Michelle Zhang, UTS Bachelor of Nursing student

We all know uni exams can be a stressful time. Here are my top five tips for achieving better productivity:

1. Sleep

It is crucial for memory. You need sleep prior to learning, so that you are physically and mentally ready, to absorb new knowledge and information, and to lay down new memory traces.

You need sleep after learning for memory consolidation (where your new short-term memories get transferred from the hippocampus to the brain cortex and gets ‘saved’ as long-term memory during deep sleep). Moreover, during deep sleep, your memories replay in your brain approximately 10 times faster than during the day, strengthening the memory representation.

Sleeping well during exam periods can help your studies because you will learn and remember more effectively.

©acfrank via

2. Monotasking

There are only 2% of people (supertaskers) who can control their multitasking environment. Multitasking distributes your focus among all the things you are doing, so efficiency decreases and quality of results decreases. Eliminating distractions will increase your productivity and concentration levels.

3. Time management and getting organised

We all tend to do things last-minute. This act sometimes causes a lot of unwanted stress, decreases our productivity and even quality when we rush through things. Plan your study times to avoid overwhelming yourself and allow yourself enough time to learn and recall knowledge, then apply to practice.

©damedeeso via

4. Breaks

Rewarding yourself by taking breaks could help in strengthening your motivation and productivity. You will also have a more positive attitude. You can spend the break resting, eating your favourite food, exercising or go through some memes! The goal here is to know when to switch on and when to switch off.

5. Study groups

Sometimes there may be a lot of content to study for an exam and you struggle to cover all content. I sometimes study with my nursing friends during exam periods, where we each take the responsibility to cover a topic, then teach each other. Studying with friends who are doing the same subjects as you can help you learn from each other, compare study notes, share study burden, learn more and faster!

Good luck in your final exams!

Find out more about studying health at UTS

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