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First Mid-Sem Ever!

You’ve just finished a 3-month summer holiday; you are a few weeks into the semester. Suddenly, you realise that you have an exam in a couple of days…


No matter how long you’ve been at uni, nothing will prepare you for the premature and untimely arrival of the mid-semester exams.  Unfortunately, as much as we’d like to, there’s no point in complaining, because they are inevitable, and you have to do them. So, take a few minutes before you start your study, and read on. Let us enlighten you on how to stress less, and do your best!


The first thing to note is that these exams, and university in general for that matter, is nothing like high school. You’ve heard it a 100 times before, but your first few uni exams will really highlight this. No one is going to chase you up about doing your homework, or what to study for the exam. You may be told all these things once during a lecture, but that’s it. You have to go about doing things yourself. So, make Blackboard your best friend, always have it at the ready because it contains everything you need to know! The course profile usually has the exam content and what the structure of the exam will be. Take note on the structure of the exam. For example, it might say “20 multiple choice and 3 short answer,” this may not seem like a lot to go by, but simply knowing the type of questions and the weighting of each question, goes a long way

The second top trick is to prioritise tasks during those exam weeks. It can be difficult deciding whether to go to that lecture, or get two more hours of study under the belt. The question you should ask yourself is, “Am I prepared? Do I feel confident that I can skip out on 2 hours of study?” Days off are even more important. Say you’ve got a day off on Wednesday and Tuesday night you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m going to study the whole day.” It’s now 4pm on Wednesday and you haven’t touched a book. This happens to everyone and it makes you feel so guilty after! On the other hand, constantly studying for 20 out of 24 hours in a day isn’t the healthiest thing either. You risk burning out and being so tired you can’t sit the exam. That’s not what uni is about, it’s about finding a balance.


Like I said before, no one is going to be chasing up on you to study for your exams, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go and ask for help yourself. Consultations are a great way to get more insight into the content and clear up anything you don’t know. Even if you don’t have any questions, rock up to a consult and just sit there and listen to other people’s questions. It’s a great way to absorb information and learn new content. Also, there are usually Facebook pages for a lot of the subjects that you’ll be doing. Join these! They’re great if you have any questions to ask, but can’t make it to a consult.


To finish up, here are some quick tips:


  • Eat and sleep well: it’s the timeless tip and is always relevant
  • Know the practice exam like the back of your hand! Generally, the lecturer will upload practice questions or a practice exam, make sure you do these thoroughly and have a solid understanding of each question.
  • Bring your student ID! This will be hammered into you, because it’s so important not to forget.
  • Being prepared is important to feel confident and doing well.


For now, it is important not to let stress win as you go into your first university exams. Study hard, try you best, and if you don’t achieve the most amazing results, there is always next time!