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Key Study Skills

Managing stress

Not all stress is bad - it can motivate us to work hard.  However, if it gets overwhelming there are some practical strategies that can help which we've included on this page.  When these don't help, the counsellors at Unitec are skilled in helping students deal with stress.

Dealing with exam problems

Dealing with exam related problems


Some stress is natural.  The extra adrenaline will increase your alertness and energy and enable you to recant more quickly in the exam.

To avoid excess stress

  • Don't let it build up.  Make sure you take your meal breaks and get sufficient sleep.  Take short breaks in between study periods.  Get up and move away from your desk.  Allow yourself some relaxation time without feeling guilty.
  • Learn a relaxation technique and use it regularly well before the exam date (check out CALM or the Breath 2 Relax app - links below).

Memory block

If your mind goes blank during the exam, simply write something down about the topic. This may help to trigger other facts associated with the blocked information.  If necessary, leave the problem, go on to another question, and then return to the original question later.

Writer's cramp

To help relieve hand cramp during the exam allow your hand to hang limply at your side.  Mild shaking followed by contracting and then relaxing the hand can also relieve cramp.

Revision and exam preparation

Revision and exam preparation self-evaluation

I can find something positive for me in taking these exams
I know exactly where the exams are
I have made a realistic revision timetable, with clear priorities
I am aware of the memory strategies I need to revise for the exam
I can work out how many topics I need to revisit for each exam
I am aware of the range of questions that can come up for each topic
I know how to manage stress and use it effectively