Microphone Mania: Exam Season Edition

Amidst the hectic and stressful third term, Gunisha interviews students from various degrees to hear their perspectives on coping with stress and revising for exams.

By Gunisha Aggarwal.

It is that time of the year that is probably no one’s favourite – the third term which comes with a chock-a-block schedule of deadlines and exams. I can’t believe how fast the academic year has gone by. These past few days, I have been procrastinating by doing work for societies and then studying in the library when I run out of other things to do. So I decided to interview students from various degrees to see how they were faring this term and if they could share their tips for dealing with stress and revising effectively. 

A girl with long black hair sitting at a desk. She is typing on an open laptop and looking towards the camera. There are various other items on the desk.
Jessica Huang gives her experiences of revision. Image: Jessica Huang.

Could you please introduce yourselves? 

AB: Hello, I am Archie Bartlett, a first-year Physics student from near Luton. 

DL: Hi, I am Disha Lilani, a first-year Economics student from Chennai, India.  

EC: Hello, I am Ethan Christie, a first-year MORSE (Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics) student. 

JH: Hi, I am Jessica Huang, a first-year Economics student from Edinburgh. 

JB: Hello, I am Jonathan Baguley, a first-year Chemistry student. 

How has term 3 been so far for you?

AB: Term 3 has been quite stressful. I feel like there is less immediate pressure since we don’t have weekly assignments and problem sets. However, preparing for exams is quite stressful. 

DL: It’s been different from what I expected. I haven’t had regular lectures, so there is a lot more time during the day to finish work. There is more focus on independent study during this term. I feel like I need to be motivated on my own and put in the effort rather than just relying on attending seminars. Everyone has become more serious about academics, and I feel like the university environment has changed. Other than that, it has been a good term. 

EC: Exams have come around faster than expected. However, I am really enjoying the more unstructured nature of this term. 

JH: Term 3 has been good so far, and I can’t believe I’m almost at the end of the first year! This term, I’ve mainly been focusing on completing assignments and revising for my upcoming exams.

JB: It’s been alright – it’s just a lot of revision for exams this term. 

What modules are you taking this year? How many exams, essays or coursework submissions do you have in term 3?

An open laptop on a desk with papers and notebooks in front.
A revision plan is crucial for revision success. Image: Gunisha Aggarwal.

AB: I am essentially taking introductory physics modules. I have six exams and no coursework this term. 

DL: I am taking introductory core economics and industrial organisation modules along with two optional modules. My optional modules this year are Mathematical Analysis and Topics in Applied Economics. I had a few group project submissions earlier this term and have seven exams later.

EC: My core modules vary across the Math, Statistics, and Economics departments, along with Warwick Business School. I have seven exams and one coursework submission this term.

JH: I am taking introductory core economics modules and Foundations of Finance, an optional module from WBS. I had two pieces of coursework (a video submission and a report) for my modules which I have now completed, and six exams- one for each of my modules- starting later in May.

JB: My modules are introductory organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry. I have three exams. 

Do you have any stress-coping strategies and revision techniques for this exam season?

AB: I think socialising is an excellent stress-coping strategy. I have also enjoyed attending the Cocktail Society’s events this term. In addition, I think working in the library with friends is more effective than sitting in your room and trying to study. 

DL: Meeting friends is always relaxing. I recommend doing an activity or playing a sport you enjoy to relieve stress because being in a different environment boosts your energy when you have been sitting and studying all day. 

Two open laptops on a desk. One laptop is on a zoom call with images of some equations on the screen.
Jonathan likes to study with friends. Image: Jonathan Baguley.

EC: Cooking and going to the pub have been my stress-coping strategies. I tend to make lecture notes and then methodically work through them. 

JH: My revision technique is first to create a revision timetable to plan and organise my time. Then, I do exercises and worksheets based on lecture and seminar content, spending the longest on topics or modules I find the hardest. Finally, I solve past exam papers. Exam season can be stressful, so I enjoy spending time with friends and going to the gym to cope with stress.

JB: I think getting out of my room is good for dealing with stress, even if it’s just going out for grocery shopping. For revision, similar to what Archie said, I would recommend going to the library with a group of friends. 

What is your favourite study spot on campus?

AB: The library is my favourite study space.  

DL: My favourite study spot is the Faculty of Arts Building (FAB). However, if I want to have an intense study session, I go to the library. 

EC: I quite like the lobby area on the ground floor of the Oculus. 

JH: My favourite study spot is also the FAB. I like going there to study, especially in the evenings. I like how the study spaces in FAB are quite open, planned and modern, so it almost feels like you are more relaxed when you are studying there. Another reason why I enjoy going to FAB to study is because of the walk from my accommodation to FAB, which is definitely stress-relieving.

JB: My favourite study spot is probably the library. 

What is the one thing that has kept you sane during the exam season?

AB: Friends, more than anything else, have been instrumental in getting through this term. 

DL: I think just doing other activities and meeting up with friends, as I mentioned earlier, is super helpful.

EC: I quite like being involved with societies and doing things other than academics during the term.  

JH: Taking breaks and not studying all the time!

JB: Just chatting and meeting up with mates has been nice.  Thank you, Archie, Disha, Ethan, Jessica and Jonathan, for patiently answering my questions during deadline season! I hope the second edition of Microphone Mania was an interesting read with helpful advice for tackling stress and acing exams. Don’t forget that the Library’s Study Happy sessions are running throughout the term in case you need extra motivation or simply want to take a break. Wishing you all the very best for your exams!

Do you have any stress coping strategies, tips to deal with procrastination and revision techniques? We would love to hear from you. Let us know by tweeting us @warwicklibrary, messaging us on Instagram @warwicklibrary or by emailing us at libraryblogs@warwick.ac.uk

We are looking for participants for the next instalment of the Microphone Mania series. Would you like to reflect on your experiences during this academic and do you have any advice for incoming freshers? Let us know by emailing us at libraryblogs@warwick.ac.ukand we will contact you for an interview!

If you enjoyed reading this blog and want to learn more study hacks, make the best possible use of the library and find study spots on campus, read these interesting blogs on different exam formats, a fresher’s guide to the library and different study spots.  

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