A Guide to Acing Exam Season
As exam season approaches, I wanted to provide all our readers with a guide to a stress free next few weeks. This guide will provide you with organizational tips, ideas for selfcare, helpful resources to access through Ryerson University and so much more. Please keep in mind, it is important for you to start applying these strategies into your daily route at least 2 weeks prior to your exam date in order to have a smooth sailing exam season.
1. Time to get Organized: First, let's start off with the basics; you have to stay organized. Before any productive studying happens, you have to know your Winter 2022 Exam Schedule, which can be accessed on www.ryerson.ca/registrar/exams. Once you’re there, you want to click on “Current Students: Exams,” which will take you to the Exam page. After that, scroll down to find your Exam Schedule: Undergraduate, Graduate, and Law Students schedules. Once you have all the dates accessible to you, write out all your exam dates on a physical or electronic calendar; this will ensure that you can easily refer back to the dates and times (personally, I prefer writing them out on a physical calendar so I can visualize my exam schedule better). But here’s where the magic truly happens, on this same calendar, identify when you will study for each class leading up to the exam date (be specific with the date and time). I like to do this by dividing each class up into lectures. For a 12 week course, you can study 2 lectures per day and ensure you have 1 extra day to do a complete overview of all your lectures (this same strategy should be used for each of your classes). Another aspect to organization during this time is strongly connected to your D2L course shells. Ensure that you are caught up on all your lectures, readings, and notes by scanning through your course syllabi one last time. I would even suggest developing a Google or Excel Spreadsheet, if you haven’t already, to check off all the required readings and/or asynchronous lectures you may have left to review.
2. Selfcare: Along with prioritizing studying, you have to make sure that you are physically and mentally treating yourself with kindness and care. Below, I have listed some of my favourite selfcare tips below.
Get a healthy amount of sleep (6-8 hours per day). If it's hard for you to get enough sleep and you catch yourself staying up late to study, make sure you build into your calendar specific hours for studying and sleeping - it is very important to separate these two times and stick to your schedule.
Eat nutritious food (but make sure it's something you enjoy). Nutritious food doesn't have to be boring, get creative and look up some of your favourite recipes for meals and snacks. Don’t forget to treat yourself once and awhile as well with some fun food.
Implement physical activity into your weekly routine (3 days a week or more). Whether going to the gym is your thing, going for a walk, or dancing, try to add in something that keeps your heart pumping. I find that exercising with a friend always motivates me to keep going.
Do something you love each day (30 mins - 1 hour). Take the time to do something that fuels your body, mind and soul. It is extremely important that you schedule this break time and stick with it because you don't want to end up binge watching your favourite show for 4 hours.
3. Academic Support: At Ryerson University, students have access to free academic support systems, so make sure to utilize them if you need to. By going to the following website: https://www.ryerson.ca/student-life-and-learning/learning-support/, students will be able to get in touch with individuals who can provide assistance with:
- Math and Computer Science Support
- Study Skills and Transition Support
- Writing and Language Support
- Graduate Student Support
- RU Tutor Match
- Guidelines and Procedures
- Academic Edge
You can also check out the following Quick Links on the same website:
- Booking Tool
- Upcoming Events
- Math Tutor Schedule
- SLG Schedule
- RU Tutor Match
- Online Learning Toolkit
- Online Learning YouTube
4. Mental Health Support: During this time, it is also paramount to focus on your mental health and wellbeing, and recognize when you need to reach out for support. Whether that be support from a trusted family member or friend, or by seeking professional help. Some of the options you have that are directly accessible to you as a Ryerson University student can be found on the following webpage: https://www.ryerson.ca/mental-health-wellbeing/. By going onto this site, you will be able to find out more information regarding the “Centre for Student Development and Counseling,” the “Medical Centre,” “Consent Comes First,” and “Wellbeing at Work.”
Some other resources that you can use in the GTA include, but are not limited to:
- Emergency Help-Lines (Call: 211, Text: 21166)
- Gerstein Crisis Centre (Call: 416-929-5200)
- Kids Help Phone (Call: 1-800-668-6868, Text: CONNECT to 686868)
- Non-Crisis Free Counseling: Warm Line (Call: 416-323-3721 from noon to 8:00pm, or 416-
960-9276 from 8:00pm to midnight. Text: 647-557-5882)
Or visit https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/covid-19-wellness-during-the-pandemic/covid-19-mental-health-resources/ for more resources in your community.
5. Other Helpful Tips: Additional advise that I would suggest considering when preparing for your exams include, but are not limited to the following:
Utilize class discussion boards to reach out to your classmates, TA’s, and Professors. I find that collaborating with my peers in discussion boards really gives me a different perspective on concepts learned in class and encourages critical thinking.
What kind of studier are you? Do you prefer studying alone or with a group of friends? Try out both and see what works best for you. If you are someone who likes to study in a group, you can either use a study room in the Ryerson Student Learning Centre (SLC), or create a zoom session for you and your classmates to collaborate online from any location.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. I know, it’s easier said than done, but be kind to yourself during the studying process, during the exam itself, and after your exam. It’s important to also not compare yourself to others because we are all experiencing exam season in a different way.
With all the tips I have put together, I truly hope this 2022 Winter exam season goes smoothly for you! I encourage you to share some of the tips and advice you have learned from this guide with your peers and colleagues by sharing this blog post in all your course group chats. If there are any resources we have missed or other advice and tips you may have that can support your fellow colleagues, please leave them in the comment section below, or on our Instagram page associated with this blog piece (@BoostHER.RU). Good luck, and get studying!
- XOXO BoostHER