How to perform at your peak in the final weeks - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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How to perform at your peak in the final weeks

15 Oct 2021

You're almost at the finish line with just a few assignments to finish or exams to sit before you pack up the textbooks for the year. Make sure you keep up the momentum and motivation so you can finish strong.

By getting your head and habits in the right space, you will be able to bring out your inner champion and achieve your goals.

Here is how you can approach your study in these final weeks.

Embrace your study style

Are you an organised, mindful or social studier? We all have various study styles. By embracing how you study, you can optimise your environment to get the most of each study session.

If you like to study with others, set it up in advance and set some goals around what you all want to achieve. If you know you need a calm environment, spend some time setting up your study space and getting your mind in the right place whether that is with exercise, music or meditation.

Make studying easy and satisfying

Sometimes the simple act of starting to study can be difficult. So, instead of just planning a time to study, plan a journey to study. Add elements that make you excited to begin the process. Get everything you need (textbooks, laptop, notebook) in one place, choose an activity you like to do before you start that will help get you ready. You can take a walk or enjoy a coffee in the sun.

Make the journey to your study session enjoyable - it will make the habit of studying a lot easier.

Remove the distractions

Be conscious of what can take your focus away from the main task. If you know you check your phone regularly, switch between study notes and social media or watch TV while you study, you should remove these from your study environment. Try switching off notifications during your study time – it is only for a short amount of time, you can do it!

If you find yourself procrastinating, read about why we procrastinate and helpful tips to overcome it.

Reward yourself

With study, sometimes the big rewards (your exam results) will not come until weeks or months after you put in the effort. So, allocate your study time or study goals and plan a reward for yourself once you have finished. Think about what you enjoy that will make you happy and excited to complete your goal. It could be catching up with friends, playing a video game or diving into that great book you have been wanting to start for a while.

Explore more ways to prepare

Now you have your mind and routine prepared, you can find out the best ways to prepare via the Quiz, Test and Exam Preparation online resource.

You can also stop by a Drop-in session at your campus and chat with a Learning Adviser, Librarian or Student Leader - they are available to help you ace the end of semester!

Self-care while you study

Try and remember that stress is normal! It is a natural response to a threat or danger. You can use this stress and channel it into good energy to increase your motivation and focus.

However, to help avoid unwanted stress and perform at your very best, here are a few self-care tips to follow:

  • Make an early start to preparing for your final assessments and exams. The more prepared you are, the better you will feel.
  • Avoid study marathons – build in short but frequent breaks.
  • Identify avoidance early.
  • Focus your attention on a task rather than the anxiety.
  • Break tasks down into smaller, more manageable jobs to complete each day.
  • Identify unhelpful thoughts and try replacing them with more encouraging self-talk.
  • A little bit of nervous energy can help you stay motivated to perform. Ways you can deal with stress include practising breathing techniques (e.g. breathe in for 5, hold for 2, breathe out for 3) to relax your mind and body.

Remember good self-care. Sleep, nutrition, exercise, relaxation, and good social support will help your mind and body while you study.