Business student insight: How to survive exam week at WBS

22 March 2020

Student bloggers from our range of Business Masters courses talk about their exam preparation and how to survive exam week at WBS.

Stefani Tamakloe, MSc International Business 

Exam week is coming! Fear not! Put that stress, panic and dread away and follow these simple tips to help you prepare for and survive exam week at WBS.

Firstly, it is important to start revising early to avoid last minute cramming! Read the essential pre-reading material before every lecture to help understand lectures better, and definitely make use of your professor’s office hours or ask friends for help if there’s a topic you don’t understand.

Additionally, prepare a study timetable to organise your time and schedule breaks, as impossibly long study periods can leave you exhausted before the exam has even begun!

Secondly, during exams week, pulling all-nighters is definitely a no-go since exams could be scheduled as early as 9am. An all-nighter can increase the risk of sleeping in and missing an exam, and fatigued minds do not retain information, or recall it well. Also, avoid learning any new topics during this exam week and only focus on reviewing topics learnt.

At least two days before an exam, triple-check your exam times, location and seat number; write them on a sticky note and stick them in obvious places that you will see regularly. Finally, adopt a positive approach to tackling exams, view exams as an application of your study efforts instead of a threatening experience!


Image of Julius BoehmerJulius Boehmer, MSc Business Analytics 

Coming from an undergrad that only had exams in the summer, intense revision over the Christmas period was relatively new to me. While I knew that going through all the term 1 material over the Christmas break would be challenging, I decided to take at least one week away from it all. I knew I would be much more productive in a short but focused time, instead of trying to squeeze in study periods in between the holidays and ultimately be less productive.

Leading up to the exams, my number one tip would be to not isolate yourself in your revision. Working with friends can motivate you and make revision less boring! Plus, working on practice questions and past papers together can save you a lot of time and provide ideas that you didn’t even consider on your own.

And lastly, take some time at the end of the day to exercise! The enormous benefit of physical exercise on both cognitive functioning and wellbeing has long been proven, and for me there’s no better way to clear my head and release all the energy piled up from studying all day!


Image of Vanessa Wai Lok, WuVanessa Wai Lok, MSc Business with Consulting 

Being a consultant demands a high level of attentiveness, focus on detail, and great management of time. Academic achievement and a flexible personality will take us a long way to thriving in the future. At WBS, as consultants-to-be, we have to coordinate a variety of assignments, from real client presentations, coursework, and, of course, exams. Life can be stressful and overwhelming as we cannot stop the multiple tasks that happen at similar times in the year, but there are lots of things we can do to prepare ourselves and prevent this stress.

Dealing with tension 

An exam is not going to be simple, so do expect a certain amount of pressure. It is common during an exam season, but actually, a little tension helps to intensify our awareness and can improve productivity.

However, it is important to take time to rest, stay positive, and be aware of the contagiousness of anxiety among our peers. And of course, rewarding ourselves with snacks during revision breaks does no harm!  

Schedule for exams 

Prepare a comprehensive schedule. Jot down the exam time and plan how much time can be allotted to studying for each course. Starting early will buy you more time and help to avoid last-minute cramming. Begin with the basic concepts, not only knowing the idea itself but developing the relationships between the materials. Don’t forget to take short study breaks where you can exercise, eat, rest, or do some other activity that takes your mind off the study material during that time.

The power of peers 

We are often hesitant to ask for help, but this can be really useful. If you are uncertain what to do or study, ask someone, whether that is a friend, classmate or professor. Develop a study group and use this to review the materials you’ve learnt by yourself – explaining the subject to the study group can be really useful. This tip can have an amazing impact not only on your grades, but on the presentation skills that are crucial to all consultants-to-be.

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