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7 December 2023

Its Exam Season!

By P Michael

Is the song ‘The Final Countdown” playing in your head yet?

It’s exam season and possibly one of the most daunting features of university life. Indeed, this season is an unavoidable cycle of late-night study sessions that may end up as library naps and the consumption of energy drinks and sugar-filled snacks.

Snacks and energy drinks are a staple during exam season

Whether it’s your first exam or your last, it’s quite common to feel a bit uneasy going into exam season. After 12 weeks of lectures, tackling exams may feel like a hair-raising and exhausting endeavour.

That said, let’s delve into some tips and tricks to ace your first (or last) exam season at Swinburne Sarawak.

#1: Get ahead

Easier said than done. Especially if you’re reading this in the middle of exam season.

However, let us acknowledge that it is pretty difficult to be blindsided by exams here. The dates of Swinburne’s exams are almost always published weeks before. More importantly, plan to get ahead.

Read your syllabus at the start of the semester and throughout. Arrange your schedule and manage your time to accommodate course discussions, meetings with your coordinator and assignment submission.

Looking through the syllabus also puts you ahead. Scrolling through your courses on CANVAS (Swinburne’s learning management system for courses and their related materials) takes only a few minutes but will save you a lot of trouble down the road.

#2: Add Some Variety to Your Schedule

So okay. You’re now in the thick of the exam season. Whether or not you followed tip #1, you’re probably going to feel overwhelmed. This is when you have to go against your instinct and fight the urge to indulge in a cramming session in the library.

Going outside, getting a bit of exercise, chatting with friends or doing something you enjoy would make you more productive than staring at a book until your eyes go numb (if that’s even possible). 

Going outside, getting a bit of exercise, and chatting with friends or doing something you enjoy would make you more productive

Even if you don’t feel like you have time to hang out with anyone, simply going out of campus to grab yourself something to eat is a good break from the books.

#3: Collaborate!

Not sure if anyone realises this, but at Swinburne, and especially during exam season, there is a sense of community and solidarity among the campus community. You are all going through the same thing, so don’t try to go at it alone.

Studying with friends or your coursemates can hold you accountable for your academic success. It can also make the experience more enjoyable, or as enjoyable as studying can be. Finding a study nook with your friends can help keep you focused, enable you to share notes and help you review topics.

It is also a great opportunity to take embarrassing pictures of your friends when they fall asleep on the top of their books in the middle of the library. Hey, it happens to all of us. Also, it gives you something to laugh about once exam season ends.

Exam season and library naps goes hand in hand

Of course, exam season is a tiny fraction of your university experience.

Without a doubt, it is a stressful reality of university life, but realistically, it is a small part of it. If you have prepared since the start of the semester, it is not as miserable as all the ‘exam horror stories’ that you may have heard from your seniors or lecturers.

So from all of us at Swinburne Sarawak, good luck!


Feeling the pressure of exam season? No worries – we’re here to help! Our friendly counsellors are more than happy to chat with you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them here. You’ve got this! 




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