The first thing you have to do is to find out when and where you will have your exams. Check this out at the website of the Examinations Office: http://www.exam.hku.hk/. After that, you can make your revision timetable. It is never too early to start planning for your revision. In fact, procrastination is the No. 1 enemy of many students. If you want to have a superpass, never leave it until the last minute.
Prioritize your exams, that is, by starting with the courses that you are less confident in; and spending more effort on the courses where exam carries heavier weighting in the overall assessment (review syllabus/ check with tutor if necessary). More importantly, set an objective for each study period (e.g. each day or week) so that you can ascertain whether you are on track. When you do your revision, focus on areas that you are weak in. Apart from exam preparation, you might have term essays or group projects to hand in as well. Plan your time wisely and include all these “tasks” in your schedule.
Remember to attend the revision session or the last few sessions of your courses (including the tutorials). It is not uncommon for the lecturers or tutors to spend some time on elaborating on the key topics before their courses conclude. Make sure you do not miss them. These sessions might give you important clues and directions for revision.
Old exam papers could be a very effective preparation tool. You could practice those types of questions which might once again appear in your upcoming exams. The University Libraries have an exam database (http://lib.hku.hk/database/) which provides full text of some HKU past exam papers. If you cannot find what you want in the Libraries’ databases, try contacting your lecturer, or your seniors. Please do this early. It takes time to find what you need.
In order to revise efficiently, you have to find a place and set a time that you can avoid distraction; switch off your mobile phone, TV, and PC so that you can concentrate. Web surfing and social media can eat up your time. Stay away from them until you have finished your exams. Also, it is a good idea to find yourself some study buddies. By studying together, you and your buddies can compare notes, discuss about the hard topics in the course and reinforce the essential information that have been covered in the class. However, make sure that your buddies are also serious about their learning and want to do well, otherwise, the consequence might be disastrous …
It is normal for you to feel stressed during the revision and exam period. You might be overwhelmed by anxiety and worries. Try these if you feel stressed out —- Think positive and remind yourself that you have already made good progress in your revision; take a deep breath or try to do some exercise every day. Talk to your teacher, Faculty Academic Adviser, tutor, or an AAO adviser. They are here to give you some personal advice. Remember, help is all around! If you find yourself struggling emotionally, don’t hesitate to contact the counsellors at the Counselling and Person Enrichment (CoPE) Section (Phone: 39178388) of CEDARS. They care about you and one-on-one session can be arranged. Confidentiality and privacy are strictly assured.
Some seemingly minor things could have a great impact to your performance in exams. Get a good sleep the night before. It is usually counter-productive to burn the midnight oil. Sleep can help you process the information that has been crammed into your mind; make sure your alarm clock works! Eat well, have a good breakfast or lunch before the exam. It sounds trivial but please make sure that you have all the stationaries (or calculator) required. Arrive at the exam venue 10 or 15 minutes before the exam time to find out your seat number. If you are sick and cannot attend the exam, see a doctor on that day and get a proper medical certificate.
Once seated, switch off your mobile phone and put it under your chair. Do not put any unauthorized materials (e.g. notes) on your desk. Read all of the instructions carefully before getting started. Glance through the whole exam paper first and allocate suitable time to each question. Do not panic even if you find the exam very difficult. Relax, take a deep breath, and start with easy questions and write as much as you can. Do not leave early. Double check your answer if you have extra time. Never never cheat. You know the consequences. After your exam, do not discuss with your friends how well or how badly you had performed. Just focus on your next exam!