International Student Blog

Exam-orama: 5 Exam Tips


Examination time is upon us, the smell of stress and coffee is in the air.  Here’s a list of my top 5 tips for surviving exams:

5.  Accept Reality.

Or as the director of my programme likes to quote to me, “When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time.” – Bryon Katie

In other words, not everything will go to plan; it can help to reevaluate your expectations occasionally.

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Photo from Melissa Joy Kong


4. Prioritize, Organize, Utilize.

In the first weeks of class, our instructor presented the Eisenhower Matrix to us.  This tool, or one like it, can be helpful when prioritizing tasks:


Tasks that are both important and urgent need to be done as soon as possible; other tasks can be scheduled. Consider creating a weekly schedule.

Use the resources around you, fellow-students, advisors, librarians, instructors…

Eivind Senneset, Photographer

Eivind Senneset, Photographer

3. Take Breaks.

Step away from all your screens and electronic devices and get outside.  Exercise, socialize, or volunteer. It is vital to pause to refresh from time-to-time.


Photo: Stand Hiestand


2. Know yourself.

Determine the best locations, times, and methods for you for focused studying.  Trick procrastination with 20 minute bargaining: telling yourself you’ll only work 20 minutes before taking a (short) break, can help you overcome any inertia preventing you from getting started.  Once you start you may just keep on going!


1. Stay positive. 

Encourage and reward yourself.  Make sure to focus on your accomplishments and celebrate small victories! Remember that even small amounts of progress can put you in a good mood and increase your motivation to continue!


Work towards rewards. Photo: Stand Hiestand


Tell me your own tips below!

For more tips, check out the October article on the UiB Education page highlighting guidance from the Norwegian book, “Råd og tips for deg som skal studere” by Professor Arild Raaheim: How to Study and Learn Better: Tips and Advice to Students!

4 comments for “Exam-orama: 5 Exam Tips

  1. sean orgard
    6. December 2014 at 11:24

    Good tips, thanks. Eisenhower notwithstanding, my own classification defines anything that’s urgent as automatically important but I like the part about delegation. Question: Just curious, how good are you at following tip #5?

    • khi005
      7. December 2014 at 22:40

      Still working on tip 5, Sean! That’s a tough one!

  2. Jannette
    7. December 2014 at 00:10

    Stand thanks alot for your thoughtful words of encouragement and be sure that it’s helpful to us.Keep your good work and we wish you all the best in your exams as well.

    • khi005
      7. December 2014 at 22:39

      Thanks, Janette! Appreciate your support! Will keep you in my thoughts for your exams as well 🙂

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