How To Find Motivation After Reading Week: Heading Into Exam Season With Confidence

While the mid-term reading week usually arrives as a welcome reprieve for most students, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things after a week off – even if you spent that week studying and catching up on assignments. Regardless of how you spent your reading week or how productive you were, sometimes it can feel like a shock to the system after having time off, and your body and mind might experience a rude awakening when that Monday morning alarm goes off. You may realize that the first two months of term have flown by, meaning you only have a few weeks left until exams begin. Having a reading week may have allowed you to reflect on what you have done so far in the term, and what you would like to do in the remaining weeks, whether it is to maintain or raise your GPA, take better notes, or simply to study smarter. Luckily, there are several things you can do to make the transition easier as you head into the last month of term and focus on exams.

Firstly, make sure you establish a routine, particularly if you had a solid routine at the beginning of term that has slipped out of focus over time. Getting to bed early enough so you have some quality sleep, setting an alarm, making time to eat a healthy breakfast before classes, and moving your body to get the day started may all be elements of your routine that will help you stay productive and motivated in these final few weeks of term. Maybe you feel jumping right back into an earlier wake-up call is sufficient to get you back to normality, or maybe you prefer to ease back into it. That being said, a positive routine is personal – do the things that make you happy and set yourself up for a positive day. 

Organizing your time is important, especially in the first week back heading into exams. Now more than ever is a good time to start planning. Lay out these last four weeks of term, including class times, assignments, and revision times to prepare for exams. Make a list of things from most to least important, or try checking off the small things first, which may help you start feeling accomplished in the lead-up to exams. There is no need to feel stressed if you start early and plan ahead. 

You might consider creating a separate study timetable to lay out on paper when you will complete your last few assignments, prepare study notes, and begin revising, or to add study times to your current weekly class schedule. It could be worthwhile to evaluate each class separately and judge for yourself which class work you would like to spend the most or least time on, based on current understanding of course material, amount of work you have left, or whether your current grade matches your goal. This might mean changing your previous approach to studying and completing assigned work. Doing all of this should help you to feel settled back into a productive routine, and maybe even to look forward to exam season. And remember, it’s okay to take study breaks and treat yourself once in a while, and will help you in the long-run to recharge your brain!