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Studying at home

Tips and advice for students for successful studying at home

Introduction

BooksLike many students, you may be experiencing a new type of exam this year: the 'take home' exam. You’ll have been given more details about what this means for your course and we urge you to follow the advice your lecturers have given you.

Below are our Study Advice tips about revising and preparing for this form of assessment

Revise as you would normally

Right now, you should be revising as you would normally for your modules. Make a revision timetable (see link below) and start going over the content. You won’t have long between having the paper and submitting your answer; the exam will be available for 23hrs in most cases but you are strongly advised only to spend the normal exam duration actually working on it. So now is the time to reflect on what you’ve learnt.

While it may take time to adjust to the new and unexpected circumstances, which we all find ourselves in, it is nevertheless important to make the most of the time you have available for revision. Resist the urge to procrastinate and get started as soon as you possibly can - follow the link below for guidance on time management and avoiding procrastination and perfectionism. 

It’s also important that you revise according to the type of exam you’re taking, we have videos (see links below) covering all types of exams, from MCQs to essay based exams to help guide you.

Practise active revision

Make your revision as active as possible using a variety of techniques; make an online study group with friends, mind map the content, use post-it notes and revision cards to test key concepts. Whilst your exams will probably take a different form to previous years, you can still make effective use of past papers to test your understanding and application of knowledge. Above all, don’t waste time re-writing out your notes or just reading through content; these are passive techniques and are unlikely to help.

Be organised

It’s likely that you won’t have long to submit your answers, once you are given the paper. Make sure you create a system for organising your notes on any particular subject; you’re going to want to access the most relevant information as quickly as you can.

 

Watch for unintentional plagiarism and collusion

It’s OK to revise with others (in fact this can be an effective way of testing yours and your friend’s understanding) but once you have been issued with the paper, it’s important that you work on it alone. You will be asked to submit your work through Turnitin, which will match your work with others that have been submitted, as well as information from the internet, books and journals. Make sure it’s all your own work, as you would any other assessment.

Prepare for the day

You may be given a set time to sit the exam and submit your answers. Make sure you are fully prepared beforehand by:

  • Ensuring you have somewhere quiet to work, where you won’t be disturbed
  • Checking you have the technology you need: access to Blackboard, Turnitin and Wifi
  • Having access to all the material you need. I’d also suggest a clock to ensure you’re keeping on track
  • Ensuring you fully understand the format of the exam, how you are being asked to submit answers and have done any trial runs that have been made available to you

Good luck!