Are You Prepared for Exam Season?

Exam season is upon us! No doubt you’ve been busy preparing over the Easter break, but our Advice Centre is here to help with some key things to remember to make sure you’re following exam regulations and making the most of your summer assessments.

Term three is about to begin and so is exam season! No doubt you’ve been busy preparing over the Easter break, but our Advice Centre is here to help with some key things to remember to make sure you’re following exam regulations and making the most of your summer assessments.

We’ll also be sharing some top tips for staying on top of exam stress throughout the term on our social media, so keep an eye out for those!

Revision

Collaborate

…But to an extent! Working with friends is a great way to brainstorm and help each other understand your course content. But you must be careful about how much you share with your peers. Do not share your full notes or plans as others can, intentionally or not, use your work on their own which puts you at risk for allegations of academic misconduct. This also includes what you share online - as soon as you upload your work, you lose control of how it’s used! See more information on our academic misconduct page.

Get organised

Make a plan as early as possible, allocating revision slots but also time to see your friends/family and have a break. It's important to maintain a balance to ensure you don’t burn out or become overwhelmed. One way to prevent this is to set manageable goals that, once completed, will motivate you to continue! Take a look at this article for more tips.

Using Resources

Online Sources

Take a look at what type of sources your course and module Moodle pages suggest. This ensures that you use high-quality quotes and sources that support your arguments the best.

It's important to avoid using websites such as StuDocu, Sparknotes, etc. These are websites where people can upload their own work that is not peer-reviewed or moderated therefore there is no guarantee the content is correct. Also, to avoid plagiarism, you must reference these sources - however, having these in your bibliography may worry your marker as they are not high quality and they don’t suggest that you’ve done the required research.

Lecture Content

Using your lecture slides is a great way to solidify your basic knowledge. You must ensure that when looking at the slides you don’t simply copy the content as this is a form of plagiarism.

Instead, paraphrase the lecture content and then go on to supplement it with original high-quality sources that support your argument.

A General Rule for Revision

Don’t copy and paste any lecture slides or online content into your notes, as it’s really easy to lose track of what is your own writing and what is someone else’s. If you copy exact wording, put it in quotation marks and note the source.

Referencing

  • Make sure you understand what your departments’ referencing guidelines are for your exams - these may be different from what is expected for coursework.
  • If you are confused or unsure what referencing style you are supposed to use, you should contact your personal tutor. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with a CEDAS advisor who can help you find and understand your relevant referencing style.
  • The library also provides great resources, including guides on each department’s referencing styles.

Online Exams

  • For those taking online exams, the intention is not for you to work solidly for the whole time given rather that you treat it like a standard invigilated exam that you complete during the window.
  • It is important to remember in these exams that standard exam conditions apply. You should not be discussing the exam or sharing your work with your peers as this will be treated as collusion.
  • Ensure that your means of taking the exam, whether it’s a laptop, PC, or library PC, is updated and suitable for the format of your exam. Do this far before your exam day!
  • Avoid submitting your work right at the deadline - if anything goes wrong and you submit late, you will be penalised. Ensure ahead of time that you know what format your work should be saved in before you submit it (e.g. PDF, Word document).

Worried about your exams?

It’s normal to have some anxiety about completing your exams, especially if this is the first time you are sitting university exams, or they are in a different format than you are used to. If you are finding it difficult to cope, there is support available to you through the Wellbeing team, your personal tutor, or us at the Advice Centre. You can find some information about Exam Help from the Counselling team here.

Our Advice Centre is a free, independent and confidential service for all students here at Royal Holloway. Our friendly, experienced and professional staff will provide a listening ear and offer general and specialist advice. We’re here to support you with a whole range of issues, big and small, and if we’re not the best people to help you with a particular issue, we’ll point you in the right direction.

Our advisors hold drop-ins on Zoom most Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons 13:30-15:30. You can find more information on our events calendar and can join the virtual drop-ins using this Zoom link.

Email us at advice@su.rhul.ac.uk with any questions or to ask for a different meeting time.