Showing posts with label exams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exams. Show all posts

23 October 2017

Matheson Library extended hours during exams

Burning the midnight oil as you prepare for exams? Get more study done, with late night opening at Matheson Library. But remember to balance your study time with ample sleep and exercise!

From 23rd October to 16th November, the Matheson Library at Clayton campus offers extended exam study time.

Matheson is open till 2am (Monday-Thursday) while Fridays and weekends operate on normal hours. There is security and a security bus in operation until 2.30am on the days the Library is operating on extended hours.

Caulfield Library is open until midnight Monday-Friday and 10am-9pm on weekends.

Both libraries have been recently refurbished and offer excellent amenities for students as they prepare for exams, such as bookable study rooms for group work or quiet areas for individual study.

Group study areas are also equipped with AV facilities. Find out more here.

Should you need sustenance or caffeine, both Matheson and Caulfield libraries have a cafe within the building. Please check the opening hours for Flipside and Swifts.

More information on the opening hours for all libraries can be found here.

Check out great tips for exam preparation and how to succeed on exam day from expert Library staff.

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6 June 2017

500 additional seats opened at Caulfield Library

As exam study intensifies, nearly 500 additional seats have been made available at Caulfield Library. 

New areas on levels 3 and 4 at Caulfield Library have been completed and opened up to students, adding 500 seats to what was already available earlier in the semester.

Almost all of the planned total 1500 seats will be available for study and research by the middle of June.

By 16 June it is anticipated that new level 2 discussion rooms and the area where the research and learning point is will be available. This will provide approximately another 140 seats. By this time all areas in the library, including the informal study areas and teaching rooms at the north end, will be accessible via the one temporary entrance across from Monash Connect.

When the building works are completed, Caulfield Library will have doubled its pre-refurbishment seating capacity from 750 to 1500 seats, offering a range of spaces for quiet study, collaboration and interactive teaching.

For exam study, other locations at Caulfield campus are available and are listed below for your convenience. If you find that a room or area listed here is not accessible please find other alternatives.

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4 October 2016

Access to Caulfield Library during exam study time - bring your ID card

Students and staff are reminded to bring their ID cards when visiting the library at Caulfield campus from next Monday.

Caulfield Library will be open to only Monash staff and students between 10 October and 11 November 2016, to help ensure they have the best chance to find a study space.

Students from all campuses who plan to use Caulfield Library over this period must carry their Monash ID. This will minimise inconvenience and ensure you are not delayed at the library entrance.

Seating in the library is much more limited this year because of the refurbishment. When completed in April 2017 the library will have double the number of seats it had in the past.

The temporary exclusion of non-Monash visitors was introduced a few years ago to alleviate the shortage of study space experienced at Caulfield during the exam study period, when use is at its peak.

During the exclusion period, CAVAL and ULANZ registered borrowers will be able to retrieve and borrow specific items, but will not be able to study in the library. Alumni and external fee-paying Library members will continue to have access by presenting their Library card.

The exclusion also does not apply to Sir John Monash Science School and Nossal High School students.

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30 May 2016

Strategies for exam-day success

There’s an art to sitting exams. Knowing the material is important, but you also need to use the right strategy, says Clinton Bell.

In the run up to exams, you might have thought a lot about the best way to revise. But what about the best approach to use in the exam? There’s a certain skill to taking exams, and taking the right approach on exam day can really help your mark.

There are three main aspects to exam day success: making sure you understand what’s being asked, managing your time, and staying calm under pressure.

Understanding the question

Read the exam instructions thoroughly during reading time. At high school, I knew someone who rushed through the instructions because he was nervous, and missed the part that said “Choose one (1) out of the following topics”. He ended up trying to write three essays instead of one!

You should also read each question carefully and make sure you address exactly what was asked. Pay close attention to direction words like “describe” and “compare”, as well as any other instructions. If you don’t do quite what you were asked, or you only address part of the question, you won’t get full marks.

For more complex questions, you may find it helpful to make a list of the key information before writing your answer. For example, for a question about a medical case study you might note the patient’s symptoms, age, gender, and so on. This helps you keep track of all the relevant information without having to read the entire question again.

Time management

Even if you know the material really well, finishing an exam within the time limit can be challenging, so it’s important to manage your time carefully. Spend time on each question based on how many marks it’s worth - you don’t want to spend 50% of your time on a question that’s only worth 5% of the total mark! On most exams you don’t have to answer the questions in order, so just move on if you get stuck. You can try again later if you get time.

It’s also a good idea to start with the questions you know you can answer. That way if you run out of time, at least you’ll get good marks for the questions you did complete.

Working under pressure

It’s normal to be a little stressed during exams, but if you’re too anxious it can be hard to think. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, take a moment to focus. Concentrate on breathing slowly and evenly.

Once you’ve taken a few deep breaths, work through the questions methodically. Read each question carefully, identify the important information, and think about how you can apply that information. Don’t panic if you don’t know the answer to a question right away - just keep working through the process.

You can also reduce your stress on exam day by looking after practical things. Make sure you know how to get to the exam venue, and plan to arrive early in case you’re delayed. Set any equipment you need out the night before so you don’t forget them. Finally, don’t go overboard with caffeine on the morning of the exam. One cup of coffee is fine, but it can give you the jitters if you have too much.

Have a healthy and successful exam period, and best of luck on your exams!

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26 May 2016

Exam study tips from an expert

We'll have learning skills advisers available online via the Library's Facebook page to provide expert advice, tips and answers to your exam study-related questions. It's available, so why not take advantage of the opportunity?

It may be your first time to sit final exams in university. You have your lecture and unit revision notes but feel that you could use some help to clarify or just confirm what you think you know about exam preparation.

Visit the Library's Facebook page during Swot Vac when a learning skills adviser is available online to work with you on:

  • studying for exams
  • strategies for exams
  • types of questions and more.

From Monday 30 May to Friday 3 June, 2pm until 5pm, we invite Monash students to post their exam study-related questions on the Library's Facebook timeline rather than via the inbox. This way, the answers to questions, advice and tips can benefit more students.

If you've been to a Library research and learning drop-in session in person before, then you'll know how useful it is to get an expert's advice. We're just making the opportunity available to more students by taking it to the virtual space.

Like us on Facebook and ask us your questions.

Face-to-face drop-in sessions are offered at advertised times in some libraries during Swot Vac.

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19 May 2016

Coping with stress at university

Struggling with the pressures of uni life? Feeling worn out? Find out where to get help and how to look after yourself, says Clinton Bell.

Going to university can be fun, but it can also be difficult at times. There are a lot of demands on your time, particularly as end-of-semester exams and other assessments approach. You may also face challenges like financial difficulties, living away from home for the first time, or even living in a new country! It’s understandable if you sometimes feel overwhelmed.

The most important thing to know is that you can get help if you need to. Of course you can always turn to your family and friends, but Monash also offers a range of student support services. These include free counselling sessions and specialist services for Indigenous students, international students, people with disabilities, and LGBTIQ students. In an emergency, there are also 24-hour mental health hotlines available.

It’s also important to look after yourself. Make sure you eat properly, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and spend some time outdoors, and you’ll feel a lot better. If you feel like you can’t pass or get a good mark without giving up those things to make more time for study, it may be a sign that you’re not studying effectively. Get some advice from our helpful Library staff, try some of our online guides and tutorials, or speak to your tutor or lecturer.

Another thing that can help is keeping a schedule and planning time for study, breaks and other activities in advance. Having a plan can make it feel like things are more under control, and having all your tasks and important dates in one place means you don’t have to worry about forgetting them. Setting time aside for leisure and social activities in advance can also prevent you feeling guilty for taking time away from study.

Meditation, mindfulness and relaxation techniques can also help you cope. There are some resources for mindfulness and mental health on the Monash student support website, and you can find more in the library using Search. It’s not just books, either - we also have CDs, DVDs, and online video and audio streaming (after you search, try selecting “Audio-visual” under “Resource type” on the left). Monash has also produced a free online mindfulness course in partnership with FutureLearn which starts this week!

Finally, if you drink a lot of coffee or energy drinks, you may want to reduce your intake. A moderate amount of caffeine is fine, but too much can cause anxiety, headaches and nausea. The Victorian government suggests keeping caffeine intake below 400mg a day for an average adult, which is about four cups of coffee or four 250ml cans of energy drink (check the label - some brands have more caffeine than others).

Good luck on your assessments and remember - help is available if you need it.

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16 May 2016

Hargrave-Andrew Library – extended hours and bus

Get more study done, with late night opening at the Hargrave-Andrew Library.

From Monday 30 May 2016, until the end of the exam period, the Hargrave-Andrew Library. will offer extended exam study time.

This will be a good location for you to meet with your friends for a quiet group study session or for an intensive effort on your own.

During this four-week period:

  • The Hargrave-Andrew Library will be open from 8am until 2am Monday to Thursday inclusive.
  • There will be security and a security bus in operation until 2am on the days the library is operating on extended hours.
  • Fridays and weekends will operate on normal hours.
The extended hours will finish on Thursday 23 June.

Check the opening hours for all libraries. Because it is undergoing refurbishment, the Sir Louis Matheson Library will close at 9pm throughout semester one and the exam period.

Study spaces are available elsewhere on Clayton campus this year, including in the Menzies building, the Campus centre and Monash residential halls – Find out more.

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9 May 2016

How to put the fun back into uni (essays, exams and all)

As you approach the end of semester you may find that most of your work is due at the same time. Yikes! Not only that - you have exams approaching fast. This can be stressful, especially if this is your first time, or if you haven’t done so well in past semesters. It is always worth remembering that you’re not alone. Form a study group and try these approaches to make studying more fun! Damian Gleeson and Romany Manuell.

Form a study group

Study at uni can be a lonely business. Why not reach out to some people in your tutorial and form a study group? Ideally, a study group consists of 4 or 5 members… any more than that, and you’re looking at a party!

The DISC questionnaire can be a useful tool for determining your group members’ personalities and approaches to work. This can help you to identify the variety of strengths and areas that need work among your team mates. Once you’ve worked all this out, you may find something like this:
  • Student A is quiet, but takes meticulous lecture notes. Student A is a useful resource for the group for this reason. He’s a top record-keeper of key lecture content.
  • Student B is talkative and energetic. She is great at remembering conversations and important insights from your tutor. She’s both likeable and a natural leader. Combined with Student A’s lecture notes, you have the lecture and tute materials covered.
  • Student C’s strength is research and reading. They got a HD for the first assignment and your tutor singled out their excellent research, citing and referencing skills. Someone with this much attention to detail is a great resource to ensure that your group is at its most effective when revising the semester’s content.
  • Student D is also quiet and is not confident about her English language skills. However, she has work experience in the field you are studying, which allows her to clearly see and explain why the unit’s content is relevant to your group’s future professions.
So there is a wide range of personalities, skills and knowledge in your group. Cool! This means any areas that individual members think are weaknesses for them can be overcome by the members who are strong in those areas. Your strengths are not just an advantage for you - your team mates can also reap the benefits. Put your skills to use reviewing the reading, lecture and tutorial materials. Put your group to the test by working on past exam questions together.

Revision - turn a boring chore into clever fun

If this describes you and the way you like to work (left), take advantage of it (right). Why not take advantage of the way you like to work?

I like setting and meeting goals
Use a to-do list
I work best against the clock
I like to draw or doodle
Use mind maps to outline how to solve a problem
I like music
Write songs about important information that you need to remember. More here.
I’m a night owl. I enjoy staying up late
Study when you are most alert and do mundane tasks when you are least alert
Solve questions from the textbook
A no brainer
If there are few questions, turn chapter titles into questions then practise answering them.
For example:

Chapter titles
        Managing in a global environment
        Social responsibility and managerial ethics
        Managing change and innovation
        Motivating employees
(Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, & Coulter, 2012)
Requires a brain

        What issues arise for managers in a global environment?
        What is social responsibility and how do managerial ethics apply to it?
        How are change & innovation best managed?
        Why & how do managers motivate employees?

If you remain uncertain about how to be efficient and take joy in your academic work, don’t forget a friendly Librarian or Learning Skills Adviser is available to speak with you at a drop in.

Damian Gleeson is a learning skills adviser and Romany Manuell is a subject librarian at Caulfield Library.

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20 October 2015

How to succeed on exam day

Whether you’ve studied a lot or a little, taking the right approach on exam day itself can really help improve your marks. Make a plan beforehand. Clinton Bell

Doing well on an exam isn’t just about what you know - it’s about understanding what’s being asked of you, managing your time, and performing under pressure.  So take a deep breath and try to stay calm as we go over some strategies for exam success!

Read the question

This may seem obvious, but when you’re in the grip of exam-day panic it’s easy to skim over instructions or miss important information. Take a deep breath, slow down, and read the question and any other instructions carefully. Pay close attention to direction words (e.g. “compare”, “identify”, “discuss”) and any limitations placed on your answer (“in Australia”, “since the year 2000”, “using differentiation by parts”).

Marks are based on how well you address the question you were asked, and there is a set number of marks for each question, so make sure your answers are on target. A detailed and beautifully-written response which doesn’t answer the question at all is worth nothing, and you won’t get extra marks for “showing off” by including information which isn’t relevant.

Don’t try to reproduce long passages from the textbook word-for-word. It may be tempting if you’re not confident about your writing skills, but it won’t get you good marks. Examiners usually want evidence that you understand the material, not that you have memorised the text. They may deliberately set questions which are just different enough from what’s in the book that copying won’t work. If you don’t acknowledge your source properly, you also risk being accused of plagiarism!

Time is of the essence

As well as reading the question itself, look at how many marks it is worth - this indicates how much time you should spend on each question. The more marks a question is worth, the longer and more detailed your response is expected to be. Don’t spend an hour agonising over a question which is worth very little!

Most exams don’t require you to answer the questions in the order they are presented, so if you get stuck on a question, don’t waste too much time - move on to the next one. You can come back to it later after you have finished the questions you can answer more easily. Sometimes working on other questions will even jog your memory!

Stay to the end

The only time you should leave an exam early is if the building is on fire. If you finish before the time is over, congratulations! Check your answers and see if there’s anything you can improve. If you’re completely stuck and don’t think you can answer any more questions, try anyway.

Think about related information, imagine your lecturer talking about the topic, draw a diagram… use any strategy you can think of. If you still can’t do it, go over your other answers and try to improve them. As long as you have time left, you still have a chance to get a few extra marks!

When it’s over, it’s over

So the exam is over, for better or for worse. You’ve used the strategies here and hopefully you’re feeling confident! Even if you’re not, there’s no point stressing about it - you can’t go back in time and change how you did. So my final tip is that when the exam is over, you’re done with it. Relax and take a well-deserved break!

Sources of help and information
What are your tips for exam day? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @monashunilib


Studying math by Steven S.
Used under CC 2.0 licence.

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19 October 2015

Matheson Library extended hours and bus

Get more study done with late night opening at the Matheson Library.

From Monday 26 October 2015, until the end of the exam period, the Sir Louis Matheson Library will offer extended exam study time.

During this four-week period:
  • The Matheson Library will be open from 8am until 2am Monday to Thursday inclusive.
  • There will be security and a security bus in operation until 2 am on the days the library is operating on extended hours.
  • Fridays and weekends will operate on normal hours.
  • The extended hours will finish on Thursday 19 November. 
Check the opening hours for all libraries.

More study spaces are available on campus. The airport lounge on level 1 of the Campus Centre will be open 24 hours during Swot Vac and throughout the exam period.

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    13 October 2015

    How to make the most of exam revision

    Even if you tried these tips for effective study last semester, have a read of them again ! It might be Clinton Bell

    With end-of-semester exams rapidly approaching, it’s time for some serious study… but it can be difficult to juggle the exam-time crunch with the rest of your life.

    Keep it regular

    Waiting until the day before the exam to start revising is a terrible idea - and not just because it means less study time. Research has shown that you’re more likely to remember things if you spread your revision sessions out. In other words, it’s better to study a subject one hour a day for seven days than to study it for seven hours in one day.

    If time is short, you can try changing between tasks to break up your study. After reading a chapter, instead of doing the exercises immediately, try studying a different topic for an hour before coming back to them. This helps you practise holding what you’ve learned in long-term memory, instead of forgetting it the moment you’re done with that chapter!

    Student, test thyself

    Speaking of exercises, one of the best ways to prepare for an exam is by testing yourself. Practice makes perfect, after all! Flash cards are a popular way to do this, but you can also do the exercises from your books, get someone else to ask you questions, or do past exams. You could check with your lecturer if you can't find previous exams for your unit.

    If you want to take things a step further, try doing a past exam in exam conditions. Turn off your phone, turn off the music, sit at your desk, and set the same time limit as the actual exam. This can help you avoid exam-day nerves by getting used to the conditions you will be working in on the day. It also gives you a feel for how long you have to complete the exam.

    Be practical

    Knowing the material is all well and good, but don’t forget to look after practical concerns as well! If there’s any equipment you need, buy or borrow it before exam day - and if you need a calculator, check that the batteries work. Also make sure you know exactly when and where your exam is, and how to get there. If you’ve never been to the exam venue before, try making the trip next time you need a study break!

    Above all, remember that successful study is about how much you learn, not how much time you spend hunched over your desk. So use these tips, or the Library's quick guide to Exam revision strategies, to make your time count, and good luck on your exams!

    Got a study strategy that works well for you? Share it in the comments or on Twitter @monashunilib

    Photo: Cookie study, by David Simonetti, 2007

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    4 June 2015

    Ace that exam!

    Different types of exams require different preparation. Regardless of the exam type, however, time is your most important ally during revision and during the exam. Use time wisely and you'll have a built-in advantage to do well in your final Rachelle Tessie Rechtman

    As a business student my exams are often pretty stock standard. This semester I am doing marketing decision analysis which will involve a lot of calculations and being able to interpret the results. My other exam, marketing communications, is pretty much the opposite requiring the ability to write mini essay style answers which cover various topics throughout the year.

    Exam revision and preparation time

    Even though at the beginning of every semester I tell myself that after each class I am going to write out my notes, it never happens. I will often get to week 10 at which point I will begin my revision and preparation time for my exam. Exams that require calculations are really hard to study for. I personally learn best by doing the questions myself instead of just listening to lectures. I will therefore try and get my hands on as many practice questions as I can. I will often prepare by going over my tute work by myself. It is very different being walked through how to do the question by the tute and actually doing it by yourself. Simply knowing which numbers and formulae to use is often the hardest part of these exams.

    General tips on how to prepare for exams  
    1. Use colour. I have a million colour highlighters that I use to link different concepts together and highlight important pieces of information. 
    2. Get plenty of sleep before the exam. I applaud people who can stay up all night learning the content just before the exam, but I however am not one of them. I need my sleep and know I do not function at my best without it. Why bother putting yourself through that unnecessary stress. 
    3. Don’t cram, spread study out. If you use your time wisely just four weeks is enough time to get your sh*t together to ace that exam. 
    4. Use the help of your tutors and their consultation hours, they get paid to be there. 
    5. Don’t just write a to-do list, actually timetable out when each task is to be done and stick to it. 
    During the exam 
    1. Use reading time wisely.  
    2. Wear a watch. Set aims and don’t spend too long on one question. Look at how many marks the question is worth and allocate time accordingly. 
    3. Keep hydrated, but not too much otherwise you have to go to the bathroom and waste valuable writing time. Lastly, ignore the temptation to put vodka in your water bottle. 
    I hope this article has provided a few handy tips for everyone.

    Image: D. Gallagher, under CC 2.0 licence

    Rachelle Tessie Rechtman is one of the students we asked to write an article for the Library blog that focuses on their exam strategies and tips. We publish articles providing information and professional advice from our learning skills advisers and librarians but we thought we'd hear from students, too. We want to know what works for them, particularly at this critical time when students need to make the grade.  

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    3 June 2015

    Advice from an exam survivor

    How are you supposed to prepare for an exam when your lecturers, in their infinite wisdom a la Professor Snape, haven’t given you anything to go on and refuse to help? Hopefully these tips will give you an answer, and let you keep all your hair….by Sara Nyhuis

    Image: Pixabay
    You have an exam coming up. There are no practice questions because the exam hasn’t changed in over five years. All you know is that you have approximately five million multiple choice questions to answer, twenty diagrams to draw, and a ten page essay at the end. “But it’s okay because I remember all the course material and I’m super prepared,” said no one. Ever.

    In my first year, my first exam was BIO1011. A daunting task of 144 multiple choice questions, and all the lecturers said was that there would be six questions per lecture. As it was my first uni exam, I felt a bit like Harry every time he faced Voldemort; a confusing mixture of completely doomed and too cocky for my own good. Then second year came along, and suddenly I had six exams and a desperate need for a time turner, my only saving grace being that my friends all felt as lost as I did.

    Because exams are hard, and that’s why we have them. But here’s my advice, and what I’ve done for every exam that I’ve felt I’ve been given no direction in (and so far so good!).

    Revision and preparation

    Figure out the key topics. For multiple choice exams, your best bet is subheadings. Like in BIO1011, if you have six questions for each lecture and six subheadings, you can pretty safely bet that you’re going to have one question for each.

    Know it inside out. Study until you can call yourself a know-it-all and be proud about it. It sounds like an impossible task, but once you’ve broken down your lectures into sections, you can tackle those sections one at a time, write yourself out some questions, and really get to know them.

    Avoid cramming. We’ve all done the last minute cram until 3am, frantically trying to memorise every circulatory system in the animal kingdom (well, maybe not there specifically). We stuff everything into the short term memory file and forget it the second we walk out the door. But as long as you’ve done the exam, that’s fine, right?

    Wrong. Most units follow on sequentially, with the first providing foundations for the second. If you get a decent night’s sleep before an exam, you will retain more long term information than a 3am V-fuelled stint. Exams aren’t designed for short term memorisation, but long term depth of knowledge that needs to be understood properly to be applied. Not only will the question actually look like English rather than Klingon, but you will feel more relaxed because you’re able to answer it confidently.

    You might think mnemonics are corny, but they really work. Can’t remember the Order of Classification? That’s fine, just ask yourself what Barbie said to Ken and you’ll remember it. Unfortunately the answer to that is probably too inappropriate for this article, but you get the idea - there are plenty of memory tricks available on the web, and they do actually work for the long term.

    In the exam

    You’re in the exam, your hand cramps are getting debilitating and your pen just ran out... I’m pretty certain we’ve all felt like either curling into the foetal position or storming out in a blaze of glory at this point, never to return. So how do you stay focused?

    Use your reading time. Seriously. It’s given to you for a reason. Take your time, actually use it, and prepare some answers in your head to get you started.

    Stick with what you know. Answer the questions you know first. Get them out of the way so you can devote more time to the harder questions later, knowing that you’ve at least answered something. Multiple choice questions can be knocked out in two minutes flat if you answer the easy ones first.

    Process of elimination. In multiple choice exams, the harder questions can often be tackled by working out what the answer isn’t before working out what it is.

    Read the questions. It may sound ridiculous, but my biggest failing in exams has been to misread the question. Read it several times over, underline key words if you have to, and make sure you know what it wants from you.

    Identify key terms. Underline them, highlight them, throw a party for them - do what you will, but make sure you know what they are. Most questions will use key terms, and they are an enormous hint. So do your markers’ bidding and use them.

    After the exam


    But seriously. Relax. And don’t immediately study for your next one, because that’s just brain cruelty. Go have some lunch and take a break, then share your exam techniques here to help other students do as well as you just did.

    Good luck!

    Sara Nyhuis is one of the students we asked to write an article for the Library blog that focuses on their exam strategies and tips. We publish articles providing information and professional advice from our learning skills advisers and librarians but we thought we'd hear from students, too. We want to know what works for them, particularly at this critical time when students need to make the grade.  

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    2 June 2015

    Library habits die hard

    I believe I’m a pretty typical student at Monash University. I do a double degree of Business (majoring in marketing) and Arts (majoring in media and communications). I spend way too much time surfing the web and my recent shared household Netflix account has not helped the situation. My parents can provide a testament to the correlation between the increased internet usage bills and exam time as my procrastination tends to reach an all-time high. Therefore I often retreat to the Caulfield or Matheson Library to cut off access to Rachelle Tessie Rechtman

    “Swot Vac is probably my favourite time to be in the library” – said no one ever. I believe a large proportion of what puts people off from going to the library is the knowledge that if you go past 12noon you will not be able to find a seat.

    To me the library provides a place of solitude where I can go to concentrate and separate my home and uni life. I like studying in the library better because I am not surrounded by so many distractions and the sight of other hard working students reminds me that I should be working just as hard.

    What I do in the library

    The obvious answer to this question is study. Thinking about this more, I realise there are quite a few things that I do in the library that make up my study as a whole. First of all, I really like going to the library with a friend. I don’t go to the library with the intent of socialising because there are so many other places to socialise I am not sure why anyone would pick the library. It’s more about having someone to motivate me when I get distracted. Friends are also awesome to complain to about how much work you have to do and how you are going to fail the exam.

    I do also like to eat while I study. It’s probably a really bad habit when I think about it. I often break the library's rule and bring in hot food during lunch time. I understand why the rule is in place because I hate studying at a dirty desk. However I draw the line at messy and smelly food. Of course coffee/Red Bull is a must and I can’t even imagine a library without caffeine.

    Sometimes I even go to the library to get books, crazy I know. I usually borrow textbooks as I don’t see the point in buying $100 books for 12 weeks at uni.

    I probably wouldn’t go to the library with the intent of listening to an online lecture. If I had time between classes I would go to the library to listen to one, but otherwise online lectures are made to listen to at home.

    Where I like to sit

    I personally cannot stand noise when I study, I don’t listen to my iPod and I hate people talking. Therefore my favourite places to sit in the Caulfield Library would be the third set of stairs up in the quiet area amongst the books. It is a really nice area and if you want to get up and get a book you are right there. I often will try and get to the library early to ensure I get a prime seat.

    I don’t particularly have a favourite nook in the Matheson but I always head to the first level in the morning which I quite like. I don’t mind if I’m in a group area of the library and people are talking quietly about work, however if people are there just eating and socialising it’s really annoying because it makes me jealous that I’m not doing that.

    Thanks to everyone who has read this article and I hope others can relate to my experiences in the library and aren’t getting too stressed over exams. Have you ever broken any library etiquette?  What do you think of people talking or eating in the library? Would love to hear your thoughts and maybe see you around the library during Swot Vac.

    Image: Matt P. under CC 2.0 licence

    Rachelle Tessie Rechtman is one of the students we asked to write an article for the Library blog that focuses on their exam strategies and tips. We publish articles providing information and professional advice from our learning skills advisers and librarians but we thought we'd hear from students, too. We want to know what works for them, particularly at this critical time when students need to make the grade.  

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    25 May 2015

    How to stay healthy during exams

    To study effectively, maintain peak performance and be at your best on exam day, you need to make sure you stay Clinton Bell

    Can you imagine the coach of a football team telling his players to prepare for a big game by staying up late, eating unhealthy food, and not doing any exercise? And yet this is exactly what a lot of students do to prepare for an exam!

    Research has consistently shown that your brain doesn’t work as well when you don’t look after yourself. To study effectively - and to be at your best on exam day - you need to make sure you stay healthy.

    Get enough sleep

    It’s important that you get enough sleep, especially on the night before your exam.
    Lack of sleep impairs memory and thinking, so if you stay up late to study, you might find that you read more but remember less! Always allow yourself at least eight hours of sleep a night.

    If you have difficulty falling asleep, there are several strategies that can help. Choose a regular bedtime and stick to it - set an alarm or reminder if necessary. Before you go to bed, avoid caffeine and take a break from study to give yourself time to relax. When you do go to bed make sure you turn your phone off and put it away, so you won’t be distracted.

    Do some exercise

    Do you often feel your attention drifting during a long study session? Taking regular exercise helps you stay alert and attentive throughout the day. It can also help you fall asleep at night! You don’t have to do anything too long or strenuous. A brisk 10-minute walk every hour or so is fine.

    Try to spend time outdoors, particularly if you’ve been suffering from headaches or sore eyes. Going outside gives your eyes a break from peering at textbooks and screens, and your body a break from sitting at a desk. Sunlight and fresh air don’t hurt either!

    Eat smarter

    Your brain needs food to work. Inadequate nutrition can leave you feeling exhausted and inattentive, while too much caffeine or sugar can make it hard to stay focused. For more effective study, try not using the energy drinks and the instant noodles, and have something healthy instead.

    Preparing healthy food doesn’t have to take a long time. A simple salad sandwich takes a couple of minutes, maximum. Fresh fruit makes a healthy snack and doesn’t need to be prepared at all (a tub of diced fruit is also acceptable). Puffed (not popped) corn or rice cakes are a healthier alternative to potato chips.

    Avoid sugary snacks and drinks - they give you a brief high followed by a long crash. Alcohol should also be avoided. Being drunk or hungover does not help you study!

    Fringe benefits

    Staying healthy isn’t just good for your exam performance, but also your mood and your overall wellbeing. So have a happy and healthy exam period, and try to keep the good habits up through the break!

    Do you have a favourite healthy snack? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter@monashunilib


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