Get Exam Ready: Exam Tips by Fellow Undergrads

Published: Friday, December 2, 2022
Exam Season is here. Get Exam Ready. Tips submitted by fellow undergrad students! Thank you to everyone who submitted a tip.

Written by: Bella McKenzie

Exam season is coming up, Warriors!

If this is your first exam season at UW, or if you need new tips to help you succeed this exam season, check out these 10 tips from your fellow undergrads, and 7 more tips from WUSA!  


Tips from your Fellow Undergrads: 

Thank you to everyone who submitted exam tips on the @yourwusa Instagram: 

1. “DC Library is a great place to study in my opinion, and the chairs are comfortable to sit on” – @sami_baaj 

2. “Study in the room your exam is in. Tip from my psych prof!” – @jethicccccca 

3. “In your own words, explain concepts to other people so you can remember and understand it” – @bella._.1823

4. “Look for past exams and practice them. Time yourself like it’s the real thing” – @mi.caam

5. “PRACTICE PROBLEMS” – @mitchell_mj18

6. “Hand write your notes to remember them better” – @bella._.1823

7. “Pretend you’re teaching an imaginary class!” – @melanie.loyt

8. “When you study, put all your distractions away and focus for the dedicated amount of time” –

9. “Create your own practice problems” – @sami_baaj

10. “Study a bit every day rather than cramming for exams” – @bella._.1823 


Tips from WUSA, to You: 

1. Take a 15-minute break after 45 minutes of studying

2. Take @sami_baaj’s advice and study on campus! Here are more places to study on campus:

  • Study Rooms in SLC – go to the SLC Turnkey Desk to book your private study room!
  • DC Library
  • DP Library
  • Lusi Wong Library
  • St. Jerome’s University Atrium
  • St. Jerome’s Library
  • Environment 1 Courtyard
  • EV3 Study Space
  • Students can take advantage of classroom space when it is accessible and not in use
  • Bonus tip: Forgot your charger? The libraries lend chargers for your laptop and phone 


3. Based off @bella._.1823’s tip, here are some more note-taking methods: 

  • Cornell Method
  • The Outline Method
  • The Boxing Method
  • The Charting Method
  • The Mapping Method
  • Handwrite your notes
  • Take notes in your own words
  • Write phrases, not full sentences

4. Based off’s tip, here are some Focus Apps to help you focus on studying: 

  • Forest
  • Noisli
  • Flora
  • Use the “Focus Mode” or “Do Not Disturb” features on your phone 

5. Spend some time during the day for fun and self-care activities. Don’t forget to get some fresh air every day! 

  • Warm bath or shower
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Even spending a short time in the sun can provide you with all the vitamin D you need for the day
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Don’t have a bike? Rent one from the WUSA Bike Centre 
  • Go watch a movie
  • You can buy your tickets at the Turnkey Desk
  • Play video games
  • Spend time with friends and/or family
  • Paint, draw, or do something creative
  • Go for a shopping spree
  • Check out WUSA Thrift! 

6. Get enough sleep and eat proper meals 

  • It’s important to give your body the energy it needs to function at its best so eat at least 3 separate, healthy meals per day. Also make sure to sleep 7-9 hours a night, which is the recommended number for university students
  • Remember! The Flock Stop in SLC is open 24/7 for all your study snack needs 

7. Take advantage of WUSA and the University of Waterloo’s student resources. Here are some academic and mental health support resources to make your life easier: 

WUSA Resources: 

UW Resources: 


Finally, here are some easy to forget exam essentials! 

While your focus is on your exams… don’t forget these exam season essentials! 

Essential Items Checklist:

  • Face mask  
  • Wat Card 
  • Pens, pencils, erasers – scantron sheets require pencil only  
  • Any authorized aids your instructor has mentioned (faculty-approved calculator, formula sheet, etc.) 
  • Lab coat if required 
  • Water is allowed, as long as it is in a clear bottle with no label (for example, a recyclable water bottle with the label peeled off). W Store also has clear, reusable water bottles approved for exams. 

On the Day of:

  • Figure out where your exam building, and room is located ahead of time – check out the exam maps post at or the @yourwusa Instagram 
  • Arrive at your exam room early just in case 
  • Use the bathroom before your exam  
  • Silence or shut down your phone before taking your exam  
  • Put your calculator in the correct mode (degrees, radius, etc.)  


For more exam essentials visit this link 

Good luck with your exams, Warriors! 


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