Your study guide

20 January 2020

With so much to read and remember, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed in the run-up to exams. Try absorbing these top studying tips from students who’ve been there, done that. They work!

Replicate the setting

“Study at the same time of the day you’re writing your exam. Apply the same amount of time pressure. Mark it strictly!” — Nicholas Petersen, actuarial science honours

Environment is key

“I would suggest studying in the library and studying at the lower section of the library, the quiet section.” — Lufuno Neluheni

Find your study time

“I find it better to study at night because that is when it is quiet and there’s no one to disturb me.” — Sibusiso Magagula, first-year accounting

Get the right nutrients

“So often people eat just a fruit ... or some other carbohydrate by itself. But this can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which then ends up with the drop coming on the other side of that. So pair an apple with some nuts or peanut butter, for instance, to ensure optimal studying energy levels.” — Nicole Haird, dietetics honours


“I wish I’d known that the more questions I ask, the more it improves my own and my peers’ learning.” — PAVO

Snack and relax

“Snacks are so important. One of us is always eating something or drinking something while we are studying. But another essential is finding a study buddy. We usually study together, diving into the books for a few hours and then stepping away to relax, talk and joke.” — Lucia Anthony and Casey Fredericks

Get enough sleep

“When I am not sleeping enough, it’s easier for me to get overwhelmed. You need to sleep to consolidate information and once you learn that, you’re like, ‘I am not going to compromise on my sleep.’ ” — Hannah Mather, third-year politics, philosophy and English literature

Music matters

“Music definitely helps me. It takes me out of a headspace where I am stressing. It takes me to a place where I can enjoy myself and feel myself and know that I’ve got this.” — Zoe Robertson, third-year anthropology, English and linguistics


“Meditation is important, and this might sound clichéd, but prayer as well. It keeps you focused and stops you from procrastinating.” — Femina Bompaka, first-year film and media studies

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.