This page focuses on ways to deal with daily stresses and pressures. It includes a self-study module with ways to help you manage stress and tasks to implement right away to help you get started.
Exams are part of student life, and it is natural to feel some anxiety at exam time. Preparation and planning can help students to cope with the stresses of exams. On this page, you’ll find information and support for the lead up to and duration of the exam period.
University students spend a large proportion of their time on independent study. Well developed reading and writing skills are an essential part of effective study. Students will need to be able to:-
- scan books and journals quickly
- identify relevant information
- evaluate sources
- develop and evaluate arguments
- produce written work with all the correct citations and academic references.
Check with your lecturers to see which style of referencing your university uses. If you have concerns about your study skills, you should check to see if your university offers a basic course on effective study methods. For further information on study skills, see the Skills You Need website.
Different people study in different ways. By the time students get to university, most are aware of their individual learning style. Examples include a preference for studying in a group, condensing notes into bullet points or reworking material into a chart or diagram. Whatever the method, remember that revision is about checking your understanding of the subjects you have been studying and identifying any gaps in your knowledge. Try to avoid last minute cramming/all-night studying just before exams. It does not help. Set yourself a manageable timetable for revision and then stick to it. If there are any parts of your course material that you do not understand, ask your classmates and/or tutors for help. The Skills You Need website has lots of good information on revision skills.
It’s important to set aside time to dedicated study and revision. Check out our free revision planner to help you stay on top of your studies whilst also looking after your wellbeing.
A long-term health problem is not necessarily a barrier to successful study. The key is good management and getting the right level of support. Most students with a chronic condition, for example, diabetes, epilepsy or sickle cell anaemia, will already have many years of experience in terms of managing their condition. It is important to remember to take any necessary medication and try to maintain a healthy diet. Students should ensure that their university is aware of their medical condition and ask for any additional support that they may require, for example, arranging for a note-taker or extra time in exams.
Do not be tempted to hide a medical condition. The GPhC student code of conduct states that students should ‘take responsibility for their own health’. It also states that students should ‘tell their university if there is anything that could impair their ability to study’.
MPharm students must acknowledge and take responsibility for the fact that they are on a professional accredited programme, and this requires students to act professionally and abide by the GPhC code for pharmacy students. For further information, see the GPHC code of conduct.
If you need support with managing a physical or mental disability, take a look at our dedicated page for more information.
Stress can have a profound effect on someone’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. It can cause them to feel anxious, out of control and unable to cope. If this sounds like how you’re feeling right now, we have lots of info and tips on how to cope with stress and anxiety across the Mental Health and Wellbeing area on our website.
Looking after your mind and body is also really important when preparing for your exams. It will help you to function better during revision before the exam. This includes making a conscious decision to sleep well up to and during the exam period. Sleep plays an important part in our cognitive functioning, meaning that those who have healthy sleeping habits tend to perform better.
Practically, it helps to familiarise yourself with the exams by practising with past papers. Time the answers that you write, so that you understand how long you will have to answer each question in exam conditions. Try to remember that there is life after exams.
A Listening Friend
If it all gets too much and you need to talk to someone in confidence, Listening Friends are there to help. Our Listening Friends are all pharmacists who volunteer to offer a listening ear to those in need.
Top ten tips to manage wellbeing at university
It’s important to remember that your university experience should be a good one, you’re not there to compete for the highest grades or change to fit in. If you’re struggling with your wellbeing at university, this downloadable poster can be a reminder that you’ve got this!
All universities have policies and procedures in place for exam appeals and re-sits. Any extenuating circumstances should be taken into account by the university when assessing the possibility of re-sitting exams or re-taking whole modules. Students who have exhausted all their re-sit attempts and have still not passed may be asked to leave the course or be awarded a BSc at the end of their third year of studies as an alternative to an MPharm. Any student who is unhappy about the way their university has dealt with them can approach the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)for guidance on how to make a complaint. For further information, visit their website.
This webpage was last reviewed in July 2023.