Cloud Campus student Charvele Williams tells us how she gets ready for exams
How do you prepare for your exams? We recently spoke with Cloud Campus student Charvele Williams who gave us some advice on how you can get ready for your exams.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m 28 years old and I’m a Cloud Campus student in my final year of a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in financial planning and accounting. I’ve been studying part time so it’s been a long four years.
I work as a client services manager for an accounting firm in Melbourne, a job I was able to secure because of the experience I had through my Deakin degree. I live in St Kilda with my husband and my goldfish.
How do you manage your time when you’re studying for an exam?
When exam time comes around it’s a bit of a social block-out period for me. Some people like to use online calendars to track their study tasks. I like working with a pen and paper, I’m very visual, so I have my study schedule on a calendar in my living room and in my kitchen. I like to see my schedule right in front of me. I’m a working Cloud Campus student and I have to really tightly manage my time to fit in my studies.
I also make sure to schedule study breaks and not overwork myself otherwise it just goes in one ear and out the other. I’ll add to my schedule that I’m not going to do anything for two hours on a Saturday morning and take some time to chill out and watch some TV. If I scheduled every minute for studying, I’m likely to break down and fall behind.
How do you revise for your exams?
I’ve taken a lot of notes throughout the trimester. When I come across a concept that I don’t grasp as well as I’d like to, I mark it with a Post-it Note in my study journal. Then I focus on those concepts when I’m revising. I also review my assignments and do the same thing. I’ve been caught out in the past thinking that a topic from an assignment wouldn’t appear in the exam.
If you’ve fallen a little behind in your note-taking throughout the trimester, go back to where you left off. Download the Unit Chair’s slides for each class and work through them in order. Take a look at any learning materials for your seminars to dig deeper into the topics. My units all have seminar questions that are super helpful when revising for exams.
What Deakin resources and services do you use when preparing for exams?
The Deakin Library is a great resource. The library chat is a good place to start. You can get copies of past exam papers from the library if they’re available for your unit. Some other Cloud Campus students I know have used Study Support resources when they were starting out.
How do you prepare for the day of an exam?
I don’t try and cram the night before. I do some light revision and touch on my key points across a few topics. I eat a healthy dinner and I get a good night’s sleep. Before I go to bed, I lay out my clothes for the next day, put my stationery in a clear plastic bag with my Deakin ID. I take 12 pens and two calculators – just in case! Basically, be prepared! I once left my notes for a Business Analytics exam at home and I had to have my husband send the notes to me in an Uber.
I like to make sure that I feel comfortable when I do an exam. I wear my comfiest tracksuit pants and a Harry Potter top (because I want to be like magic and super smart). I also do my make-up and put on big hoop earrings because I want to feel good when I’m doing the exam. I recommend just doing whatever you need to feel comfortable and confident.
What other advice do you have for Cloud Campus students?
Bring your Deakin Card to the exam!
It’s also good to remember that they’re testing you on what you’ve learned over the trimester. They’re not going to throw anything brand new at you in the exam. They’re not trying to trip you up and make you fail. If you’ve studied hard and you’ve studied well, you’ll be prepared.