Tips for getting through exam season

News | Posted on Wednesday 15 May 2024

If you've got assessments coming up, we're rooting for you! The library will be busier than usual so plan ahead, and keep in mind these important tips.

go to (case sensitive) for digital versions of previous University of York exam papers across 17 Departments

Studying in the Library

We have a mixture of bookable and non-bookable study spaces in the Library; find out more about the different Zones and buildingson our Study Spaces page.

Want to book a space? No problem. You can see which seats are available to reserve ahead of time on our booking system; you can use our Library floorplans 2024 (PDF , 2,651kb) to see which area of the Library suits you best. Anything which you can’t see in the booking system is available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no limits on how long you can book a space or for how long you can remain in a non-bookable area, but please be respectful of other students so that everyone has a chance to use the space.

Making the space work for everyone

The library will be busy so it's more important than ever that we work as a community. If you have made a study booking but no longer require it, please cancel your booking to make it available for someone else!

Do take breaks - breaks are great and help you study better - so you can move away from your space for a short period of time to stretch your legs or get a drink. But if you're in a non-bookable desk, don't hog it by leaving your stuff for hours and coming back later. If you spot a problem of any kind, you can text us on 07919 293133: we won't reply but we'll deal with the issue.

Other study spaces around campus 

You can find details of other study spaces on the University website.

In addition to these, remember there are pop-up study spaces available all over campus - these are all detailed in the previous News item

Past exam papers and theses

The Library makes dissertations, theses, and past exam papers available from several departments. These can be hugely useful in preparing for your own study, and there's some useful guidance on how to use them too; follow the link below for more info. 

General exam-prep study tips 

  • Routine helps. Have a plan for when and what you're going to study, and stick to it. 
  • Breaks are essential. You will learn LESS if you work straight through without breaks. Try using the timer on your phone to do 45 minutes on, 10 minutes off. (We know that's not an hour, which feels weird! But the fact is, most humans can only fully concentrate for a maximum of 45 minutes at a time...)
  • Be active. Take notes, summarise materials, try and process what you're learning so that you can explain it to other people, rather than just passively reading. 
  • Sleep. Eat healthily. Excercise if you can. Your wellbeing is essential and your brain works better when your body is looked after. 
  • All-nighters are almost never a good idea. As we've said before, we open 24/7 to give you options to study whenever you like, not because we think you should work all night 

Finally, ask for help. Talk to people. And good luck!