Gaining a sense of control

The best way to gain a sense of control around preparing for exams is to plan!

Knowing exactly how much time you have to prepare and realistically what you can get done in that time will go a long way to helping you control stress and let you do your best thinking.

Schedule blocks of study into a day depending on whether you have to travel, have shifts at work, other responsibilities/commitments etc. While classes are still going, you may only get 1 or two blocks on some days, but during Swotvac and the actual exam period, you will be able to schedule more. The earlier in the semester you start the better!

Don't forget to schedule eating, sleeping and breaks (you need to be realistic for this to work). Put your exams or assignment due dates in first and then fill study blocks around them. 90 minute blocks are ideal, but you can still get smaller tasks done in 30 or 60 minutes, so be a little bit flexible if you have to.

Be specific about what you are going to do in the study block e.g. Summarise most relevant cases into a table or flashcards and note questions I still have about the legal principle is better than review cases. It tells you what has to be on the page by the time the study block is up.

You might schedule a study block where you work with a friend to explain concepts to each other or ask questions of each other to test your knowledge.

Another good tip is to work out what is going to be in tomorrow’s 90 minute blocks the night before. Gets you going quicker the next day!

The second way to gain a sense of control is to not worry about stuff you can’t control, like what questions are going to be on the exam paper and how stressed everybody else is.

Focus on all the things you can control, like your attention, removing distractions (phone off and away, internet & social media disabled – remove temptation so no energy is wasted deciding not to engage with temptation), and how you think about how your preparation is going etc.


Information that appears on the TCB Wellness website is general information only and is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or instruction. The TC Beirne School of Law encourages students who have health-related concerns or questions to seek professional healthcare assistance, either from the student services provided at UQ or from their general practitioner.

Last updated:
23 February 2018