Exams & Study Advice

Covid-19 update - For information and updates on the current situation please see the University's FAQs. You can also email us on ausaadvice@abdn.ac.uk with any questions.

Check out the new programme of online workshops, including live Q & A and drop-in sessions, now available through the Univeristy Student Learning Service (SLS).

  • They are free and open to all students. Upcoming topics include: 
    • Planning & Time Management,
    • Get the most from your Lectures,
    • Reading and Note-making,
    • Writing an Essay,
    • Grammar for Academic Writing
    • Writing a Report.
  • You can view and sign up for the workshops on the Course Booking System or via the SLS website.
  • One-to-one online sessions are also available on Academic Writing, Academic Skills, Maths Skills and for students with Dyslexia or other Specific Learning Differences. Please fill out the form on the website SLS website.
  • In addition, they have a range of resources available on Achieve+ including Developing Online Learning Skills.
  • Please get in touch with them directly if you have any questions! - The Student Learning Service


When will I find out when my exams are? 

The exam timetable is normally released around 4 weeks before the exam diet begins. You can view your exam through MyTimetable. 

Stressed out Students

At AUSA Advice we know exams are a very stressful time for students, so each semester we run our Stressed-out Students events during revision week. Like AUSA on Facebook for information on our events and for useful exam tips.  - (see also our advice page about stress)

Are you feeling stressed? 

It is natural to get stressed around exam time. The symptoms of stress vary but may include tiredness; unexplainable aches; loss of appetite; interrupted sleep and increased irritability.

if you are continually feeling stressed it may be time to make changes to your lifestyle. 

How to cope with Stress? 

  • Try not to think about the exam in a negative manner. Remember, exams are there to help you progress. They are a tried method on assessing how your tutors and lecturers can help you further. 
  • Keep in mind that you’ve had a number of successes to get to the point you’re at now. 
  • Exercise. This may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but physical activity is the best way to de-stress your mind.
  • Don’t lose sight of the fact that you have a life after exams! Try and focus on how good you’ll feel when it’s over and what you’re going to do to reward your efforts.
  • Stop the bad habits! Replace that big bag of Doritos for fresh fruit.
  • No alcohol. You need your mind in the best place possible and alcohol is a depressant so will only make you feel worse. Plenty of water and fresh fruit juices are a must.
  • Make sure you have regular breaks during revision.        

Studying Advice

Remember that everyone studies differently. So, find the way that works best for you. 

Past Papers 

The University has a database of past exam papers. It can be a good idea to use the past papers as practice questions although the layout, format and questions in the exams can change - so don’t rely on your exam being the same as the past papers. You can find information on past papers here: www.abdn.ac.uk/library/support/exam-papers-180.php

Study Help

If you want to develop and improve your learning and studying, then you can book an appointment with one of the study skills advisors. More information and the booking form is available at www.abdn.ac.uk/sls/study-advice/.

It’s not a huge task if you manage your time

Sitting down and getting on with your studies, whether you’re a first year or a final year, can be such a daunting prospect when there is a deadline or exam date looming.

  • Make a study timetable for every day of the week and one that leads up to your exams.
  • Make sure you place this timetable in a place where you’re always going to see it. E.g. above your desk on the wall.
  • Make it realistic. Don’t set yourself up with unrealistic targets. 
  • Take regular breaks. We advise that you study for about 50 minutes and then have a 10-minute break. This ensures that you don’t burn out too quickly, and your brain has time to absorb the information you’ve just taken in.
  • Don’t forget to have a healthy lunch and allow time for exercise.

Absorbing Information

  • Use highlighters. If you are just using the one, then make sure you’re using it to pick out important bits. Not everything needs to be highlighted. If you are using a few colours, then work out a system regarding which colours means it’s very important information or what you may need to research further.
  • Do Mind Maps. We suggest at the end of every chapter you’re reading, make a Mind Map on it. This will help you to cement the information that you have taken in. It’ll also help you identify how much you actually took in when reading!
  • Don’t worry about not knowing every single word of the text. Focus on getting the meaning from chunks of the writing.

Appropriate Environment

  • Ensure you’re in the right place for you to study! Create a workspace, whether that be at your desk, on the kitchen table or in the library. 
  • If it’s your own bedroom, rid yourself of as many distractions as you can.
  • If you prefer the library, we suggest not going in groups of friends as you will be inclined to chat! It may be a nice idea but it’s not the most practical.
  • The Sir Duncan Rice Library also has many quiet study rooms, if you feel you need that space for extra concentration. - but please check current restrictions regarding opening hours and terms of use.