No pressure, no diamonds

The final exam period begins in one week. It all comes down to this. You have been working hard the whole semester and you don’t want to let it go to waste. If you haven’t been doing much, it’s not too late. The best time to start was studying was 20 days ago; the second best time is now. Nothing is impossible if you let your performance in the finals be independent to your past events.

Here’s a few study tips for fellow actuarial students out there.

  • Remember to look after your body. Choose your study food wisely. Instead of snacking on unhealthy foods such as chocolate and chips (which lead to energy levels crashing and fatigue) opt for apples and blueberries. In addition, sitting down for more than two hours in the same position causes stiffness. Studies have shown that occasionally going for a walk and getting a breath of fresh air works wonders for the mind.

  • Instagram selfies are not the only situation where good lighting is your best friend. Studying in a well lit room will reduce the strain on your eyes. Having correct posture can go a long way, as can sleep. A good tip is to study just before you sleep, and revise that material as soon as you wake up. Sleep repairs your memory skills and if you read something just before you go to bed, your brain will process it in the following hours.

  • Do not bother approaching your studies half-heartedly - it’s either all or nothing. If you “study” while checking Facebook and sending snapchats, I guarantee you that you will no longer be studying. This is deadly as your short break may last hours, which will then turn into days. Don’t you hate it when you take a study break and it accidentally lasts the whole semester? A popular guide suggests the 50/10 rule - focus completely (no distractions) for fifty minutes, and relax in the remaining ten of the hour.

  • As actuarial students, you will differentiate quite often. Other times, you will be the ones being differentiated. We all need a CR, but if you want a D, let alone a HD, remember the small things – they count. Do not trick yourself into skimming too much and missing vital information. Murphy’s Law always holds.

  • Past papers exist for a reason. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so don’t let your resources go to waste. Take note of consultation hours (especially the special consultation hours for the exam period) so you can discuss and check your answers. Brushing up your understanding can make a huge difference even if the issue seems small.

  • Sitting exams requires 50% studying and 50% confidence. Get into the right mindset from the beginning. Keep visualising those high grades, as it will help keep you positive.

  • Studying doesn’t suck nearly as much as failing. Push yourself – no one is going to do it for you. Know your motivations for getting your desired grades. If you can’t think of the reason you want something, consider the consequences if its complement occurred.

  • It appears obvious, but procrastination is your worst enemy. If you cram everything the night before, you’ll probably be so stressed, realising later that that you have forgetten everything. The rush of new information you are trying to force in will overload your brain. In rare cases, you will retain the information long enough to last the next day. Trust me, if you are unsure which category you fall into, finals are not a wise time to experiment.

  • Fall down seven times… stand up eight. In the case that you do fail, define yourself by the way you react. Remember that failure is an event, not a person. You should all know the definition of an event by now, no matter which level of statistics you have done. Do not spend too much time calculating the probability of a failure.

Good luck everyone. May the concept of forces be with you!

#not a Star Wars reference #you will need it for ACST202

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