Your ultimate SWOTVAC survival guide

May 29, 2017
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So you’ve survived another semester, congratulations! Now there’s only a few more hurdles to get to until you’re free, at least until next semester. With week 12 over, it’s time for SWOTVAC to begin. Whether it’s your first SWOTVAC or your last, here are some top tips on how to survive revision week and ace your exams.

Plan out your week

Let’s be honest, no one can study for eight hours a day straight, for the entire week of SWOTVAC. It’s impossible – you need sleep, food and to occasionally crawl out from your cave to interact with friends, pets and family.

The best approach is to plan out blocks of study time, with sufficient breaks and even some socialising. I’ve found that 30-45 minute blocks with 10-15 minute breaks works best. You’re going to be the most productive studying in short blocks, but find what works best for you.

Put away the technology

The biggest distraction when it comes to studying is technology. If you haven’t noticed, we’re all glued to our phones, tablets and laptops, or any other technological device we can get our hands on.

To be most productive in your SWOTVAC break, lock away your devices to avoid the temptation Facebook and Instagram provide. If you have your notes on your laptop print them off – you’ll be a lot more likely to focus with hard copies of notes and study material, without Facebook being one click of a button away.

Eat like a fitness model

When you’re stuck in your room, office, library or wherever you’re setting up shop, don’t get into the habit of snacking on lollies and fast food. Brain food is super important for SWOTVAC. Plan a shopping trip to stock up on the essentials to get you through the week.

There’s no need to be wasting valuable time opening the fridge 17 times in a day to see if food has magically appeared. Stock up on some good healthy snacks, such as fruit, nuts and a little bit of chocolate so you’re good to go.

Get into good sleeping habits

As stressful as exams can be, sleep is going to be your best friend. Get into a sleeping schedule and aim for eight hours of sleep a night. Not only will this increase your productivity when you’re studying during the day, but it will also help you be more alert and retain more information.

Set yourself a bedtime and a time to wake up everyday, that allows you to have enough time to fully wake up in the morning and not have you falling asleep in the textbooks come 1pm.

Teach someone

Being able to teach someone the stuff you’ve been trying to learn really proves if your studying has paid off. Whether it’s your dog, cat, mum, neighbour or partner, find someone you can ramble onto about what you’ve been revising. Even better, if you can get a study group of friends together, teach and learn from each other. This way you can see what information you’ve missed and what you’re an expert on.

Look after yourself

SWOTVAC is one of the most stressful times of the year, where students everywhere are trying to cram 12 weeks worth of knowledge into one. At the end of the day, you know your limits and study habits better than anyone, so do what works for you. Take care of yourself so that when the exams roll around you’re not already burnt out. SWOTVAC is not all about studying, so make sure you take some time to relax, see some friends or sleep in a little longer.

This is only the beginning on how to survive SWOTVAC, but you’ll get through this and be one step closer to freedom.

Rosie Chong

Rosie is studying a Bachelor of Arts/Commerce at Monash University and loves corgis more than one should.

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