What Is Reading Week and How to Use It Effectively

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Preparing for an upcoming exam can be a stressful process, it can even harm your mental and physical health. After going through months of classes, assignments, and stuff you have to face an exam.

But before the exam, there is a time span of a few weeks or days gives called reading period. Let’s find out what this reading period means, how it can affect your grades and how you could use the reading period effectively to improve your grades.

What is Reading Week/Reading Period?

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So, after going through months of lectures, practicals, assignments, quizzes, presentations and other academic stuff when you get close to the semester end exam or the final exams Universities give a few weeks off for the students for helping them prepare for the exams well. This period is called the reading week, also known as the reading period.

Within these few weeks, you won’t have any lecture; there will be no attendance marked, no practical or lab reports to write, assignments to submit or presentations. But also keep in mind before the reading period starts, usually, lectures will collect all the assignments you were given. Be sure to submit them on time, if you had a late assignment submission you may need to talk with your lecturer to see if you could resolve the issue.

Also, some instructors may still set review sessions or extra classes to help you out more in the exams. If you do, you should attend those classes even in the reading week.

Not every university or faculty schedule a reading week for the semester-end exams. Also, you could get a reading week for the half term if you are lucky. The time that the reading period lasts also depends on the university and the faculty, it could last a week or a couple of weeks.

What Does SWOT VAC mean?

SWOT VAC otherwise Study Without Teaching Vacation is another term for a reading period, mostly in Commonwealth countries like Australia.

Importance of the Reading Week

The whole point of giving a reading period is to lower your stress levels and help you study to prepare for the exams. So, you have to stop treating the reading week as some sort of vacation period before the exam, well if you want to get better grades.

If you have to go through months of lecture notes, lab reports, preparing for presentations and vivas, it can put a lot of pressure while attending classes. This stress can cause you a lot of mental and physical health issues. Especially if you are a part-time working student, it will be harder to face an upcoming exam if you have to attend classes every day.

While ago, a Reddit user asked Bill Gates how did he face exams, and he replied that he studied hard on reading week. Reading week can improve your grades more than you think, even if you studied hard for months in this semester you could get lower grades if you didn’t use the reading period properly and effectively.

If you didn’t study much and worried about failing the exam right now, the reading period could be a game-changer if you could use it effectively.

13 Tips for using Reading Week Effectively(Get Higher Grades)

So, reading week is essential and useful if you want to get high grades on your exams. Let’s find out how you can use the reading week effectively and get better grades.

1. Travel Ban

Stop taking reading period as vacation
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First things first, Stop Travelling and taking reading period as a vacation from studying!!! They put a reading week hoping you would prepare for the exam better.

If you have to go to a place you love for destressing, then do so. But don’t take much time. You would have vacation time you could travel after the exams anyway.

2. Organize

keep organizing your lecture notes and assignments
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You must have your lecture notes, finished assignments and lab reports lying around somewhere. Get them into one place and organize them and keep them in a place you can easily reach.

Also, if you have assignments due submit then before you have to deal with late assignment submissions.

3. Planner

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This is somewhere most high school, and college students fail, making a proper study schedule if you have one stick to it and make changes if you want to after reading this.

If you don’t have a study schedule, then take a couple of hours to make a plan for how you are going to study in the reading period.

4. Make a To-Do List

make a SWOTVAC to do list
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After making a good plan for how you are going to use the reading period to study, make a to-do list for every day. Just write down aims and goals you have to archive on the reading week that will help you face the exam better.

5. Prioritize

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Now that you have a list of things you have to archive think about how much time it would take you to do them. You’ll see some are impossible to do in such a small period.

So, pick essential tasks that will help you improve your grades, such as a topic that was on the mock exam or the lecturer said will be on the exam. Move those to the beginning of the to-do list.

6. Study Breaks

use study breaks in SWOTVAC period
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Just because you are weeks or days away from the exams, don’t over study because that won’t help your grades. In fact, overstudying can harm your grades rather than improving grades. Take time to do a relaxing activity such as exercising, listening to music while studying, or anything that will help you destress.

Now you might wonder where is the time for that, include some study breaks after you studied for an hour or so, think of them as a reward for studying for a long time.

7. Snacks

snack while you are studying
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Snack! Snack! Snack!, who studies without some snacks nearby. No wonder if you hate studying so much if you aren’t snacking while studying. It’s not a bad thing to snack while studying, just like our body our brain needs energy too.

But not every snack is healthy for you or will help you study better. There are study snacks that will help you study more efficiently, such as dark chocolate which also a good snack to eat before the exam.

8. Revise

revise - revisit your lecture notes
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Now that you have everything prepared start going through your lecture notes, coursework, lab reports, assignments, and mock exam papers at least one time. Always take time to study the things that are harder for you to learn and memorize.

9. Avoid Distractions

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It’s hard to study when getting distracted while studying by something like a lousy neighbor or a roommate. Sometimes these distractions are unavoidable but do your best to avoid them.

10. Put Your Phone Away

avoid mobile distraction
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Swipe! Swipe! Swipe! An hour went by without you knowing. The main distractor of a student is their mobile phone.

No matter what the reason is, stay off your phone and social media for a couple of weeks starting in the reading period. It will be hard but it is not impossible to avoid mobile phone distraction.

11. Stick to Your Schedule

stick to your schedule and plan
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Everybody’s good at making plans, but sticking to them? Not so much. Don’t let that happen to your study schedule or the plan for the reading period.

If you do, your grades will go down even if you studied for months. So, sticking to your reading period to-do list is critical.

12. Pat Yourself On The Back

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You have studied for months, went to classes every day, done countless lab reports, assignments, coursework, and presentations. Always remind yourself that you’ve come so far, and you are not going to give up now. If you keep doing so, you will be motivated to get through the exam.

13. Sleep

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Does studying means not sleeping? Nope. Take at least six hours of sleep every day, unless the exam weeks will be so much stressful for you. Not sleeping can cause your grades to go down and hurt your GPA. If you have trouble sleeping then you can use something like a late-night snack to help you get the best out of your sleep.