7 Tips on How to survive academic exams in Psychology during motherhood
How do you do this?
Is this doable?
I don’t think you can do it!
Well, let me share with you 7 tips on how to survive academic exams in Psychology during motherhood! But before I would like to share a little about my experience. As a full-time mom, staying at home as I have no other choice because of my special circumstances I decided last year to study my year 2 Psychology degree full-time, contrary to year 1 that I finished within a year and a half. I found that I had the time and the energy to juggle between studies and mother responsibilities and finish with distinction. And guess what! I did it! But let me tell you this, surviving academic exams while being a mom is not a piece of cake.
But firstly what exams might mean to those who put themselves through it. While exams can be challenging and stressful, it’s important to view them as an opportunity for growth and reward. They provide a structured way to assess your progress, validate your knowledge and skills, and showcase your capabilities. Embracing exams as a part of your academic journey can contribute to a sense of achievement and set you on a path to future success.
Yes but how can I survive academic exams in Psychology while being a mom of a four and a five years old?
Balancing the responsibilities of being a mom and preparing for university exams can be challenging, but with some planning and strategies, it’s definitely possible.
Here is some advice on how to get tackling your goals
- Establish a support system: Do not be shy to reach out to your partner, family members, or trusted friends who can support and assist with childcare responsibilities. People who love us are always there to support our dream as they are sure we would do the same for them. Communicate your needs and create a network of support that can help you during your exam preparation period. I managed to make some mom friends that happened to meet only last year who were very supportive and as they were in similar situations were willing to give a hand with kids when needed. Networking is useful in any situation whether it has to do with work or life. Never underestimate it!
- Prioritize and manage your time: Plan your schedule carefully, considering both your mom duties and study time. Identify pockets of time that you can dedicate to studying, such as when your child is napping or after they’ve gone to bed. Use this time efficiently and focus on high-priority tasks. At the point that the clock was ticking and I was filling the pressure of the deadlines, I found myself studying even in five-minute slots here and there. That wouldn’t be enough if I had not written down specific goal achievements for each module I had to complete in advance.
- Create a study routine: Establish a consistent study routine that fits your mom schedule. Whether it’s early mornings, late nights, or specific blocks of time during the day, having a routine can help you stay on track and make the most of your study sessions. I am not an early bird so I can not really work well in the early hours of the day, but I found that late at night when everyone was fast asleep was the best time for me to tackle all the tasks I had organised for the day. But you know when you work better so if early in the morning is your thing, just put your clock alarm to have you on your feet before everyone else does.
- Break it down into smaller tasks: Divide your study material into manageable chunks. This approach allows you to tackle smaller portions of the material during shorter study sessions, making it easier to fit into your mom responsibilities. Set realistic goals for each study session and celebrate your achievements along the way. I have to be honest here! The Open University has a very organised website that is breaking down each module into small takes each week which is making it much easier than a brick uni where you have to organize your work and hope that you are following up as required. However, even with the Open University, surviving the academic exams demanded some management into deciding on the most important information to use on the assignments especially when close to the end of the year.
Some more tips on how to survive academic exams in Psychology while being a mom
- Utilize productive study techniques: Optimize your study time by using effective study techniques. Active learning methods, such as summarizing information in your own words, teaching concepts to someone else (even your child), or using flashcards for memorization, can enhance your understanding and retention of the material.
- Involve your child in your study routine: Depending on their age, find ways to involve your child in your study routine. Set up a designated study area where you can work together, encourage them to engage in quiet activities while you study, or explain concepts to them in simplified terms. This can create a positive learning environment for both you and your child.
- Practice self-care: As a mom and a student, it’s crucial to prioritize self-care to maintain your well-being. Make sure to take breaks, engage in activities that relax and rejuvenate you like yoga or meditation and seek support from others when needed. Taking care of yourself will ultimately help you manage both roles more effectively.
- Communicate with your professors or instructors: If you find yourself facing additional challenges or need accommodations due to your mom responsibilities, don’t hesitate to communicate with your professors or instructors. They may be able to provide guidance, flexibility, or alternative arrangements to support your academic journey.
These 7 tips on how to survive academic exams in Psychology during motherhood can be adapted to a specific situation and they are not limited. As a last note, last year was a very stressful journey towards my ultimate goal and I decided to go back to part-time as I really need to achieve high scores in my level 3 studies and I need to work with a clear mind. I realized that whenever you know what you want to do it doesn’t matter how fast you achieve it. The most important thing is to enjoy the journey. However, I was happy that I finished year 2 full-time. It was an invaluable experience and really rewarding in the end. If this is what you want to do get out there and do it and don’t let anyone tell you that studying and surviving academic exams in Psychology or any other discipline while being a mom is not possible. If you liked this article please leave a note and 👍and let us know what subjects you would like to read from us.
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