Surrey Love is your Union's campaign to support you through exams. We know that exam periods can be stressful for students so we are here for you, to
help you achieve your full potential through exams. Running free wellbeing sessions, revision tips and top tips for exam success, our Surrey Love provides students with practical advice and guidance through January exams, Summer exams and Late Summer Assessments.
Our academic advice team are also on hand to provide advice and guidance on Extenuating Circumstances. You can find out more here or, check below for our EC drop-in times! Our advisers can help support you in your EC and advise on if you have grounds and, which EC to apply for!
Scroll to the bottom of the page for our
Top Tips on avoiding Academic Misconduct or plagiarism!
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Download your January 2021 Revision Planner here: Surrey Love Exam Planner Jan 2021.pdf
Our academic advice team are running EC Drop Ins through January to support students in their EC applications. If you have any questions or queries, then get in touch by attending a drop in or emailing email@example.com
You can find more information on ECs here
Extenuating circumstances drop in:
Drop ins through January 2021 will run on Zoom and you can find the link on the @Surreyunion Instagram stories the morning of the drop in. Cant find it? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Every Tuesday and Thursday throughout January (From 4th Jan - 30th January 2021) from 10.30am - 12pm
Join the Zoom waiting room here: https://surrey-ac.zoom.us/j/95113077102
Chat with an academic advisor for independent advice and guidance on your ECs.
Student Minds Study Group: Virtual Event on Teams
If you're finding it difficult to stay motivated this exam period, Student Minds Surrey is running 'individual study' groups every Tuesday and Thursday on Teams from 1-3pm. A lot of people find that a schedule, and working in the company of others (with audio switched off) helps them stay focused. We're starting on 12th January and there's no pressure to keep your video on - join us if you'd like to give it a try!
Virtual Coffee, Cake and Chat: Zoom
Join our online Zoom chat for a friendly chat with our VP Support and other students. Take a break from revision, grab a cup of tea or coffee and meet new people.
Every Friday throughout January at 11am - midday on Teams
Join the Teams chat here: Click here to join the meeting
Check out the @surreyunion Instagram stories the morning of Tea, Toast and Talk for the Zoom link or email email@example.com
Tea, Toast and Talk: Now Online!
Don't you know breakfast is the most important meal of the day?
Join Aaron and the Sabbs at breakfast time to kick-start your day right - you are sure to get your revision off to a great start with us.
Grab some toast, a cup of coffee or a tea and join us online for a friendly informal chat, to get you going for your day ahead.
Wednesday 13th and 20th January, 9.30am - 10.30am on Teams
Join here: Click here to join the meeting
Due to national lockdown restrictions, we regret to have had to cancel this event face to face and instead look forward to you joining us online!
Support available throughout exams:
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if in doubt about ECs or academic regulations
- Contact your Personal Tutor or Senior Personal Tutor
- Togetherall (togetherall.com) - Previously known as Big White Wall
- Nightline Email is available (log into ussu.co.uk and visit the Nightline page)
- Centre for Wellbeing (01483689498, email@example.com)
- Student Minds Charity (www.studentminds.org.uk)
- Samaritans (Call 116 123, this service is 24/7 and free)
How to take a break during exams:
- Schedule regular breaks
- Recommendation of taking a 15-minute break every 50-90 minutes of work
- Use a timer to stick to a schedule and break time
- Try to avoid using Social Media until your designated break time. Have you thought about turning your phone off?
- Coordinate breaks to catch up with friends (give them a call!)
- Ensure the time allocated to working is used effectively and efficiently
- In order to get the most out of your revision time, make sure that you take allocated breaks for food and sleep - without proper nutrients and a chance for your brain to rest, your revision will not be efficient
Here are some recommended links
What to do on a break?
How to minimise procrastination?
Changing your outlook:
- Don't punish yourself for procrastinating, instead, try and reward yourself for getting a task done
- Make a task list
- Break tasks into smaller activities
- Don't dwell on perfection at first take, aim to get it done - you can always improve on something but you can't improve on nothing
- Self-talk motivation ('Aaron, you've got this')
- Do the hardest task first (then the rest of your day will be a breeze)
- Set a 15-minute timer to get started on something, once the 15 minutes has passed you will likely feel less inclined to stop
- Find a workspace that works for you, that makes you feel calm and focused
- Change workspace between breaks
- Listen to music with no lyrics or lyrics in a language you do not know
- Use app locks to avoid excessive phone use
- Remove your phone from your study space
Exams during Coronavirus:
- Choose your location
- Remember you have bibliU for your textbooks
- Check you have access to material beforehand
- Let the library know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you don't have access
- Breathe and take your time
- Take a break every question or so if you need to or can
- In most cases you have 24 hours to complete your exam, so use them
- Don't feel guilty about sleeping. You can always read over work the next morning with a fresh pair of eyes
Location: At The Library:
Location: At Home:
- Choose your location (your room, a study, dining room...)
- Declutter the chosen space
- Communicate to the other members in your household of the times that you will be having an exam
Avoiding Academic Misconduct
Ahead of your exams in January, we wanted to take the opportunity to remind you of the best approaches maintaining the academic integrity of your assessments to ensure you're able to perform at your best.
Academic Integrity refers to the University's policy on suspected academic misconduct. The University takes academic misconduct very seriously, and if you are found to have given yourself an unfair advantage in your assessments, eg. through plagiarising work, then you may be asked to attend a meeting with the University to discuss your work which can lead to penalties being applied. If you have been asked to attend a meeting, you can email email@example.com for advice. However, it's always best to try to stick to good academic practices to avoid needing to go through that process. You can avoid plagiarism for online exams by:
Having reliable notes:
Making sure your notes are entirely in your own words will help prevent you from accidentally plagiarising content or phrases that may have come from another source. Some students may unknowingly write the exact phrasing from an academic source into their notes whilst revising and fail to add a reference or quotations, or may forget to paraphrase correctly. When completing open book exams, it's vital that you're sure your notes can be relied upon.
Check your notes several times and check your final work thoroughly. The more sure you are that your work is in your own words, correctly referenced and paraphrased, the less likely you are to have committed academic misconduct.
It can be tempting to check your course's WhatsApp group or check in with your housemate downstairs who is doing the same exam, but you should not work with any other students on independent work, and if someone shares any answers or exam questions, you shouldn't use that information to give you an advantage on the work. The University can detect if you have worked with someone else or already had access to answers before the exam - it isn't just Turnitin scores that can indicate plagiarism or collusion.
Work alone and don't be tempted to communicate with others who are taking the same exam, and be aware that fellow students might not yet have done their exam (if there is a 24 hour window for the assessment). If anyone shares answers with other students eg. in a group WhatsApp, and you feel this is unfair, you can report these instances to your Academic Hive by emailing them. Reporting concerns of academic misconduct might help in tackling the inappropriate actions of others who have sought to cheat. The University can ensure the reports made to them on potential cases of academic misconduct remain anonymous.
Some exams (particularly 24-hour exams) may require you to reference. It is therefore important that you keep accurate note of the references you've used in your revision notes and in your final work, and that you know your referencing style so you can correctly reference in-text and at the end of your essay.
Unsure on referencing? Check with your lecturer or module leader, or request support from Academic Skills and Development.
Use your time wisely:
If you have been given two hours for an examination, then that is because your lecturers feel this is a sensible time to complete your examination. Completing your exam too quickly could cause you to make silly mistakes or not perform at your best.
Whilst you may be an absolute whizz and be inclined to speed through, we would advise that you always carefully read the question, read it again and then check over your answers to make sure you are using your time wisely. If you have a 24 hour examination, remember that you're not expected to work for the full 24 hours, but do make sure you give yourself enough time to check references at the end, check your paraphrasing and still leave enough time to submit your work.
If you need help planning your time, you can download your January 2021 Revision Planner here.
Get the right academic support:
If you are really struggling with your assessments, please do not feel tempted to seek inappropriate support from companies offering assessment assistance. These companies, often called "Essay Mills" offer the promise of a quick solution to your problems but can lead to much bigger issues down the line. Firstly, these companies often make more money from students afterwards by blackmailing them, and can also often provide really poor quality work that could lead you to fail anyway.
It could also mean severe consequences at University. The University has a tool called Turnitin Authorship which can detect the tone and style of writing in your work, and spot anomalies in submissions. If the style, tone or handwriting changes in your work then the University may believe that someone else has written the work for you. This could lead to misconduct allegations, as even failure to declare third party assistance in your work can constitute academic misconduct. If the University can prove you have contracted someone else to write your work, this could lead to the most severe allegation of academic misconduct, and termination from your studies.
Make sure the work you submit is your own independent work and don't feel tempted to turn to these dodgy companies for help. If you think you need help with assessments or have additional learning requirements, then we would suggest you contact the Academic Skills and Development team or speak with Disability and Neurodiversity.
Finally, if you feel that your academic performance in your upcoming exams will be impacted by circumstances outside your control, you may need to consider applying for ECs. Please talk to your Personal Tutor first if you can, and you can seek advice from our academic advice team who are running EC Drop-Ins through January to support students in their EC applications. If you have any questions or queries, then get in touch by attending a drop in or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you experience IT issues during an exam, you must notify the University as soon as they occur. Email or telephone your Academic Hive immediately if any problems occur and keep a record of your communication, and if possible, take any photos of the error you're looking at. This communication can then be used as evidence for ECs applications.
You can find more information on ECs here – the 1:1 drop in sessions will run on Zoom and you can find the link on the @Surreyunion Instagram each morning of a drop in, or email us at email@example.com for the link. (Every Tuesday and Thursday from 4th Jan - 30th January 2021 from 10.30am - 12pm)