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The University of Southampton
Student Disability & WellbeingPart of Student Services

Course and Exam Concerns

Studying at University is not easy. Students may feel under pressure much of the time, and we are all different in our ability to cope. Some students may struggle to cope with the demands on them, which may come from within themselves, from family and friends, from tutors, or from what they are studying. It is easy to think everyone around you is coping better than you, but in reality everyone at University has to make a huge effort to achieve and succeed.

Concerns about your course
It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. If you have a concern about your course that is mainly to do with what you are studying, such as something you don't understand or perhaps whether a module or unit is right for you, your first step should be to make an appointment with relevant Faculty members such as your Personal Academic Tutor or a Senior Tutor.

Two students sat at SUSU

Issues with academic tutor/lecturer

Some tutors are easier to work with than others. The Students' Union provide free, independent, impartial advice to students.

SUSU Advice Centre

Dealing with Exams

Examinations are an unchaning feature of University life, and almost everyone finds them stressful.  For some students, exam stress can become so powerful that it affects their lives in negative ways, making the stress get worse and worse.  You may start compensating by working overlong hours, avoiding friends and activities, losing your daily routine including meals, sleeping less, and losing confidence.

Some people may respond in other ways, such as drinking too much as a way of trying to cope, or sleeping too much. All these may be ways to avoid tackling issues.  While they may seem to help in the short term, they may create longer-term difficulties and make it harder to perform well. The result of such a negative cycle could be a crisis, when you feel unable to continue.

Poor sleep, low mood, negative thoughts (about yourself, your abilities and your future) and panicky feelings are signs that you may benefit from help. If you find yourself avoiding study-related activities such as lectures or withdrawing from friends and social life, or increasing your consumption of alcohol or drugs, these all suggest that it is time to seek help and talk to someone about how you are feeling.

If you are anxious about exams, you may want to sign up for one of our exam workshops.  If you are feeling overwhelmed or panicky, you may wish to look at our self-help materials and complete our online workshop Exam Anxiety: From stress to success.

Academic Skills Hub

Offer online and in-person resources to help you develop skills for your studies. They're open 10am - 4pm in Hartley Library to chat to you.

Enabling Services Study Skills support

Visit this page range of online resources and information. We also have Study Support Sessions where you can meet one-to-one with a practitioner for practical study advice and support.

Personal Academic Tutor

If you have a concern about your course that is to do with what you are studying, such as something you don't understand or if a module or unit is right for you, make an appointment with your lecturer or PAT.

Students' Union Advice Centre

Provide free, independent and confidential support to all students. They can advise you on special considerations, appeals, complaints, and more.

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