Practitioner Profile Josh Dawson

When you were studying, what was your worst and best habit?

Worst habit: Definitely leaving things to the last minute… Whether it was preparing study notes for a class, completing tutorial questions or studying for an exam, there always seemed to be some form of extra-curricular activity or event that would pop up at the wrong time and take away my focus from my studies (at least momentarily…)

Best habit: On the flip side, when I did get myself into situations where I was up against the clock or cutting it fine, I was always good at setting out a plan of attack with the tasks I needed to complete and a number of dot points outlining how I was going to achieve them. I actually found I would get the most study/work done when I was under pressure. I would set myself short 20-30 minute blocks of intense focus interspersed with regular small breaks which really worked for me

Do you have any tips for uni and school kids that are doing exams at the moment?

The best advice I could offer is that life shouldn’t stop during exam periods. From experience, I actually found that setting out small goals of what I wanted to achieve in a set study session/day and then, once completed, rewarding myself with a break, going to the gym/playing sport, catching up with a friend etc, was not only the best way for me to stay on task and get work done, but also kept me feeling refreshed and calm during these situations that tend to stress a lot of people out

What are some tips about study posture you can give us?

The most important part of maintaining a good posture while studying is setting up your study environment around you in a way that reflects your body composition (height, limb length etc), regular activities surrounding your study (handwriting, typing etc) and is therefore more likely to be sustainable. A general rule of thumb is to ensure your chair is upright, screen is at eye level, and your elbows and knees are roughly at 90 degree angles with feet flat on the ground. Also, make sure you keep moving around and take regular breaks from the computer screen – your best study position is your next position!

What was the worst exam experience you ever had?

The worst exam experience I had was walking into a 10 minute practical exam that involved demonstrating a clinical examination of a particular medical condition. As soon as I turned the card over and saw my topic I knew I was in trouble, as it was something that I had forgotten to cover during my revision sessions! Needless to say I received a supplementary examination to come back 3 weeks later to re-sit. This actually became a blessing in disguise as I nailed the exam the second time around and it taught me to never allow myself to be put in that situation again due to being under prepared.

josh dawson
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