Here are ten tips to ensure you prepare the best you can for your exams.
- Start early!
There is no harm in starting your exam preparation early, perhaps by organising your notes or going over lecture slides. Starting your preparation early will mean you have much more time to learn each topic well and hopefully will help to reduce your stress levels.
- For each of your modules create a list of all the topics you need to revise
Having a list in front of you can help you to see how much you need to learn and how much time you have to learn it.
- Once you have a list of all the topics you need to revise, try to create a revision timetable.
Having a revision timetable will help you to organise your time. It will help you schedule enough time to revise each topic and also to take well-earned breaks! Having a revision timetable will also allow you to add in any hobbies or extra-curricular activities you have. It is important to make sure you schedule enough time to revise but also to take breaks and have time out to relax.
- Find out what revision technique works best for you
Finding a revision technique that works for you is important; what works best for your friend may not necessarily work best for you. For some people, revising alone might be best whereas others might prefer to revise with friends. For example, working with friends and testing each other might be helpful. Another technique could be to record your notes out loud and then play them back to yourself to help you remember it. Using lots of colour to make your revision stand out might also help you to remember it. You could also create posters or rewrite your revision notes. A mixture of revision techniques might work well for you.
- Look at past exam questions and examiners reports
Looking at previous exam papers can give you an idea of what to expect in the exam and the style of questions that you may be asked. It is also a good idea to see how much you have learnt by trying to answer past questions. You could also do this in timed conditions to get used to the timings of the exam. Some lecturers may even be willing to look at your practice answers to let you know how you have done and help you with areas that you could improve upon. Examiners reports from previous years can also be helpful as you can see what an examiner is looking for in a particular answer.
- Make sure you get a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep will help you to relax and feel more refreshed ready for the morning. It is important to sleep well both during the revision period and the night before the exam. Sleeping can help you to process the information you have learnt and give your brain a well-deserved rest. Going into an exam having had a good night’s sleep is always likely to be a good starting point.
- On the morning of the exam, make sure you have breakfast and keep hydrated
It is important to have breakfast on the morning of the exam to keep your energy levels up; it is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You also need to stay well hydrated by drinking water so that your body is refreshed. All of this will help you to ensure you can concentrate on answering the questions to the best of your ability.
- When you are in the exam plan your time effectively
Make sure you plan your time effectively so that you have enough time to answer all the questions. It is important that you plan your time well so that you feel like you can spend enough time on each of the questions without having to rush towards the end.
- Make sure you read the questions carefully
It is important that you don’t let the stress of an exam situation stop you reading the question and all parts of it properly. Read each question carefully so that you understand what it is asking you to do. You can then try your best to answer it appropriately and make the most of the available time you have.
- Finally, as difficult as it may be, try to not to worry about the exam once it is over
Once you step out of the exam room, try not to worry about it. As long as you have tried your best, worrying about the exam once it is over is unlikely to achieve anything. Instead, it is best to focus on revising for your other exams, or if they are over, relaxing!