Top 10 Tips for Exams

It’s that time of year when exams are on the horizon and you may be feeling overwhelmed. There are lots of different subjects to revise, different deadlines to work to and it can be very stressful. Here are our top ten tips for exams to help you get through it all!

1. Get planning
It’s important to start your revision early. It can be difficult to know where to start and it’s important to spend time making a revision plan. Write a plan of what you are going to study each day. Study difficult subjects when you are at your peak of concentration (usually in the morning). There are lots of online tools to help you, but I particularly like the planner at http://www.getrevising.co.uk/planner It’s full of handy hints to make the most of your revision! Remember – fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

2. Get organised
A messy space can lead to a messy mind so it’s important to organise your study space. Choose somewhere where you won’t be disturbed and that has few distractions. It’s a good idea to put your phone away – don’t distract yourself on social media!

3. Get rewarded
With so much to do it can feel like a never-ending whirlwind of revision, but make sure to reward yourself on a job well done. Once you have finished a topic give yourself a gold star, cross it off the list, take a short break – you deserve it!

4. Work Smart
It’s important to try some past papers or specimen papers as part of your revision. The more you see the style of exam paper, the more familiar it will be when you get into the exam hall. Get to know the layout – can you spot any patterns? Are there any hot topics that always come up?

5. Know your question types
It’s important to read each question thoroughly, but it’s also good to know the types of questions you are being asked. If it’s a multiple choice question and you’re unsure of the answer, eliminate the ones you know to be wrong. Some questions are testing your generic skills such as numeracy or chart reading – you don’t need knowledge of the subject to be able to answer them correctly.

6. Don’t panic
This may be easier said than done, but when you’re in the exam hall try not to panic. Take a couple of deep breaths and focus on the question paper – don’t be worried about what anyone else is doing.

7. Break up your time
Think about the sections of the exam paper. If you have two essays to do in 3 hours, that’s approximately an hour and a half per essay. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to answer every question and a bit extra to check over your paper.

8. Write it down
Feel free to make notes on the question paper. If you have a choice of essays to write and you don’t know which one to pick, write down some notes for each of them. This helps you see which one you are more confident to answer, but also helps if you have to write two essays – you can refer back to those notes when you start your second topic.

9. There’s no correct order
You don’t have to answer the questions in the order that they appear in the paper. If you’re not sure of something leave it and go back to it later. It’s better to answer the questions you know the answer to first – that’s where you’ll get good marks.

10. Don’t overthink things
There’s a great temptation to ask your friends how they got on after the exam is finished. Try not to dwell on things or compare too many notes. It’s done and you can’t change it now. It’s time to move on to your next topic and think positively about your next exam. After all your exams are done, try and do something fun like a trip to the cinema or a meal out with friends to take your mind off it all.

So, that’s my top ten tips for your revision and exams. I wish you lots of luck in your exams and hope you get the results you are hoping for! Remember – keep calm, and get revising!

Vicki Todd
Education Liaison Officer, Marketing

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