Top Tips for Student Exam Preparation

Written by Calvin Bowers

As we approach the summer months, many students across the UK will be beginning their exam preparation for the upcoming exam season. School, college and university students may be feeling daunted by the prospect of taking exams, especially if their exams are being conducted online due to the pandemic. Exams can be highly stressful, but there are ways to handle that stress and put yourself in the best position possible to succeed in the exam whilst also staying calm.

We have put together some of our top tips for preparing for exams, covering a range of topics from wellbeing to revision styles.

Eight tips for student exam preparation: 

  1. Don’t just memorise.

There is scientific evidence that shows simply trying to memorise facts by heart isn’t the way to get information to stick in your brain. You need to be utilising different techniques to learn and, most importantly, understand the information you need.

  1. Take care of your wellbeing.

When going through a stressful period such as exam preparation, it’s essential that you are also looking after your mind and body. Eating well and getting enough sleep will ensure your brain has enough energy to learn. Take time out of revision to see friends and try not to get too anxious about them. The calmer you are, the better chance you have at succeeding.

  1. Practice exam question.

Instead of just memorising the information, try putting it into practice exam questions. You can time yourself coming up with ideas for unseen questions and get used to putting all your information down into a cohesive, straightforward answer.

  1. Take regular breaks.

As well as taking more significant breaks out of your revision and exam schedule to exercise, see friends and relax, it’s essential you are taking smaller breaks throughout the day too. This allows the information you have been revising to sink in and ensures you don’t overwhelm yourself so much you can’t remember anything.

  1. Find a revision style that works for you.

Everyone learns and works in different ways, and it is really helpful to work out some small techniques and revision styles that work best. When you know what works, you will save so much time by not trying activities that don’t suit your learning style. For example, some people are visual learners, so using colour, shapes, and images helps them take in information, whereas others are aural learners, so they learn best through listening. 

  1. Study with another person.

Preparing for an exam with another person can make the process much more enjoyable. Trying to explain something to another person is a great way to test your knowledge. By speaking out loud, you can spot the areas of the content that you are less confident in.

  1. Don’t make assumptions about the exam.

While it’s tempting to make assumptions and guesses about the exam content based on previous years and trends, it’s important to remember that any of those topics could still come up, and you don’t want to be caught short. It’s sensible to revise some areas more than others, but don’t miss out on entire topics.

  1. Arrive prepared.

Make sure you know all the details of the exam before it begins. If the exam is online, you will need to know how to access the exam and submit it. If it’s in person, have a look at the location before and make sure to plan how to get there. Check how long the exam is, how many questions you need to answer, and any equipment you need to bring.

If you are finishing university after your exams and are looking towards your next steps, have a look at our guide to deciding what’s next.

Last Updated: Thursday May 27 2021
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