Quick tips to improve your Exam Preparation


This piece provides a range of tips on how to prepare effectively for the exam period.
James Timpson
Note by James Timpson, updated more than 1 year ago
James Timpson
Created by James Timpson almost 9 years ago

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The number one mistake students make when preparing for exams is not preparing for the revision process. Planning isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. If you really want to maximize your chances of getting a decent result you need to take revision just as seriously as the exam. These tips will help you get started. Collaborate with Others When you’re revising the sheer amount of coursework can be huge. Examtime recommends dividing up your revision notes with your classmates to reduce the workload. This will not only free up time, but will give you an insight into how others work, which could help you develop better revision practices. Perform Mock Examinations Ask your tutor for past exam papers and perform mock exams at home. Mock exams will help you get into the mind-set of feeling intense pressure, which will calm you down on the day. When performing mock exams tell others not to disturb you, and then go in a quiet room and set your timer. The more mock exams you do the better. Make a Schedule Making a decent schedule is one thing, but sticking to it is something else altogether. Unless it’s well thought out you’ll struggle. Before you even start revising make sure you’re dedicating enough time to each subject. Focus more energy on the topics that you struggle with to ensure you have enough balance. Remember that somewhere down the line you’ll probably realise that you’re not quite as good at something as you thought you were, so make sure you leave some slots open to accommodate these occurrences. Take Regular Breaks You need to give yourself regular breaks in order to relax your mind and recuperate. If you ever feel yourself losing focus don’t be afraid to take a step back and clear your head. Taking a walk or doing a little exercise is a great way to get back in the zone. In fact, studies have shown that light exercise significantly boosts brain productivity. Work with your Learning Style Not everybody works the same way. Revision expert Justin Craig states that understanding your learning style and whether you’re a visual, auditory or kinetic person will help you to develop a more effective plan. Everyone is different so don’t be afraid to do what works for you, even if it’s a little more unconventional. Cut Out Unnecessary Revision Techniques Teachers may suggest taking a very specific approach. While their advice is definitely worth considering, don’t take it as gospel. Studies conducted by the BBC showed that some of the most common revision techniques taught in schools are actually not as effective as they seem. Highlighting, underlining, re-reading and forming mental images all score very low. The highest rated tests were mock exams and distributed practice. Know When to Stop Too much revision can be counterproductive, especially if you leave it all to the last minute. When you’ve genuinely had enough and feel like you’re unable to continue absorbing information, stop working. Finally, on the day of your exam do whatever you can to feel relaxed. Go to sleep early the night before so you can get up and have a nice big breakfast. If you have time, go out for a light jog or bike ride a few hours before. Don’t even look at your revision notes. It’ll only increase your stress levels. Revise properly and you should feel prepared well before the final day comes around.Image Credit (Creative Commons): Julie Jordan Scott

Image Caption: Don’t look at your revision notes on the day of your exam. It’ll only make you feel stressed.

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