My Top 10 Tips for Exam Preparation
Hello everyone! It’s now getting towards exam season and many of you will be finishing off your last few assignments before starting your exam revision, so here are my top tips on exam preparation!
1. Find out when your exams are scheduled
If you don’t already have a rough idea, try to find out when your exams will be. Even a provisional exam timetable is usually fairly accurate, and this means that you will know roughly how long you will have to revise so that you can give yourself enough time to study. Don’t leave all of your revision to the last minute, especially as you will usually have many exams for different subjects or topics.
2. Make a revision timetable
Make a note of when your exams are scheduled and make a study timetable accordingly, prioritising whichever exams happen to fall first. If you don’t want to go to the effort of making a timetable, at least set yourself a couple of hours revision a day at a set time, or a bigger chunk of hours during the weekdays so that you can have the weekends off to relax. Keeping a relatively similar routine of revising will definitely help with your organisation and motivation.
3. Find the optimal space to study
There are a variety of different places to study, but depending on your own personal preference, you may only be able to concentrate and revise properly in certain areas. I can work practically anywhere as long as I have some music or background noise. Others require complete silence and prefer the quieter areas of the library or their own space. Some can thrive in cluttered noisy spaces in the library or you may want to sit outside to study – especially as its starting to get a little warmer and sunnier! Wherever is the best place for you, make sure that you have enough space, are comfortable and have as few distractions as possible.
4. Use visual resources to revise
An arts and image-based subject such as the History of Art requires that I study works of art to revise, however, whatever the subject, diagrams, flowcharts, graphs and pictures may be a great way to condense information and highlight any areas that you need to study further. If you’re not great with remembering huge passages of text, diagrams may be an alternative method of recall for your exams.
5. Try out old past papers
If you can, find the last few years of past papers, especially if the format of your exam hasn’t been changed, as you can get a good grasp of what skills and information you will need for your exams, the format of the questions, and the amount of time you will need. This too can highlight any gaps in your knowledge and will most likely make you feel more at ease during the actual exam as you should already be familiar with the structure.
6. Organise group study sessions
Sometimes, you don’t realise that you’re missing a key theme within a topic until you speak to someone else about it. Group study sessions are a great way of pooling ideas about what sort of questions, themes and topics might come up in your exams and you will often exchange valuable information or ideas to each other that you may not have considered.
7. If you have a revision session, make the most of it
You will most likely have a class specifically dedicated to revision for your exam so make sure you attend. You will usually go through the format, date, time and place of your exam and cover the major themes, topics and areas that are most likely to come up. This will often give you the best idea of the content and will give more focus to your revision. If you have any questions always ask your tutor, they will most likely try to help you in any way that they can.
8. Take regular breaks from study
While it is often tempting to keep cramming in as much information for your exams, you will need to take breaks in order for that information to sink in, and a good night of sleep is also essential in storing revision into your memory. If you don’t give yourself time to relax you will simply burn out and get stressed which will completely demotivate you. Taking small breaks during revision is often the most effective way of studying anyway so don’t feel bad about taking some time out.
9. Look after yourself
Beyond taking breaks from your revision, you will also have to look after yourself more generally so that you will be able to perform well during your revision and exams. Make sure you are eating healthily and on a regular schedule so that you will have the nutrition and energy you need to concentrate and make sure you are drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. You will feel a lot better in yourself if you eat and drink well and your revision and exams will go more smoothly too.
10. Plan out your exam days
Do you need special equipment for your exams? You’d be surprised at how many students turn up to exams without the things that they require. Always set out everything you need the night before so that you can make sure that you are on time the next day. Always check the regulations on what you can and can’t take in to the exam room – usually, you can’t take in any revision materials, electronic devices or bags. Always take at least two pens, a bottle of unlabelled water, your university ID, a watch, and glasses if you wear them.
Thanks for reading!Kristie