Exam Tips

For down-to-earth, hands-on revision help, read these top 10 tips from students who have been through what you’re going through now:

  • Create a revision timetable with sensible work slots and breaks and then show it to your parents to get their agreement. Keep to this timetable! Then when your parent finds you ‘not working’, provided you are following your agreed timetable, no-one is going to hassle you. Parents only hassle and worry when they are not sure what you are doing, or if you do not seem to have a plan. Organize yourself well and it will help you to fulfill your potential.
  • Know where your exams are and when they start, how long they are, what equipment you are allowed to take in (for example calculators) and what you are not allowed to take in (mobiles, notes, etc).
  • Make sure you have one weekend day when you don’t do revision or think about exams – you’ll come back to it refreshed.
  • Tell your family about your revision time – and ask them for help if you need it – it may help make them feel useful to you!
  • Keep bullet points on crib cards highlighting main subject theories. Use these for quick revision and for reading during ‘dead’ times – for example, when you’re waiting for a bus. Use mnemonics – using initials of a word helps your memory.
  • Some people revise well by listening, so you could try ‘talking’ your revision and recording it onto your iPod or onto tapes. Listen to these while lying in bed, while travelling in a car, or walking to the shops. This also takes the guilt out of being out and about rather than in front of your books!
  • Ensure you eat and sleep properly. Now is not the time to diet or stay up all night. Have an early night before each exam.
  • Prepare items needed for the exam the evening before. Make sure you have the correct equipment needed for your exam (calculators, rulers, etc). Your exam invigilator should remind you of what you are and aren’t allowed before the exam starts. Taking unauthorised equipment in can get you disqualified from the exam.
  • Look after yourself during the exam period (a good routine and healthy eating!). Be sure to cut down on your weekend/evening job; most employers know that you need to commit time to the exams and revision, but often try to get you to do extra hours anyway!
  • On the morning of the exam, have a good breakfast, stay calm and allow plenty of time to get to the exam. Remember that you can only do your best and even if you don’t do as well as you’d hoped, your parents still love you just as much!
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