Preparing for exam season can be stressful as you’re being tested on what you’ve learned, and can play a deciding role on your final grade. On top of this, you may not know when to start, how to start, how best to revise or what to do. Thankfully, here are some top tips that will maximise your revision time and help you hit your exams head-on.
Start revision early
This might seem like common sense, but give yourself ample time to revise and digest material you’ve learned to ensure you remember it in the exam. Starting early gives you time to learn the material as opposed to just memorising it. To gain a deeper insight into topics read around them, as this will give you a broader pool of knowledge to draw upon in your exam. The best thing to do is to review each topic as it comes along, and when preparing for your exam revisit them in the same order.
Organise your study space
When sitting down to do revision, ask yourself do you have enough space? Are you sat comfortably? Are there any distractions around you? Have you put your phone on silent? Although these questions may seem trivial they can help you establish an area where you feel comfortable and ready to revise. This is great to do because if you have a clear, clean, distraction-free space, you’ll be more efficient with your revision.
It’s all about making a study environment where you feel comfortable, so if you’re someone that likes to listen to music when studying then play some in the background. The key here is to create a study space where you feel ready to revise.
Practise old exams
This is one of the best things to do before walking into an exam as you familiarise yourself with questions and working to time limits. Practising old exam papers gets your mind thinking in the structure of the exam and reduces the chances of being surprised by potential topics or questions in the real thing. Furthermore, practising allows you to nail your time management. Allocate yourself a certain amount of time to answer questions and see if you can stick to it. The premise here is to be prepared.
Look after yourself
Something that can be overlooked when preparing for exams is making sure you’re healthy. A great place to start is to try and eat a healthy, balanced diet consisting of brain food and slow-release-energy foods to keep you going through revision. In addition, ensuring you have enough sleep is important as it will mean your brain is raring to learn and makes your revision sessions less stressful. Throw in some breaks every 45 minutes and you’ll be giving your brain time to recover and re-energise for the next study session – you won’t retain much if you’re exhausted.
Don’t just study alone
An important thing to remember when preparing for exams is that you aren’t alone. You can meet up with classmates and form study groups to enhance your learning. You’ll find it useful to have discussions and learn from other classmates, as it reinforces your learning. In addition, if you’re able to explain a topic or theory to a classmate then it means that you have a good grasp of the topic yourself – you can all benefit from learning from each other.
Also, research your university’s exam-help resources. For example, Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen offers a variety of services to help you through your studies. Services include academic writing, study skills, maths and stats, English language, IT and general support tutors. Your university wants you to succeed and they offer services to help you if you want a little extra help.
When in the exam hall, take your time
The last tip may sound obvious, but it’s key when you’re in the exam hall to relax and take your time. Make sure you read the questions twice – many a student has slipped up by skim-reading the questions and starting writing straightaway. Make sure you plan your answers and keep an eye on the time. You will perform better if you are stress-free and not panicked.
Preparing for exams can be a daunting experience as they can decide what your final grade is or what degree classification you graduate with. But if you follow these tips and ensure you remain calm, organise your time and stay positive, you will be more than ready. Good luck!